Linda's Reviews > Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea

Pyongyang by Guy Delisle
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's review
Jul 14, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: sequential-art
Recommended for: all
Read in July, 2007

This graphic novel gets 5 stars for unputdown-ability. Thanks to liberrian Jill for responding to my purchase request for this. The Canadian author spent some time in North Korea supervising an animation project (a lot of this work is done in Asia where there is expertise and the labor is cheap). The author's North Korean translator and guide accompany him everywhere in the world's most horrible country, such as anti-imperialist rallies, enormous garish buildings and monuments that were not ever finished (I remember that phenomenon from the old Sov-Union as well as a bizarre unfinished freeway in California), terrible empty restaurants, and wild parties for the few foreigners there thrown by NGOs and the U.N. What strikes one is the mind control of this place. Do the people living there really believe all the bullshit the government shoves down their throats? They have to pretend to or they are sent to re-education camps or perhaps disappeared. I felt mirthful, disconsolate, and entranced for the entire read. I am ecstatic that the author is working on a similar account of his year in Burma for Drawn&Quarterly. Hurray! This author better watch his back though.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Kelly (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:34AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kelly I really want to read this book. Also, I guess young North Korean girls are really fond of the accordian.

message 2: by Angie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:34AM) (new)

Angie That last sentence of made me chuckle.

message 3: by Kelly (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:21PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kelly I finally got to this and really loved it too. How about Restaurant 1 and Restaurant 2?! And how the streets are "too clean". I was also struck by the "volunteers" involved in torturous and mundane tasks such painting stones white.

message 4: by Linda (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:22PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Linda I want to visit this country so I can drive the only car around for miles on a highway that has no exits. Surreal. Is The Simpsons really made here?

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