Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: The Orphan Master's Son

With the big shake-up in North Korea this week, I've seen a couple of book lists floating around the interwebz about fiction and non-fiction about North Korea. There just isn't too much out there about that secretive place.

One book that I've seen listed is The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson which is supposed to come out January 10, 2012.

Synopsis from Goodreads: "
An epic novel and a thrilling literary discovery, The Orphan Master’s Son follows a young man’s journey through the icy waters, dark tunnels, and eerie spy chambers of the world’s most mysterious dictatorship, North Korea.

Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother—a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang—and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return.

Considering himself “a humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world,” Jun Do becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the absolute limit of what any human being could endure, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong Il in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress “so pure, she didn’t know what starving people looked like.”

Part breathless thriller, part story of innocence lost, part story of romantic love, The Orphan Master’s Son is also a riveting portrait of a world heretofore hidden from view: a North Korea rife with hunger, corruption, and casual cruelty but also camaraderie, stolen moments of beauty, and love. A towering literary achievement, The Orphan Master’s Son ushers Adam Johnson into the small group of today’s greatest writers."

What are you waiting on?


  1. Timely and fascinating. I'd love to read this one.

  2. Nice to see you spotlight this one! I also spotted it on a book list (, and was immediately intrigued. By the way, I found an excerpt of it here: :)

  3. I wanted to let you and your readers know about the give away on my blog for the Audio CD of CINDER, courtesy of the publisher.


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