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Pop Goes Korea: Behind the Revolution in Movies, Music, and Internet Culture Paperback


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Pop Goes Korea: Behind the Revolution in Movies, Music, and Internet Culture + K-POP: Roots and Blossoming of Korean Popular Music (Contemporary Korean Arts Series #6) + Korean Masculinities and Transcultural Consumption: Yonsama, Rain, Oldboy, K-Pop Idols (TransAsia Screen Cultures Series)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Stone Bridge Press (January 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933330686
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933330686
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #366,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark Russell is a freelance writer who lived in Korea for 13 years, specializing in Korean pop culture. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, Newsweek, The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, and other publications. He has also written extensively from around Asia, from Mongolia to Japan to Thailand. He currently lives in Spain.

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Customer Reviews

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Smith on July 14, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For an English language resource, this is a gem of a book. Keeping in mind that Korea has a relatively short (but very interesting) pop culture, this book covers all the bases quite nicely. It features a variety of tidbits and little known facts sprinkled throughout the book.

I applaud the author for pioneering an English language legitimate published text - a fresh break from the bloggers who dominate this field of interest. The information is as up-to-date as a book can be (pub 2008) but a slight out-of-date-ness is to be expected for a text about the ever-changing pop culture. However, since the majority of the book covers the upstarts of each industry, the lack of 2009 material is easily forgiven (and unavoidable).

The author's writing style is both a pro and a con. The writer seems to be comfortable in his knowledge of the subject but sometimes has too much of a conversational tone - almost to a fault of sounding uneducated. However, I really don't want that to sound too harsh because I believe one of his strengths is his ability to both inform and also entertain. He's got a great sense of Western humor that appears amongst this Eastern pop culture history.

I was also disappointed by the lack of photos throughout the book. The beginning has plenty of color pictures to prepare for the in-depth look that's coming ahead but the book itself is lacking accompanying photos. It would have made the biographies of Lee Byung-Hun and Lee Soon-Man more easy to follow.

My biggest complaint is the lack of Korean text. How hard would it have been to include Hanguel in the chapters? All movies, songs, TV dramas, and actors have either transliterated or romanized names which is frustrating when searching for the original source material.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Page on October 22, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I read the first edition of this book a couple of years ago, Korean pop was as fascinating as it was alien to me.

At the time I was wondering whether K-Pop had reached its peak, but as evidenced by its explosion this summer in the Western world, you can see this phenomenon is still growing strong.

There's no other book (in the English language at least) that explains what's going on, where these artists came from, and how Korea consistently produces such high quality media. A must-read for anyone in the music or film business, whether you're interested in Korean culture or not. Their impact is now global.

Kudos to the publisher for putting this out in electronic format. The book is even more relevant in 2012.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Guy R. Hearn on March 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So you want to know about the phenomenal growth of the Korean film industry without getting your feet wet and actually watching any Korean films? Want to know how K Pop is taking over Asia - well teenage Asia anyway? Want to know how Super Junior can possibly work with 13 members? Want to hear how Sean Yang killed the music business and then resurrected it? This is the book for you. I don't know that I'l be listening to any more K Pop but I do think I'll try and watch a few more Korean films.
At times its repetitive, and could have done with stronger editing - its as though the author didn't expect anyone to read ALL the chapters so he keeps making the same points particularly about Korean history, filial piety etc /But a great introduction to Korean Pop culture. And whatever you think of The Korean Wave, it is remarkable that in 15 years Korea has changed from mainly consuming Western film and music to mainly consuming its own and exporting it. And it didn't do it through protection. A lesson their for us all
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Raskin on May 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
For someone like me, who knows that there are a lot of interesting movies made in Korea, but who also doesn't speak the language very well, this book is great -- it's a primer not just on which actor or director did what, but a lot of the history behind it. In fact, Mark Russell covers the whole entertainment spectrum -- from TV to movies to music to internet. What makes the book especially enjoyable is his style. Normally books about Korea are quite cheerleader-esque, perhaps echoing the country's more-than-occasional "with us or against us" stance. However, Russell is able to show his colors as a true fan without beating us to death, because in addition to platitudes he's also willing to criticize and point out ironies, which makes the book a richer read. And actually an even stronger endorsement of the modern Korean culture that so fascinates him. Completely entertaining even if you don't know Rain from Snow or Lee Byung-hyun from Lee Hyori. And really useful if you do.
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