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杏仁

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  8,737 ratings  ·  1,802 reviews
每个人的脑袋里都有一组构造,它的大小、形状跟杏仁差不多,因此被称为“杏仁核”。受到外部刺激时,“杏仁”核”会亮起红灯,做出不同的反应,我们从而感到喜悦、憎恶、不安或是害怕。
但我的“杏仁核”好像坏掉了,受到任何刺激都没有丝毫反应。医生说这是“述情障碍”。对我而言,开心和难过,只是抽象的概念;而情绪和同感,则不过是模糊的印刷字体。可是还好有母亲和外婆,我的生活并不算糟。
直到那个圣诞节。先是母亲和外婆,再是三名试图阻止的路人和一名警察,最后是那名男子,六死一伤。男子的遗书写着“今天,不管是谁,只要笑着的人,都将跟我一起离开”。
外婆为了保护我而死,母亲也成了植物人,而我,只是静静看着这一切在我眼前发生,连一滴眼泪都没有报答。从那天起,再没有人像外婆那样叫我“可爱的怪物”,我变成别人眼里真正的“怪物”,没有情感的“怪物”。
直到我遇见另一个怪物。
Published October 1st 2019 by 民主与建设出版社 (first published March 31st 2017)
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Hannah Chung Yes24는 해외배송도 됩니다! (이 시국에도)
Anna Kehoe Well, Yunjae is learning about human emotions and expressions that he can not feel. But also, he finds himself trying to help a friend in need.
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Katelyn
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unabashedly here one week after Yoongi was caught reading this on the In the Soop preview. Sad to say, this book would’ve absolutely slipped under my radar otherwise. This is one of my favorite reads of this year.




Korean culture involves such a strong emotional intelligence and sense of intuition (nunchi, if you will) that, personally, I find this story especially compelling. In a different setting, I don’t think it would have the same impact. And while there’s definitely subtext of commentary on
...more
Jessica
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asian
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (HarperVia).

This book is why I love international books. They’re always so different from what is traditionally published here in America and I find that so refreshing.

In the prologue it states that, “I won’t tell you whether it has a happy ending or a tragic ending…neither you nor I nor anyone can ever really know whether a story is happy or tragic.” I think that perfectly sums up the book. It is sad at times, but there is still hope a
...more
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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The amygdalae are two almond-shaped nodes in the brain responsible for the processing of emotion, most notably fear. ALMOND is a book about a young Korean boy with underdeveloped amygdalae, leading to a condition called "alexithymia," which is a brain disorder in which a person can't really identify with or even experience emotions in a normal way (their own or others). As a psychology major, we talked briefly about alexithymia but never
...more
Jenna
Jun 18, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, out-of-asia
Even though I know book blurbs can't always be trusted, I'm a sucker for ones that compare said book to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. I just can't help it. I loved that book. So if another one is compared to it, I'm gonna take my chances.

I take that blurb writer's word for it even though I doubt they even read the book half the time.

Sometimes it pays off. Others.... myeh.  

The protagonist of Curious Incident.... was a teen on the Autism spectrum. The protagonist of Almond is
...more
David
Oct 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a revelation! After a month of reading Korean works in translation and just soaking in that feeling of "han" it's nice to get what is essentially a sunny middle-grade read! I mean it is still Korean, people get beaten and there's more than one brutal knife attack, but otherwise it's downright hopeful!

Yunjae has a brain condition called Alexithymia which means he doesn't feel fear or anger. He's not good at reading other's emotions either and has to be taught to fake it by his mom and grand
...more
Lata
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A low-key book with sadness and hope, despite its moments of violence.
Yunjae is a quiet observer of his own life, commenting rationally about people’s negative reactions to him (Yunjae doesn’t experience emotions as most people do, thanks to his condition), and to the sometimes awful events in his life (e.g., the attacks on his mother and grandmother and his grandmother’s death).
It’s with his growing, complicated relationship with Gon, the troubled son of a man Yunjae did an unusual favour for,
...more
Luce
Written in a simple and crisp prose Almond is a slim novel that is primarily concerned with empathy and human connection. Yunjae, the narrator of this story, was born with underdeveloped amygdalae, which are two-almond shaped nuclei that process our emotional responses (prior this book I had no idea of what they were...). Because of this condition, alexithymia, he cannot recognise and or is unaware of feeling emotions (be it anger happiness or fear). Knowing that this will make him 'odd' in the ...more
Kalyn✨
May 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
“This story is, in short, about a monster meeting another monster. One of the monsters is me.”

