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The Hole: A Novel Hardcover – August 1, 2017
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"Hye-young Pyun's The Hole is a masterwork of suspense, and a profound meditation on grief, solitude, and secrecy. At once unsettling and richly moving, The Hole is vital novel, a gift from a wildly inventive writer." Laura van den Berg, author of Find Me
"Like Hitchcock or Abe, Pyun peers head on into the unnerving depths of human grief with the most methodical of eye, logically narrating our descent into such a clear, uncanny terror we hope to remind ourselves its only just a book, one wound from end to end with an exquisite magic that refuses to let go." Blake Butler, author of 300,000,000
"While reading The Hole, you’ll find yourself suddenly doubting everything. Pyun is asking us a tough and terrifying question that none can dodge: Is your life safe?" Kyung-sook Shin, New York Times bestselling author of Please Look After Mom
"By the time Hye-young Pyun's taut psychological thriller The Hole has tightened its grip on the unsuspecting mind, it's too late to escape. The shadows lurking in the novel become manifest, and dark poetic justice reigns. . . . The Hole is an unshakable novel about the unfathomable depths of human need." Shelf Awareness
"Winner of many of Korea's top literary prizes and accolades, Pyun proves to be an effectively chilling storyteller whose expert narrative manipulations should earn new followers." Booklist
"An absorbing look at the struggle to find meaning in life's little passages, arguments, and disagreements."SF Book Review
"[Be] wary; you’ll be thinking and dreaming this novel long after you’ve put it down." Words Without Borders July 2017 Watchlist
"A claustrophobic, riveting story calculated to get under your skin."Korean Literature Now
"Fissures in life offer a glimpse of the truth that starts not from others but from us and that we are all oblivious to." Maeil Business News Korea
"The Hole is rooted in character but has the suspense of a thriller. . . For readers who are unafraid of knowing that our life and our loved ones are strangers to us." Krys Lee, World Literature Today
"Reminiscent of Stephen King's Misery, Hye-young Pyun's The Hole shows off her unique style of steadily rising terror with this dark tale of a man utterly cut off from his life." Munhwa Ilbo (Korea)
"[A] disconcerting and often sinister story." Korea Herald
About the Author
Sora Kim-Russell is a literary translator based in Seoul. Her translations include Hwang Sok-yong’s Princess Bari, Suah Bae’s Nowhere to be Found, and Kyung-sook Shin’s I’ll Be Right There. She teaches at Ewha Womans University and the Literary Translation Institute of Korea. Her full list of publications can be found at sorakimrussell.com.
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You can read this as the story of Oghi and his life after the car accident. But this is also a story of who we are in the deepest recesses of our mind and of who we become when we are truly alone. This is a book best read slowly because Pyun has laced every scene with subtle, chilling suspense. This was a best-seller in Korea, and after reading it's easy to see why. THE HOLE is an exquisite, unsettling look at the effects of grief and the terror of the untethered mind. Pyun has been compared to Stephen King and Shirley Jackson but I'd encourage you to read THE HOLE without comparing, especially if you're new to Korean literature.
(And to those of you who tend to stay away from horror because you're a scaredy cat like me--it's not that type of horror. No clowns, no ghosts, and no murderous neighbors who hide in your basement.)
To say more about the plot would be to spoil the author’s meticulous rendering of this chilling story. She builds up a feeling of dread and suspense that had me on the edge of my seat. There was one scene in the book where I literally jumped out of my chair and walked around the room reading it. I flew through the book and am looking forward to more of this author. It’s a short read but definitely intriguing. Quite a literary accomplishment in the thriller genre.
This book was given to me by the publisher in return for an honest review.
A novel that should be terrifying, and it is, but it’s also kind of funny. A great gift for sons-in-laws, friends with horrible in-laws, and anyone with a healthily morbid sense of humor. Based on a New Yorker short story by the same author and translator.