This Is Paradise!: My North Korean Childhood Library Binding – 22 May 2008
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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) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
A fascinating account and expose of the hardships suffered in North Korea under the regime of Kim Jong-il --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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 ...Read more ›
A compelling read and a must have for anyone who has any care for humanity.
I hope that in the near future stories like this will be history rather than current events.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Unputdownable- it's so good that this word deserves to be added to the dictionary. My only gripe is that I didn't write it.Published 13 months ago by Philip T. Smith
I like it, but I was hoping for more of a story. It's pretty much like reading some sort of history book. Really interesting and everything, but not what I'm looking for.Published 16 months ago by Sersha
personal reflections of life in north korea showing how controlled and orderly but a paradise it is,nt rigid social order compulsory adoration of the great leader one radio... Read morePublished 18 months ago by m. dosa
An amazing book. Well worth the read . My heart goes out to the North Korean peoplePublished 19 months ago by s p scott
Refreshingly open and simply written by someone who has experienced this awful regime. This is not an academic read, but more pleasing for that reason. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Sue de Nym
Very enlightening book. It explained so much about life in North Korea that I would never have understood. Very good bookPublished 23 months ago by Damian