Industrial-Sized Deals TextBTS15 Shop Men's Hightops Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Fidlar UP3 $5 Off Fire TV Stick Grocery Shop Popular Services hog hog hog  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage Shop Back to School with Amazon Back to School with Amazon Outdoor Recreation Baby Sale

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2012
Jones's remarkable fictional debut, ALL WOMAN AND SPRINGTIME, left me wide eyed and wondering, "How, exactly, did this thirty-something, first-time author -- apparently writing out of his remote home on the Hawaiian island of Molokai -- ever manage to create such a believable and gritty narrative about young, female factory workers from the ever-opaque North Korea? I'll probably never have an answer to that, but however he pulled it off, he certainly succeeded! From the first page, I felt that dark curtains had been pulled back, revealing the protagonists' blindly delusional patriotism, and how that impacted their youthful yearning for love and freedom. This novel -- at times quite graphic -- may not be for the feint of heart. That said, it is a deeply moving story about friendship, perseverance, love, and redemption. I'd recommend it to anyone, regardless of gender.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2012
How do you critique a lightning bolt out of the blue sky? How do you critique genius? So here's this guy, living a very retro life in a totally rope-belt and tire-tread for sandals life in Molokai. He developes a most amazing empathetic construct of characters hammered against a cold, rigid totalitarian state you can imagine. A ruthless, selfish warped social construct of female explotation violating the essence of relationships and sexuality, and finally at the tragic and heart-warming conclusion, a damaged soul finds herself improbably in a society that accepts and recognizes her values. How do you critique this? How did he do it?

Brandon Jones goes where no one really wants to go. He creates beautiful damaged people, awakening to their sense of self, their sexuality and the conflict with a rigid, perverted ruthless dictatorship. Throw in the horrible abuse of trust, the vulturistic preying upon naivety and the ruined lives trying to express the longing for a relationship, and Jones shows us life inside the dictatorship of North Korea. Youth, expression, wants and yearning cannot be denied in this totalitarian regime, to the detriment of those who for a moment reveal their inner self. And they are preyed upon by a subculture that twists their yearning into crimminal enterprise. White slavery. Take everything sacred about the relationship of love and trust between a man and a woman, and now pervert it into explotation - a disturbing submersion into the distorted world of pornography, of the dehumanization of women where false gratification in the act of sex is the end-all of the human relationship.

Brandon creates believable lives that you worry about, that are true to the perverse forces thrust on them as they try to survive and find meaning in the life forced upon them. There is no sequel to this effort, no "All Woman and Summer or Fall." You will be profoundly moved, and shaken by the reality created, and rejoice at the triumph of the human spirit.

Pierce Scranton Jr. MD
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2012
Brandon Jones' debut novel follows two orphaned girls through their brutal upbringing in a North Korean factory, across the North and South Korean borders into a sex trafficking market that spans from the Orient to the United States. This profound and shocking story presents a poignant psychological and political portrait of the many forms of human imprisonment.

ALL WOMAN AND SPRINGTIME is a serious, well-written, starkly affecting novel that is thoughtful on many levels --- human, philosophical and political. The book presents a distinct picture of the propaganda machine" of North Korea, showing visions of a "utopian" socialist society that has failed completely, transformed into a brutal totalitarian regime. North Korean citizens serve what amounts to a life sentence, and two girlfriends who've been orphaned at the hands of the North Korean government live as "Chosun" by the savage grace of their "Dear Leader," Kim Il-sung. This dictator allows his people extremely limited privileges that include simple survival, daily reprieve from physical and psychological torture --- provided his workers perform up to standards --- and the simple ability to eat reasonably well as long as everyone remains strictly obedient to whatever he desires and thinks.

The two girls who form the subject of this novel are close friends from the orphanage where they grew up. Gyong-ho and Il-Sun were slaves to their own government long before they were sold into the sex slave market. Like all citizens, they have learned since birth to prostrate to their leader, carry mementos of worship that liken him to a god, and labor even as children. Kept under lock and key, they are possessions. The psychological component of their suffering is complex and varies with the many kinds of imprisonment they face.

Death itself is a release in this situation of daily oppression. All of North Korea closely resembles a concentration camp, but the girls' experiences in other countries are even worse. This book explores friendship and the idea that simple companionship allows the possibility of endurance. The girls come of age working in a sweatshop and look to their future with hope about the prospect of falling in love and "becoming a woman." They are betrayed by their own human needs, at the core of these the essential desire to be loved and cherished. Completely innocent and convinced that she's falling in love, Il-Sun falls head-on into a trap laid by a man who lures her out of the country along with many other girls, including her friend Gyong-ho. Once they discover the man they trusted has sold them into a life of permanent captivity, it's too late for any of them.

People living in North Korea are surrounded by death, loss of whole families, food shortages, black-market trades, national production quotas, forbidden love and religion, and disturbing levels of individual corruption. Even so, there exists in any world a certain degree of rebellion and insurgence of individualism that are the natural result of the human spirit needing to express and release itself. The will to survive and endure helps some rebel and hope for a better future.

