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North Korea Undercover

North Korea Undercover [Kindle Edition]

John Sweeney
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £20.00
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Product Description


"Sweeney's book is a spark in the dark of North Korea." The Times "The recent UN report on North Korea under-lined the importance of Sweeney's book. There is much to learn from North Korea Undercover." Literary Review "Harrowing... creepy and poignant; and, in turn, tragic and obscene. North Korea Undercover asserts that the West should be more concerned about labour camps than nuclear weapons." -- Tom Farrell Sunday Business Post "A tremendous piece of reporting. This book is one that we should all read and absorb." Army Rumour Service "This is a chilling book, but a timely one, written with both humour and compassion. Buy it, read it, and discuss it." Solidarity

Book Description

A unique and timely account of life in North Korea

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 22 Nov 2013
Great book. Thoroughly enjoyable read, full of fascinating stories and anecdotes that really help you understand what's going on in North Korea. A great insight into life there under Kim rule. I can only assume the previous reviewer has a personal dislike of Sweeney himself. I would recommend this book to anyone.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Eosine
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This was a fascinating and sad look at the brutalities and sufferings of the North Korean people behind the walls of the Kim dynasty dictatorship. Thanks to Captain Team America and Dennis Rodman, it's easy to laugh at North Korea as a weird and eccentric oddity but the fact is that it's a horrific repressed regime who's biggest casualties are their own people. I enjoyed the authors Panorama episodes on the BBC about Scientology and North Korea so downloaded the book. The narrative starts off being about John Sweeney's undercover trip into North Korea but I found the interesting material to be the stories of the defectors and escaped former prisoners. I didn't know a lot about North Korea before so I found the book fascinating and sad at the same time.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Seb M
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is a brilliant mix of travelogue and documentary.

One chapter may be an account of the bizarre experience of travelling there, the next a detailed history of an issue like the gulag. Very easy to read. Perhaps not for academics but well worth reading for those considering travelling to the DPRK, and well worth sharing among friends of those who have been so that people actually believe the surreal experience.

Sweeney is different to other authors on the DPRK in three ways:

a) He's emotional but is not a victim and avoids going over the top in his writing - and this is a subject that warrants emotion but strong emotions tend to actually reduce shock levels in the reader. The crimes of the regime means that first hand accounts from North Koreans tend to read like James Herbert books and pass through the minds value-sieve as if fiction. Sweeney's rational, factual approach combined with openness about his own values makes it easier for the facts to sink in and the reader to be left with the right perception of the DPRK.

b) He presents the facts in a coherent way but doesn't over-intellectualise a topic to the point that the crimes of the state become bland and unemotive.

c) He makes absolutely no apology for the state. Most people other than victims (or their ghost-writers) who write about the DPRK have an ongoing involvement with the state of some kind and tend to write somewhat apologetically. Sometimes fear, sometimes expedience, sometimes necessity, sometimes academic neutrality and sometimes the capacity of our minds to blind ourselves to inconvenient truths. Sweeney clearly doesn't plan to go back so gives you his real perceptions.

If I was thinking about visiting the DPRK, this would be the one book I'd buy.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book 15 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you have read any of his books before you will ;love this one. John has a habit of dealing with issues most people give up on when they come to the first roadblock
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great book 2 Feb 2014
By Matt
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For anybody interested in N.Korea, this is a must own. It is witty yet shows the serious crimes to humanity caused to citizens of this oppressive state.
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