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The Vegetarian

The Vegetarian

A Novel

Book - 2015
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"Before the nightmares began, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary, controlled life. But the dreams--invasive images of blood and brutality--torture her, driving Yeong-hye to purge her mind and renounce eating meat altogether. It's a small act of independence, but it interrupts her marriage and sets into motion an increasingly grotesque chain of events at home. As her husband, her brother-in-law, and her sister each fight to reassert their control, Yeong-hye obsessively defends the choice that's become sacred to her. Soon their attempts turn desperate, subjecting first her mind, then her body, to ever more intrusive and perverse violations, sending Yeong-hye spiraling into a dangerous, bizarre estrangement, not only from those closest to her but also from herself." -- jacket.
Publisher: London ;, New York :, Hogarth,, [2015]
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9780553448184
Characteristics: 188 pages ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Smith, Deborah 1987-- Translator


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Dec 29, 2020

I finished this book in one sitting. While this book may seem short, Kang's writing is effective, elegant in its bare-bones sentences and delivers so many emotions. I admire writers who can deliver much without being superfluous. Her characters (especially the two sisters) are relatable and you wanted to root for them. This is not just a horror, it is also a criticism of South Korean patriarchy. This is a book that haunts me long after I put it down.

RyanR_KCMO Sep 16, 2020

This book was haunting for so many reasons. It was one of those books where you feel off for the entirety. One of the many amazing feats by Kang in this work is creating a medium for so much allegory. This does not have to just be about dietary choices. The elegance of the endeavor is beautiful and the story alone is engaging and driving.

Aug 31, 2020

This was a horrifying descent down a very dark road.

JCLMattC Apr 16, 2020

I listened to the audiobook, which was pretty well done. A sort of three-section literary exploration of slow-burn body horror. Of course there's much more to it than that.

nrobocop_nwpl Feb 08, 2020

An impressive exploration of violence, free will, and bodily autonomy.

Dec 02, 2019

Engaging and well written, but definitely a tough read emotionally. I read the white book shortly after this and they pair nicely together.

Aug 07, 2019

Horror and literary fiction fans will conjoin with "The Vegetarian". This dark little book explores what would happen if one day you decided to not eat meat as a Korean person. Horror fans will soak up all the terrifying things that one woman's family will do to make her eat meat again, while Literary fans will love the critical, Sylvia Plath-style writing.

ArapahoeJohanna Jul 24, 2018

Haunting and poetic, this Korean psychological thriller builds on themes of isolation, violence, and control to construct a compelling story in three parts. This book is not for the faint of heart; the author delves deep into people's reactions to one woman's decision to take control over one small aspect of her life. The more they push against her, the deeper she pulls into her convictions and her own mind.

May 04, 2018

Very well written quiet domestic psychological drama.

Mar 11, 2018

The Vegetarian is a dark, yet beautifully written book about a woman's decline into mental illness.

You feel such pity for its protagonist, seeing how she simply withdraws from life. You hope the best for her, yet are left feeling helpless as she sinks deeper into despair.

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Feb 10, 2019

gshguru thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Mar 17, 2018

ranvapa thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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Mark_Daly Jan 05, 2017

Stop eating meat, and the world will devour you whole.


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