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The Orphan Master's Son : Winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize - Adam Johnson

The Orphan Master's Son

Winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize


Published: 14th February 2013
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RRP $19.99

Prize-winning American fiction - The Orphan Master's Son follows a young man's epic journey through the world's most secretative state, North Korea - for fans of David Mitchell

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

About the Author

Adam Johnson teaches creative writing at Stanford University. A Whiting Writers' Award winner, he is the author of Emporium, a short story collection, and the novel Parasites Like Us, which won a California Book Award. His fiction has appeared in Esquire, Harper's, Paris Review, Playboy, Tin House and Best American Short Stories. His new novel The Orphan Master's Son has been excerpted by Granta.


by PowerReviews

(based on 1 review)

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Didn't deserve The Pulitzer Prize

By Monty Burns

from Perth, AU

About Me Everyday Reader

Verified Buyer



    • Difficult To Follow

    Best Uses

      This rollercoaster of a story is wildly imaginative but ultimately too big for it's own boots, overly ambitious.

      Comment on this review

      "An addictive novel of daring ingenuity; a study of sacrifice and freedom in a citizen-eating dynasty; and a timely reminder that anonymous victims of oppression are also human beings who love. A brave and impressive book" -- David Mitchell, author of THE THOUSAND AUTUMNS OF JACOB DE ZOET "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 naive about the artificiality of stories. The conceit is fantastic: a narration partly told through the loud speakers of the North Korean regime." -- Zadie Smith "Fast-paced and intriguing. this complex, multi-voiced narrative will remind some readers of David Mitchell's similarly inventive tale, Cloud Atlas... It is magnificent" Financial Times "What we have here are the ingredients of an across-the-board smash hit: sympathetic characters, an exotic, unknowable setting and a plot that will carry you along more convincingly than any of the fictions used by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea." -- David Annand Sunday Telegraph

      ISBN: 9780552778251
      ISBN-10: 0552778257
      Audience: General
      Format: Paperback
      Language: English
      Number Of Pages: 592
      Published: 14th February 2013
      Dimensions (cm): 12.9 x 20.4  x 3.7
      Weight (kg): 0.42