Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Orphan Master's Son

a staggering look inside a demonic country.  I can only assume that most of it is true.   the very facelessness of the oppressed people is used masterfully by Johnson-- characters are doubled and find themselves vying against versions of themselves created by the state to thwart their spirit -- which I found narratively challenging.  but his landscape and emotional atmosphere is fantatically conjured-- he creates a North Korea so rich in human breath and foible, where for me before there was nothing but a cipher.  Incredible achievement of a novel.  Not even funny, how unusual a thing he has conjured not out of thin air, but out of strange, distant, inaccessible air.

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