- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
This Is Paradise!: My North Korean Childhood Paperback – 5 Jul 2007
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
An engrossing picture of a nation that remains closed to the world, aptly described as the "Jurasic Park of communism'' (SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY)
This is an extraordinary story: a simple, yet luminous, account of what it means to grow up in one of the world's little known and most oppressive dictatorships. This North Korean Harry Potter has the evils of tyranny to contend with and escape is the ha (Lisa Appignanesi)
This is a rare and precious insight into the most obscure regime on earth through the startled and observant eyes of a thirteen-year-old boy who not only escaped but survived to tell this harrowing yet intriguing tale. The most penetrating account of life in North Korea I have ever read (Jon Snow)
Kang recounts his life with the kind of deadpan detail that is all the more powerful for its quiet understatement . . . His capacity as a storyteller turns out to be masterly . . . The result is a small jewel of a book, one that moves you with compassion (MAIL ON SUNDAY)
A fascinating account and expose of the hardships suffered in North Korea under the regime of Kim Jong-ilSee all Product description
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I find it difficult to believe a 19 year old could remember so exactly and in such detail what happened to him as a 12year old especially after spending 4 years in China.
All the old stories,myths and legends are dragged out to give substance to the book.Even an extract from a U.S.committee on penal colonies is given in an effort to give credability.
It has been said that "none are so imprisoned, as those who falsely believe themselves to be free" or words to this effect.
The North Koreans have every reason to fear the USA, millions having died in North Korea, & so much of North Korea been bombed to oblivion, so one has an ageing population who remember this terrible time, & now some 2 generations that have grown up in total isolation from the rest of the whole world. There is information, from "The developed West", now being declassified that we are shocked at, what lies are WE believing today that are own modern Western democratic leaders are telling us that will be shocking OUR great grandchildren (assuming that we haven't totally wrecked planet Earth before then) when the relevant documents are declassified, once the guilty have all passed away?
I'm equally, no even more glad, that I don't live in North Korea, as a North Korean citizen, at least Americans can leave the country without fear that should they be found doing so that not only will they themselves be executed, but that their whole extended family, even friends will suffer, very possibly imprisoned, tortured, even executed. If one successfully escapes, then their family will most likely be made to suffer the consequences. Just imagine growing up in an environment so totally controlled that one isn't even aware that there exists any other reality, & that anything/anyone from outside your country has nothing but hostility towards your country (& not without foundation either, both historically, & in "real" time, taunting a country, & pretending that they are a threat to the largest military that the world has ever known is hardly the best way to win hearts & minds,is it!!, that doesn't take an Einstein to figure that one out!)
well what effect do you think that would have on your half starved, malnourished cognitive abilities?
As for implying that any book written by a North Korean escapee, is written by a liar is as despicable as Holocaust deniers are. As to questioning the author's memory, well it is said that we all to easily remember the "bad" things that happen to us & not so easily the good (if one has not been so unfortunate as to have only bad memories to recall)
I haven't checked out all the reviews on books about North Korea, but having previously read a review by this G.I.Forbes, on another book that expossed the truth of what living in North Korea was actually like, well when I saw one isolated 1* rating I decided to check this one out! & guess what the very same person!
I had previously written a "comment" on the previous "review" by this G.I.Forbes, however realizing that people will only see this if they click through, via this particular "review", I've decided to post this before I read the book.
I have no idea of just who is, or what this G.I.Forbes hopes to achieve by this despicable attack on anyone who has been lucky enough to survive & escape from the "Paradise" that this person seems to believe North Korea is, but maybe he/she might like to swap places with someone existing in one of North Korea's political prison camps?? & to have all happy memories of their previous life erased, & a memory of an average North Korean implanted in its place, & I'll be first in the queue to read his/her book, once they have escaped, leaving their loved ones behind.
There is always more than one side to any human relationship, & one should always respect this, after reading G.I.Forbes "review" of another book about the reality of life in North Korea, I've educated myself further on the historical past of North Korea, & therefore I can understand that the fears of North Korea are far from unfounded, & I do have very real & serious concerns for the country if & more likely when the current regime comes to an end, just like other countries before & currently they are at very real risk of being exploited by those out to make a "fast buck" out of them, & to rape & pillage their country of its natural resources, & I've absolutely no doubt that the people will be seen as the next cheap labour force.
I reiterate that by implying that the author is a liar, or suffers memory problems is insulting in the extreme, & no different from denying the Holocaust, or the genocides that happened in Cambodia & Rwanda, to name just two more.
I have Asperger's, & so apparently a low "empathy quotient", so if I can feel compassion for the suffering of others, just what is your excuse, G.I.Forbes??
What I found amazing is that Hyok Kang knew that he could trust nobody yet still told his best friends that his family would flee. What an incredible risk he was taking. I am not surprised that the author feels that he is treated like a second-class citizen in South Korea (a lot of east Germans do so in west Germany or so I'm told). I am also amazed that the author believes that unification is inevitable because I don't find that inevitable at all. Having watched the situation for the best part of 20 years it strikes me that if North Korea can be convinced to play ball on the nuclear issue the neighbourhood would be happy to see the country continue to exist under its present regime.
If you found this book interesting you should also read Kang Chol-Hwan's Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag. The two authors have similar backgrounds, but Kang Chol-Hwan covers more of life at the bottom end of society. You also may want to have a look at Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea, which is probably the most emotional book I have ever read on life in North Korea. If you want to find out why North Korea turned out that way, I would suggest to read Bradley K. Martin's Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty.
We will probably see more books like Hyok Kang's as more people manage to escape North Korea. Every single person has a tale to tell and none of them will be pleasant.
The things that really struck me about his memories are the excerpts from his school textbooks, the self criticism sessions and his life outside of NK. The school material is both hilarious and chilling. They are taught math, history and spelling all with references to the imperialist american bastards and the south korean puppets. I don't think I would be able to handle the criticism and self-critiscism sessions, especially as a child. The mistrust and unpleasantness it inspires in horrible.
But what really made me hurt was his reality once he escaped to South Korea. The bullying, the gang affiliation, the lack of romantic attention and the derision of a people so far removed from each other, it would be like going to school with an alien.
It is a long long walk to get to freedom and happiness for the Korean people.
Wonderfully written, so easy and accessible that it was a joy to acquaint myself with. Would absolutely reccommend to a novice North Korean scholar.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews