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The Orphan Master’s Son

The Orphan Master’s Son

Author(s): Adam Johnson

Location(s): North Korea

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): Modern



Citizens of our beloved Democratic Republic of North Korea! Imagine the life of an orphan boy from nowhere who is plucked from his orphanage by the military, to be trained as a tunnel assassin, a kidnapper, a spy. He has no father but the State, no sweetheart but Sun Moon, the greatest opera star who ever lived, whose face is tattooed on his chest. Imagine he lives in our very own country, a model of exemplary Communism. A nation that is the envy of the world, especially the Americans. Where the only human stories people need to hear are those blasting out of loudspeakers to the glory of our dear Leader, Kim Jong il. Citizens! Who is this individual? What is his story? Who will remember him? Pak Jun Do is his name: wrestler of sharks, envoy to Texan barbecues, imposter extraordinaire, whose murderous biography has only come to light through the talents and stamina of our most patriotic interrogators. Dry your eyes now, comrades! This is the double-life story of a hero and martyr: the Greatest North Korean Love Story Ever Told. “The Orphan Master’s Son” is an iconoclastic work of fiction, part thriller, part coming-of-age story, part love story. Dark, playful and genre-defying, its searing depiction of one man’s epic journey through the surrealist brutality of North Korea shines a fierce light on the essence of the human condition. Warning: Any resemblance to real people and events may not be entirely coincidental.

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Book Reviews

Lead Review

An original, imaginative, gripping and clever portrait of an out of control dictatorship and the humans caught in its madness. Highly, highly recommended. Donald Lush

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