Neil's Reviews > The Orphan Master's Son

The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Mar 22, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: tournament-of-books-2013

This novel accomplishes a couple of amazing things: it makes a man who is a kidnapper, spy and thief of another man's identity someone I genuinely rooted for, and it infuses real suspense about how things will end into a plot that would ordinarily seem destined for a happy ending.

The key to making both of these things happen is North Korea. The novel is set in a country where the normal rules don't apply--which makes it fascinating and ratchets up the excitement in the last third. Because nothing in the North Korea Johnson creates operates the way we expect, there's no reason to expect the novel will proceed conventionally.

Johnson's _Parasites Like Us_ didn't do much for me, but _The Orphan Master's Son_ is a remarkable novel. I have no idea if its picture of North Korea would feel accurate to someone who has lived through the real thing, but it felt fully realized, bizarre and terrifying to me.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Orphan Master's Son.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.