Regular price: $17.49

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Buy Now for $17.49

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

The harrowing true story of one man's life in—and subsequent escape from—North Korea, one of the world's most brutal totalitarian regimes.
Half-Korean, half-Japanese, Masaji Ishikawa has spent his whole life feeling like a man without a country. This feeling only deepened when his family moved from Japan to North Korea when Ishikawa was just thirteen years old, and unwittingly became members of the lowest social caste. His father, himself a Korean national, was lured to the new Communist country by promises of abundant work, education for his children, and a higher station in society. But the reality of their new life was far from utopian.
In this memoir translated from the original Japanese, Ishikawa candidly recounts his tumultuous upbringing and the brutal thirty-six years he spent living under a crushing totalitarian regime, as well as the challenges he faced repatriating to Japan after barely escaping North Korea with his life. A River in Darkness is not only a shocking portrait of life inside the country but a testament to the dignity—and indomitable nature—of the human spirit.
©2000 Masaji Ishikawa; translation © 2018 by Risa Kobayashi and Martin Brown (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved
Show More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By DJW on 01-03-18

Awful! And I don't mean the book . . .

This memoir is a horrifying saga on so many levels: personal, familial, communal, political, institutional, national, and global. Masaji Ishikawa, with his elegant yet understated prose, has changed my world view forever. How can one person treat another with such stark cruelty? How can one person endure such circumstances? How can governments and institutions get away with such blatant lies and abject misconduct? No doubt, I will never again think of myself as hungry, thirsty, stifled, scared, or mistreated without thinking of Mr. Ishikawa and silently rebuking myself. Gratitude is my mantra for 2018. (Would love to follow up and know how he is managing.)

Read More Hide me

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Kaite on 03-27-18

Brian Nishii is amazing

Brian Nishii is an incredible narrator. The story is so touching and I easily was drawn in. I hurt for the author and his woes

Read More Hide me

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

See all Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By evosticky on 04-08-18

Shocking revelation!

Finished this book very quickly as I couldn't leave it. Heart-rending account of a father's stark choice to try and ensure his family's survival.

Read More Hide me
5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer petamd on 01-27-18

great book

great book powerful and heartbreaking well written and translated l listened for three nights in a row an enjoyable but difficult experience highly recommend this book

Read More Hide me
See all Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jennifer2 on 04-07-18

Too severe

How can people be suffering so much? It is incomprehensible to know and yet not be able to help.
Lord God in heaven, please grant an answer. Come in haste Lord Jesus, for relief of such families. Amen.

Read More Hide me
5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 03-22-18

This book should be publicly broadcast

It is so sad what people will do to each other and what lengths the victims have to go to to survive.

Everyone should read this book and open their eyes to the truth.
We can only hope that, with enough good people in the world, humanity can turn itself around.

Definitely an eye opener.

Read More Hide me
See all Reviews
© Copyright 1997 - 2018 Audible, Inc