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Miles from Nowhere Hardcover – Bargain Price, December 26, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Nami Mun is a skilled author, and the reader is drawn into the story full force. I found myself cheering for Joon and hoping that she would be able to lift herself out of the street life. I wanted her to succeed; I was unhappy when she chose to do the wrong thing.
This is not a book for the squeemish or for those whose narrow-minded vision would have any controversial book banished. It is, however, a book for those seeking an articulate, intelligent author who can make you cheer for the characters in the book, even if you disagree with their life choices and their actions.
The book started off great for me, Joon has runaway and makes a few friends in the shelter she is staying at. Great first few chapters that include working as a dance hostest and meeting a variety of other characters and doing some sort of crazy things.
Strange things start to happen, like Joon seeing what she thinks are angels and things with her family, things that didn't make total sense to me. I guess maybe I don't do so well with stories that aren't concrete because I definitely had a hard time deciding what was real and what she was seeing in her own mind. That was probably on purpose but I like to know what's going on!
I did like the way this book was written, in little fragments, similar I thought to 20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth, over Joon's teen years. We get to revisit characters from the beginning of the book and meet new ones. But also, because of that some of the characters are mentioned so briefly we don't really get to know them and understand their purpose in the book.
I wasn't very happy with the ending. It just ended and I wasn't really sure where things were left. So I guess I liked the premise and the beginning of the book and towards the end things didn't work for me as much.
Shortly after leaving home, she ends up in a homeless shelter where she meets some very colorful characters by the name of Wink and Knowledge. The way in which these two character were introduced, I assumed that they would be an integral part of her life. But just as quickly as they are introduced, they are out of her life without much explanation. Joon then drifts from place to place and situation to situation without finding any permanance. She works as a dance hostess, an Avon lady and a bevy of other random jobs. Somewhere along the way Joon picks up a nasty drug habit. She tries to quit but finds herself drawn back by her boyfriend and continues to spiral deeper and deeper into a narcotics fueled existence with its attendant consequences.
This a heartwrenching story because Joon is a victim of neglectful parents. One is exceedingly moved by the things that such a young child is forced to undergo all because her parents are lost in their own worlds. Her childhood is destroyed and she is forced to raise herself into adulthood. The vast majority of Joon's life is spent in hopeless and bleak conditions.
One of the main flaws of the book is that it is told in an episodic manner and this literary device eventually weakens the story.Read more ›
Joon's life on the streets is populated by people who appear for paragraphs or pages or the duration of a chapter, and then disappear again. This in itself isn't unrealistic (it would be hard for a teenage runaway to make friends or form associations), but it makes character development a challenge. One recurring exception--and, other than Joon herself, the most memorable presence in the book--is Knowledge (yep, that's her name), who has one hilariously warped sense of morality. "Knowledge had standards. She had principles. No one ever understood what they were exactly but at least she had them." In one of the funnier passages, she recounts how she aborted an attempt at robbing a bank for her boyfriend when she makes the mistake of reading the note he wrote for the teller. "What kind of idiot can't spell money? . . . And if he's that stupid, how stupid am I for robbing a bank for him?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Disturbing yet ultimately hopeful. Portrayed homeless youth experience in realistic way.Published 22 months ago by F. Hutton
One of the most beautifully written and deeply connected novels I've ever read. It's about real life with all its grit but written with so much love and beauty, it's what writing... Read morePublished on March 20, 2014 by just thinking
Nami Mun takes the reader on a melancholic rollercoaster of feels. From beginning to end the book is depressing without being hopeless, and even through the tough moments the... Read morePublished on May 18, 2013 by R. Starr
I had higher hopes for this book. I had read an exerpt for a class and while reading, I could feel the pain and emotion in each word. Read morePublished on January 30, 2013 by Faymous
Its a sad story but the sentences are beautifully written.
Its a tragic story but also made me laugh.
Excellent writer. Can't wait her next book!
this book is great. one of the great things about it is its meter and tone, and the sort of poetic flattened first person voice of a 13 year old runaway, Joon, who quickly catches... Read morePublished on November 15, 2012 by clarie
Like another reviewer mentioned, this book takes time to digest. I've had it for 3 years and barely got through it, unsatisfyingly. Read morePublished on June 6, 2012 by nycgirl