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 Book Review: Truth or fiction from North Korea?


Adam Johnson’s novel The Orphan Master’s Son (Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2012) traces the twisted yet fantastical life of a young North Korean nobody called Pak Jun Do (a Korean play off “John Doe”). It received positive reviews (including one from WORLD), but also stirred discussions about how much of its content is true. Few critics disagree that Johnson’s book makes an entertaining read, but should a book about North Korea entertain at all?

Johnson’s interest in North Korea started in 2004, when he first read about the country’s Soviet gulag-style prison camps. As a well-educated professor at Stanford University, Johnson said he was “shocked” at his ignorance—and fascinated by how such brutal concentration camps could still exist in the 21st century without much being done or said about them For more than a year, he read up on North Korea as much as he could, becoming “mildly obsessed” about ...

read more: http://www.worldmag.com/2013/02/book_review_truth_or_fiction_from_north_korea


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