Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary first person account of North Korea's famine of the 1990s, July 19, 2009
This review is from: This is Paradise!: My North Korean Childhood (Paperback)
Although much has been written about North Korea, this book is a first person account by a North Korean who experienced its abuses firsthand. The author, Hyok Kang, born in 1986, was still in his early teens when the famine hit North Korea, but nonetheless his description will stick in the reader's mind long after finishing this book. His community shrunk from 4,000 to 2,000 during the famine, and he details the desperate tactics, including a few incidents of cannibalism, to which people resorted. Kang himself brags about his trick of stealing grains of rice from rats' nests. Most were not so lucky and experienced slow, agonizing deaths of starvation even though they were in a farming area.

Eventually the family escaped across the Chinese border, and after a torturous series of events, settled in South Korea. Even though this segment comprises only 1/8th of the book, it too sticks in the mind.

One would think that North Koreans would be free once they sneaked into China, but alas no. In fact, it's surprising how stringent the Chinese are in suppressing the flow of refugees from North Korea. One would expect Kang to be grateful to the South Korean government for resettling him and providing financial aid, but he is quite negative about South Korea. It appears that what Kang would really like is to resettle in China if somehow he could get proper documentation to do so.

The writing is a bit clunky in places, yet there is a spirit of sincerity that permeates the book. Kang is writing what he feels, not paying lip service to his rescuers or to South Korea. This is likely to become a classic in documenting the atrocities of the North Korean regime.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.5 out of 5 stars (26 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (15)
4 star:
 (8)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
$13.95 $9.98
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada

Top Reviewer Ranking: 163,249