The Orphan Master's Son

The Orphan Master's Son

A Novel

Audiobook CD - 2012
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Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother, a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang, and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return. Considering himself “a humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world,” Jun Do becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive.
Publisher: New York : Random House Audio, p2012
ISBN: 9780307939692
Characteristics: 15 sound discs (19 hrs., 30 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in


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Dec 11, 2013

Adam Johnson delves the reader into the world that is North Korea, along with all it's nuances and tragedies. The book was at times poignant and at same time confusing. Once I knew how Adam was telling the story, things seemed to fall in place better. Jun Do, the Orphan Master's son and main character, finds himself on a roller coaster of one day being a hero of the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea and another day is working in a work camp. Through the story, Jun Do and others make daily sacrifices to insure the lives of those they love. In the end, I'm glad I listened to it. It is not something I probably would have picked up normally. The cd audio I think makes the story easier to understand and more enjoyable with the various accents.

Mar 30, 2013

I don't doubt that Adam Johnson accurately captured the baffling nature of life in North Korea, where no one is trustworthy, truth is a guessing game and life can change in a moment based on the shifting whims of mercurial leaders. In that achievement, however, The Orphan Master's Son became confusing and hard to follow. Sometimes the story jumped forward without filling in details needed to understand why the protaganist's situation had changed, or why he went from being nearly invisible in the culture to being a hero to being an enemy of the state. So many have liked this book that I must be missing something, but I made it halfway and then gave up.


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Sep 06, 2012

Follows a young man's journey through the icy waters, dark tunnels, and eerie spy chambers of the world's most mysterious dictatorship, North Korea.


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