This book made me cry.

I really loved the relationship between Yunjae and Gon. Like the translator, I thought the boys had something more than just a friendship and I'm glad Sandy Joosun Lee kept the ambiguity of the original. I think she did a brilliant job.

The ending felt rushed and perhaps a bit unrealistic, but I still enjoyed it nonetheless. And as for the portrayal of alexithymia, I'm not familiar
...more
Shay ☆
5 million stars.
STOP SCROLLING AND PLEASE GIVE ME 2 MINUTES OF YOUR DAY TO CONVINCE YOU TO READ THIS.

TW : Violence, cursing, torturing of an animal(a butterfly) -- mostly implied. not graphic/gory or explicitly described!

**SPOILER FREE REVIEW :

How would the world look like from the perspective of someone who is unable to feel emotion?

This book tells the story of Yunjae, a boy who is so loved but is unable to feel it and Gon, a bitter, bad-tempered boy has never felt loved in his life. What h
...more
aly ☆彡
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Lastly, and I know it sounds like an excuse but neither you nor I nor anyone can ever really know whether a story is happy or tragic"

I never really find myself to read books that BTS reads/recommended because the genre or the context was never for me. But my friend has been gushing about it and knowing that if it's not for her, I would never come across this book would be such a regret.

The story is about Yunjae, who was born with a brain condition called Alexithymia that makes it hard f
...more
Sonja Arlow
May 20, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-read
This felt like a watered-down version of Wonder.

You have a middle school kid with an odd disease that prevents him from making friends and blending in.

I just found it a little too cutesy for my taste and after having finished this a week ago I can remember almost nothing of the finer points of the story.

...more
Sheena
May 10, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sheena by: — Massiel
FINALLY A GOOD BOOK!! I loved this so much, it was heart breaking and well written.

Definitely going to be adding this to my personal collection.
Annabella
The first two-thirds (basically part 1&2) of this book was easily 5 stars for me but then it unfortunately went a bit downhill.

The premise promised the deeper exploration of a very interesting friendship(?) between a boy who couldn't feel anything and one who felt too much. I confess I didn't know what alexithymia was before this novel so I was intrigued to read about Yunjae, but in the end Gon turned out to be my favourite character. Gon, whose troubled childhood made him put up a vicious mask
...more
Emmy Hermina Nathasia
What a refreshing read! Reading successfully translated Japanese and Korean literature always ignite a vibe or feel that can only be delivered by them. Perhaps its their culture that permeates through the writings. Even the most ridiculous or unthinkable plot will make you believe. Talking about Almond, its a topic I believe is not new, a person that has no feeling. But the setting and background combine with the plot and flawless scenes as well dialogues, presented a refreshing take on the boy- ...more
Clara (Clarylovesbooks)
I knew about this book because Namjoon and Yoongi (from BTS) read it during "In the Soop", and from the synopsis it sounded interesting! "Almond" by Won-pyung Sohn it's a beautiful, moving and intense YA book that deals with bulling, mental illness, family and the power of frienship. It's quite short and finished it in one sitting, highly recommend this! ...more
Katie Elizabeth
Mar 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. Such a small, beautiful and emotional story about friendship and understanding. Truly makes you think about who we are and where we can go as people.
Brenda Waworga
This is such an eye opening story! If i didn’t read this book i never knew there is this condition name “Alexithymia”. Alexithymia is a personal trait characterized by subclinical to identify and describe emotions experienced by one’s self, the core characteristic of it is dysfuctional in emotional awareness, social attachment and interpersonal relation. Yunjae our main character in this book (and also the single narrator) born with it… it makes him so many times being misunderstood even bullied ...more
Richa
Apr 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful book, truly. The author has taken great care to do right by what Yunjae should feel and has depicted in such a nuanced way.

10/10 will recommend.
Kelly
This book is different, and it’s different in a way that’s purposeful as to leave readers wondering whether this was a love story or a complete tragedy. Maybe both?

