The Orphan Master's Son

A Novel

Johnson, Adam

(Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Orphan Master's Son
 Add a Comment  Add Tags
The son of an influential father who runs an orphan work camp, Pak Jun Do rises to prominence using instinctive talents and eventually becomes a professional kidnapper and romantic rival to Kim Jong Il.
Publisher: New York : Random House Trade Paperbacks, c2012
ISBN: 9780812982626
Characteristics: 456 p. ; 21 cm


Community Activity


Add a Comment

Nov 24, 2014
  • kylabot rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Very graphic novel and while I'm sure not accurate of life in North Korea - it was a very engaging adventure story of the rise and fall of a (maybe) orphan within a repressive government. As long as you read it as fiction - not an ethnography of N Korea - I give 5 stars. I haven't read a book this quick in years!

Aug 27, 2014
  • lorraine_on_rodney rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

a weirdly compelling read - although stomach churning at times. I felt the whole book was ultimately ruined by its jingoistic US portrayal.

I think the author intended this to be satire, but it reads like non-fiction and likely represents some aspects of the real N. Korea, but too self-serving to the US to be taken as anything but propaganda.

Can't believe the Pulitzer Committee fell for it.

Jul 21, 2014
  • suzetteb rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

I found this story way too unbelievable and almost sadistic. I had to make myself finish it and it didn't get any better.

Jul 15, 2014
  • I_sing_the_Body_Electric rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Its an intriguing and very tragic novel. This story interested me mainly because of its setting: North Korea. Its really captivating when you read this novel in Jun Do's (main character) perspective and all the tragic events that happens in his life. It can be a little slow and slightly confusing but the character development of Jun Do makes up for it. Check it out!

Jun 24, 2014
  • JCLEmilyW rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Heartbreaking and funny, violent and beautiful--this book pulls no punches. I was gripped by this imagining of life under the oppression of the North Korean regime. Adam Johnson creates a palpable atmosphere of fear and distrust, in a land where any misstep leads straight to the prison camps or mines. In spite of the difficult subject matter, the compelling story of Jhun Do pulled me through all the way to the end.

Apr 03, 2014
  • stoker rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

For a true story of N Korea, read Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick. I found the Orphan Master's Son too satirical, too silly and unbelievable, too far-fetched. I don't need satire to bring out the horror of the N Korean regime. It is very clear in a truthful way in Demick's book.

Apr 02, 2014
  • becker rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Oh my goodness, did I ever struggle with this book. It fluctuated between engaging and tedious. At several points I almost gave up on it and at other times I couldn't put it down. It was so saturated in satire that it became riduculous in places. The American authorship of this book was so evident that it was distracting. I'm not even sure what my final opinion of the book is but I certainly won't forget it. It was an experience.

A very interesting read. The author even in fiction, get facts right about the oppressive regime in North Korea. Sometimes very difficult but keeps the interest to finish the book

Feb 20, 2014
  • johnharper_01 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Agreat story. A real eye opening look into North Korea as well.

Dec 21, 2013
  • Leonthedog rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

This is a book with a lot of gratuitous anf casual violence that makes it sometimes difficult to read. As well it is difficult to tell where the satire ends and the truth starts. It reminded me very much of Tom Wolfe‘ s books. Written very much from an American view by a very American writer. Not worth the Pulitzer in any case.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.


Add a Video

There are no videos for this title yet.

Find it at SMCL


Powered by BiblioCommons.
app06 Version eventuell-fix Last updated 2014/11/25 13:07