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The Orphan Master's Son

by Adam Johnson

Pak Jun Do is the most amazing character I have ever encountered. His adventures are so wildly over the top and yet I believed every word! At the same time the nightmare of living in North Korea is horrifyingly detailed. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry from minute to minute while the total bleakness of the setting will haunt me for a long time - but despite everything this is quite an optimistic book.

Extract

The captain told the pilot to get a firm grip on Jun Do's arm, but no, Jun Do said, he would hold it out himself. The Mate and Machinist hefted the shark, which was not quite two meters, tip to tail.
Jun Do took a deep breath and turned to the Captain. 'Sharks and guns and revenge,' he said. 'I know I thought it up, but this isn't a story that anyone could really believe.'
'You're right,' the Captain said. 'But it's a story they can use.'

Parallels

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen - the film
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
 

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