"A flamboyantly grim epic of totalitarianism. this larger-than-life, two-fisted picaresque manages to be a page-turner... an ambitious book" (The Sunday Times)
"One of those books where you know you've found yourself in the hands of someone who can really tell a story, and is yet not naïve about the artificiality of stories. The conceit is fantastic: a narration partly told through the loud speakers of the North Korean regime." (Zadie Smith)
"A clever, wildly original novel, with an ultimately thrilling plot" (Daily Mirror)
"Adam Johnson has managed to capture the atmosphere of this hermit kingdom better than any writer I've read. The Orphan Master's Son deserves a place up there with dystopian classics such as Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World" (Barbara Demick, author of NOTHING TO ENVY: REAL LIVES IN NORTH KOREA Guardian)
"A great novel can take implausible fact and turn it into entirely believable fiction. That's the genius of "The Orphan Master's Son. " Adam Johnson has taken the papier-mache creation that is North Korea and turned it into a real and riveting place that readers will find unforgettable. This is a novel worth getting excited about, one which more than delivers on its pre-publication buzz... I haven't liked a new novel this much in years, and I want to share the simple pleasure of reading the book. But I also think it's an instructive lesson in how to paint a fictional world against a background of fact: The secret is research...It's this process of re-imagination that makes the fictional locale so real and gives the novel an impact you could never achieve with a thousand newspaper stories. Johnson has painted in indelible colors the nightmare of Kim's North Korea. When English readers want to understand what it was about -- how people lived and died inside a cult of personality that committed unspeakable crimes against its citizens -- I hope they will turn to this carefully documented story. The happy surprise is that they will find it such a page turner." --"The Washington Post "
"Adam Johnson's remarkable novel ""The Orphan Master's Son"" is set in North Korea, an entire nation that has conformed to the fictions spun by a dictator and his inner circle...Mr. Johnson is a wonderfully flexible writer who can pivot in a matter of lines from absurdity to atrocity...We don't know what's really going on in that strange place, but a disquieting glimpse suggesting what it must be like can be found in this brilliant and timely novel." - "Wall Street Journal"
"Magnificently accomplished...Part thriller, part coming-of-age novel, part romance, " The Orphan Master's Son" is made sturdy by research...but what makes it so absorbing isn't its documentary realism but the dark flight of the author's imagination...rich with a sense of discovery...The year is young, i