The most shocking aspect of the book is the ending, which occurs under the radar in the United States in a situation of forced prostitution. This is a worthy read for anyone who enjoys a gritty, intense, meaningful story, particularly those who loved MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA. As a debut, it's an impressive creation that provides a great deal of food for thought about themes relating to politics and humanity. Its focus is on corruption, but its key message is about the power of the human spirit to endure.

Reviewed by Melanie Smith
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
North Korea is a place of severe hardship, where food is in very short supply and the hierarchy of life is a given. The life of the people in North Korea is known as Chosun and Songbun is their status. "Juche was the cornerstone on which the great Chosun nation was founded. It was a philosophy of self-sufficiency and cultural superiority - the ideal socialism". All the citizens are expected to worship the Great Leader and not prostrating oneself in front of a photograph of him is enough to be sent to jail. If the photographs are hung up unevenly or not dusted well enough, that too is enough to be jailed. The people all know that their country is lacking in food and work but they must pretend that things are okay. It is a life of pretense and fear. "The facade of the functioning of the state was more important than the well-being of the people."

This is a novel of fear and totalitarianism. It is the story of white slavery and the abuse of women by those in power. It is an eye-opening novel of a nation's terrorism and sadism toward people who do not act the right way.

It is also the story of Gyong-Ho and Il-Sun, two seventeen year-old women who have been together in an orphanage since they were children. There they had little to eat and few possessions. They worked in a factory sewing clothes and had no right to expect to advance further than this though Il-Sun wants more for herself. Il-Sun is very outgoing and beautiful while Gyong-Ho is a savant with number, craving to learn about the physical world. They end up being traded into the world of sex slavery.

The book is somewhat simplified in its writing, as though it were written down so that it could attract a larger audience. I felt that there was a young adult feel to the writing though the subjects and themes of the book are very adult.
33 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2012
I was so enthusiastic about reading this book and couldn't put it down through its first half. However, Parts III and IV were hugely disappointing. It seemed as if the author, whose story was so filled with vivid detail and narrative in the first two parts, had lost touch with his story and grappled for a quick and tidy ending. The characters of Jasmine and Il-Sun were given short shrift once the story thread lost its detail and impact. In addition, the suggestion that a naive, albeit mathematically inclined, Korean immigrant was suddenly hanging out in the Seattle Public Library poring over math textbooks and subsequently explaining Olowati's paradox to post-graduate students seemed a bit far-fetched. Great start but thoroughly disappointing ending!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2012
I could have read another 10 chapters! I didn't want the story to end. The writer makes you care very much about the characters in this book. I've read quite a few stories (fiction and non-fiction) regarding North Korea since it is a fascinating yet very troublesome, horrible place to be. Remarkable story about resilience and overcoming the worst that could happen to a person. Can't wait to see what the author has in store for us in the future.

The sex trade is so real - I've read non-fiction books that took place in India and Thailand and other places around the world. It is very a very sad state of affairs that this still happens. Very ugly but unless we learn more about it, there will never be an end to it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2012
The dangers of idolatry drew me in and made the last third of the book go twice as fast as the first two thirds. I was constantly looking for the references back to 20 years of constant Kim Jong worship and the effect they would have on the two girls as they entered a constrained and difficult "life" outside North Korea.

Just as no one fully lets go of their religion, these two had events determined by psychological conditioning in their formative years. "Springtime" does not deviate from this reality and that's why I give it 5 stars. Too many stories, both real and fiction portray North Korea as a form of hell. When for many North Koreans, their reality is a far better life than anywhere else in the world since their life has been permanently programmed.

Read this book and the horrors experienced. Understand both the real and artificial barriers in these characters. Then self examine and see what programming exists in your life that has created real and artificial barriers to achieving your dreams.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2012
Couldnt put it down and was sad it was over when i turned the last page. Highly recommended and i look forward to more from this author.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2012
This book is absolutely brilliant. I am amazed that it is a first novel by Brandon W. Jones, it is so beautifully written and at the same time terrifying. I couldn't book this masterpiece down and have been annoyed by anyone who dared to interrupt me while reading it. Mr. Jones gets into the hearts and souls of women so ingeniously that it is difficult to believe that a man has written this fine piece of literature. Bravo Mr. Jones. This book will spread by word of mouth like a wildfire.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2013
This book was beautiful -- I could not put it down. Although it is fiction it is not hard to realize that all of this could be very true, which makes it feel like you are uncovering many hidden secrets. We read it for book club And I highly recommend it!!!!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
We Never Asked for Wings: A Novel
We Never Asked for Wings: A Novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (Hardcover - August 18, 2015)
$14.85

What I Had Before I Had You: A Novel
What I Had Before I Had You: A Novel by Sarah Cornwell (Paperback - August 12, 2014)
$12.33

 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.