Yunjae was born with Alexithymia, which means his brain is wired so that he doesn’t know how to feel or respond to emotions. His mother and his grandmother love him despite his challenges, though he’s never been able to make friends. He’s an outsider, as others cannot relate with him and he, with others. He lives with his mother abov
...more
Basma
I enjoyed the story and it was engaging. It’s about a kid who has a small amygdala which meant that he was incapable of feeling certain emotions or understanding the human’s emotions and behaviors and deciphering the context behind words. A tragic incidents happens to him that ends up opening his world a bit more making him question his lack of feelings, question the people around him and their behavior and the intentions of the his new friends.

But I really wish the ending was different. The sto
...more
Paul Fulcher
“Granny, why do people call me weird?”

Her lips loosened.

“Maybe it’s because you’re special. People just can’t stand it when something is different, eigoo, my adorable little monster.”

Granny hugged me so tight my ribs hurt. She always called me a monster. To her, that wasn’t a bad thing.


아몬드 by 손원평 has been translated as Almond by Joosun Lee. I believe her debut translation and she does an excellent job, although modestly explaining in her helpful afterword that she "was very fortunate to have
...more
Reid Anderson
"From what I understood, love was an extreme idea. A word that seemed to force something indefinable into the prison of letters. But the word was used so easily, so often. People spoke of love so casually, just to mean the slightest pleasure or thanks."

Set in Korea, this book explores Yunjae's childhood & teenage years. The fascinating part? Yunjae was born with a brain condition Alexithymia that makes it difficult for him to identify and experience emotions.

This has been my favorite pick for As
...more
Phoenix2
Jun 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almond is a coming of age story about a special boy from his POV. Honestly, did not expect it to be this good.

The book deals, as the author comments in her notes, with children who are different and with the question of will I still love my child even if they are not what society expects them to be?

Almond is sweet, heartbreaking and also has a happy ending and a strong message to deliver. It is, in addition, an easy read, with simple yet allegorical style of writing, fast pace and an honest ta
...more
Thushara
Read for Women In Translation Month
August 2020
📍South Korea 🇰🇷

Translated Literature
Almond by Won Pyoung Sohn
Translated by Joosun Lee
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 5/5 stars
.
Almond is the story of Yunjea with a brain condition called Alexithymia that makes it difficult to comprehend emotions. Bullied and laughed at for being different, his mother and grandmother train him using post eds with common scenarios and typical responses to them.
.
But a tragedy hits leaving Yunjea alone in a world that requires more than tailored
...more
Smitha Murthy
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who love the odd tale of life and love
I have been utterly delighted with my recent forays into South Korean literature, especially those by South Korean women writers. ‘Almond’ is the sort of novel that might slip under your radar, but I am going to stick my reading neck far out and say this is already one of my best reads of this year.

In its setting, it reminded me a lot of ‘Flowers for Algernon.’ Told in the compelling voice of Yunjae, a boy of 15 who hasn’t been able to ‘feel’ all his life, it’s the sort of story that you can re
...more
jo
i think i have become irreconcilably suspicious of narratives about neurodivergent kids.
Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)
The pain that I'm in right now 😭 ...more
Queralt✨
Almond is about a young Korean boy with underdeveloped amygdalae (which are almond-shape, hence the title), leading to a condition in which a person cannot identify with emotions in a normal way in others or their own. Yunjae doesn't struggle with this, because he doesn't know what struggling feels like, but we see through his perspective the limitations and consequences of not performing as a 'regular human'.

He is surrounded by loving people who act differently - some try to teach him how to a
...more
Hiba Arrame
Jun 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such an interesting book, the topic was definitely foreign to me and the execution was very beautiful, though I don't know whether it does the topic justice.
Yunjae is a boy who cannot feel due to a special medical condition and his story was so beautiful and intriguing because I kept thinking about how my life would've been if I had Alexithymia. Would I miss feelings when I have never experienced them? I think not. But I definitely think it would've made life bland and kind of tough to
...more
Abby Kincer
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED IT. It's my perfect book - on a fascinating topic I knew nothing about, incredibly fast-paced (with super short chapters), and a story that pulls at your heart strings. *Gifted by the publisher.

So the entire story is centered around how this young boy doesn't feel emotion, which I can admit (even though I loved and devoured the story) makes it a bit emotionally stunted. Nonetheless, if you've been considering picking this one up - this is your sign to go for it! I specifically recommend
...more
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El Club Matilda: Parte 3 13 31 Mar 09, 2021 01:07PM  
El Club Matilda: Parte 2 20 36 Mar 06, 2021 10:33AM  
El Club Matilda: * Parte 1 20 43 Feb 27, 2021 05:06AM  

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