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Our Twisted Hero Hardcover – February 28, 2001
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To All the Boys I've Loved Before
What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them - all at once? Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. Until the one day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control. Paperback | Kindle book
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Top Customer Reviews
The newcomer is aghast at the schoolyard cult of personality created by the monitor and refuses to go along with it, resulting in his ostracization. The class monitor doesn't merely intimidate the others with physical force, rather he relies on more subtle approaches, getting subordinates to take action for him, and cultivating a climate of fear. Of course, when the narrator attempts to report the misdeeds of the monitor to the teacher, there is no hard proof, and none of the other children will support his claims. Eventually the narrator finds the psychological isolation too difficult and decides to go along with status quo. This proves to be a very easy and rewarding path as he is made a crony of the monitor, and he finds life under the monitor's rule to be less distasteful than he had expected.Read more ›
The plot: our 12 year old narrator, Han Pyongtae, arrives at his new school in rural Korea. Fresh from big city schools in Seoul, he expects to earn the highest marks and the respect of his peers. Instead, he encounters a classroom bully in the form of Om Sokdae, the tallest of his classmates. Om Sokdae extorts food, candy, and prized possessions from the other children. He has managed this for years, and no longer has to resort to violence to gain what he wants. Om Sokdae holds his classmates in terror. Worse, the teacher will not intervene. His orderly class is to his liking.
_Our Twisted Hero_ is the story of how Han Pyongtae copes with this situation. In such a short book the author has provided a powerful story with a powerful message.
American readers will be fascinated by this glimpse inside Korean society and the Korean school system. But this is not just a Korean story-- Han Pyongtae's story seems universal. His struggle is not only with the bully, but with the perceptions of the other children, feelings of injustice, and the confidence of his parents. Hopefully, teenagers and adults all over the world will find _Our Twisted Hero_ and benefit by it as I have. A marvelous little story.
Our Twisted Hero is in part a parable of recent Korean history just as Lord of the Flies includes commententary upon twentieth century European politics and warfare. So before you read this wonderful novel, it helps to brush up a bit on your South Korean history, specifically the dictatorships of the nineteen sixties and eighties. (Wikipedia is a good start, talking with an older South Korean is even better.)
Without understanding this background, Western readers could be put off by the narrator's reactions to his family's move to the country and his new country school, which he sees as provincial and backward. Americans, raised on a steady diet of Winslow Homer and Little House on the Prarie, see their pre-industrial past in idyllic terms and often dismiss those who prefer the urbane as "elitist." The history of Koreans' relationship to rural life is very different from ours and they are not as inclined to idealize it.
Of course, what separates average novels from really good ones is the application of the specific to the universal. Yi does this beautifully and this book is one any intelligent reader can enjoy and relate to. Well written and well translated, Our Twisted Hero will bring you back to your own childhood struggles with authority, legitimate and otherwise. It's worth every won.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great for anyone who really wants a personal sense of the cultural issues in South Korea, but did not really wow me. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mars
My first Korean novel. Gave some good insights into Korean culture and politics. The books subtext is about Korea's move from a dictatorship to a democracyPublished 2 months ago by SH
I have good experience with this book.
i like author and story.
I was happy to buy this book on your site.
Our Twisted Hero is both the story of a student dealing with a classroom bully and also a political allegory with hints of Orwell's Animal Farm, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World and... Read morePublished on October 15, 2012 by Charles C. Montgomery
The setting of this novel is a primary school, but Munyol really has bigger fish to fry. Although a bit heavy-handed at times," Our Twisted Hero" provides a pointed commentary... Read morePublished on November 12, 2010 by Etienne B.
Our Twisted Hero is a great little novella, something that doesn't take long to read but will stay with you for a long time. Read morePublished on October 15, 2010 by Shadow Walker
I bought this book for a high school project years ago and have re-read it countless times. It's not an over the top story but something that everyone can relate with and... Read morePublished on April 28, 2010 by Droogus
I love this book. Yi Munyol is one of my favorite authors and this is a perfect book for someone to have a first introduction to his work. Read morePublished on December 2, 2007 by Neil Wilson