The Orphan Master's Son

The Orphan Master's Son  (English, Electronic book text, Adam Johnson)

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  • Language: English
  • Binding: Electronic book text
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • ISBN: 9780679643999, 0679643990
  • Edition: 2012
  • Pages: 480
“A daring and remarkable novel.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother—a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang—and an influential father who runs a work camp for orphans. Superiors in the state soon recognize the boy’s loyalty and keen instincts. Considering himself “a humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world,” Jun Do rises in the ranks. He becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the absolute limit of what any human being could endure, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong Il in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress “so pure, she didn’t know what starving people looked like.”
In this epic, critically acclaimed tour de force, Adam Johnson provides a riveting portrait of a world rife with hunger, corruption, and casual cruelty but also camaraderie, stolen moments of beauty, and love.
“Gripping . . . Deftly blending adventure, surreal comedy and Casablanca-style romance, the novel takes readers on a jolting ride through an Orwellian landscape of dubious identity and dangerous doublespeak.”—San Jose Mercury News
“This is a novel worth getting excited about. . . . Adam Johnson has taken the papier-mâché creation that is North Korea and turned it into a real and riveting place that readers will find unforgettable.”—The Washington Post
“[A] brilliant and timely novel.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Remarkable and heartbreaking . . . To [the] very short list of exceptional novels that also serve a humanitarian purpose The Orphan Master’s Son must now be added.”—The New Republic
“A triumph of imagination . . . [Grade:] A.”—Entertainment Weekly
“A spellbinding saga of subverted identity and an irrepressible love.”—Vogue

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Book Details
  • Random House Trade Paperbacks
Publication Year
  • 2012
  • Adam Johnson
Author Info

  • Adam Johnson teaches creative writing at Stanford University. His fiction has appeared in Esquire, The Paris Review, Harper’s, Tin House, Granta, and Playboy, as well as The Best American Short Stories. His other works include Emporium, a short-story collection, and the novel Parasites Like Us. He lives in San Francisco.
Ratings & Reviews
23 Ratings &
3 Reviews
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1

Breaks your heart and uplifts it

It took me more than a month to read this book in its entirety. Its depressing, heartbreaking, Orwellian, and uplifting all at once. For me it turned out to be a love story in essence, on making a supreme emotional connection in a setting where personal identity is discouraged and erased.

Don't know enough to pass judgement on the political or social reality in North Korea, this would have worked just as well for me in an unamed dystopian land.

Some of the propaganda sections seemed a bit...

Stuthi Vijayaraghavan

Certified Buyer

Sep, 2013

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Life in a totalitarian regime

This book gives an entertaining and devastating view of life in a totalitarian regime. It illuminates the ways thinking get distorted when all information is controlled, and truth is what the leader chooses. It is sad and poignant. My main problem with the book was in accepting the basically good and loving hero. The author does not explore how this caring person developed in a life of almost constant fear, hunger, pain, lack of love, violence, etc.

Priscilla Gonsalves

Certified Buyer

Dec, 2013

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Very poor quality paper for 500 bucks and service

I had purchased this book on flipkart and they said d book would reach me within 2 days (i live in an urban area) but it reached after 6 days and the quality of the paper by Blackswan too is not very good its similar to pirated books quality and they charge tremendous price of 500 bucks for this 4th Estate a far better publisher is offering books with xcellent paper quality at a comparatively cheaper price!!

Sandeep Sai

Certified Buyer

Aug, 2013

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