- Paperback: 460 pages
- Publisher: EunHaeng NaMu; 1st edition (September 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 8956601097
- ISBN-13: 978-8956601090
- Package Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.7 x 1.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,956,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Korea Bug: The Best of the Zine that Infected a Nation Paperback – September 8, 2005
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
About the Author
J. Scott Burgeson was born in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1967, and first came to Asia at the age of 12, when he spent the summer living in an ashram outside of Mumbai, India. He grew up mainly in the San Francisco Bay Area, and studied English Literature and Rhetoric at U.C. Berkeley, where he was editor-in-chied of the the campus literary journal 'Byzantium.' After college and a stint travel sriting in Romania for the 'Berkeley Guide', he worked for several years as a culture critic for 'The San Francisco Bay Guardian', 'East Bay Express', 'The Daily Californian' and other publications, before growing restless and moving to Osaka, Japan in 1994. Since then, his work has appeared in 'Kansai Time Out', 'Tokyo Journal', 'Giant Robot', 'The Brooklyn Rail', 'Cinemad', 'Korean Quarterly', 'Cine21', 'Chosun Ilbo', 'Kes Cahiers de Coree', 'The Korea Herald', 'The Korea Times', 'The Beat' and 'Maxim Korea', for which he wrote a monthly column reviewing Korean junk food. In 1997, he founded and published the first volume of 'Bug' magazine in Seoul, and has since produced special issues on Japan and Australia (nominated for an 'Utne Reader Alternative Press Award) as well as Korea. In 1999, he published his first book, 'Maximum Korea', the Korean edition of which was a bestseller, as was 'Balch`ikhan Han`guk-hak(Nasty Korean Study, 2002)', the Korean-language version of 'Bug Vol.5'. He has not returned to the U.S. since 1996 and has no reliably fixed address, but can generally be located in cyberspace at www.kingbaeksu.com.
Top customer reviews
Granted, the source material for the book is rather dated, much clocking in at over ten years since originally published, yet the interviews still hold some insight into admittingly rarely untouched realms of published content. Burgeson should also be held in high regard for being a good writer, which he most certainly is despite the bulk of the book being essentially a transcription of taped interviews. Also worth prasing is the book's meaty introduction most of all for its fascinating and amazingly detailed look into the history of zines in Korea. Lots of good history to be found which he admirably and thoroughly covers with careful attention.
However, the occasional personal references to drug use and the like are off-putting and distracting. Burgeson also comes off as surprisingly old hat in his discontent for the internet and its new wave of expats who self publish effortlessly on blogs and forums. A trailblazer like himself would seemingly welcome the new addition of expat writers to the scene if not it threatened by his own niche on writing about Korea, it seems.
Bug is a decent read worthy of a quick glance at best. For those who care, his best form is found in his ability to research, dissect and write about obscure topics in a delightfully deadpan manner. However, having had read the best of his old zine, I don't feel like I've missed much of the rest. Taken with a grain of salt, it's an alright read at best. Frankly, I've seen better on blogs.