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Publisher's Summary

In this rare insider's view into contemporary North Korea, a high-ranking counterintelligence agent describes his life as a former poet laureate to Kim Jong-il and his breathtaking escape to freedom.
"The General will now enter the room."
Everyone turns to stone. Not moving my head, I direct my eyes to a point halfway up the archway where Kim Jong-il’s face will soon appear.
As North Korea's State Poet Laureate, Jang Jin-sung led a charmed life. With food provisions (even as the country suffered through its great famine), a travel pass, access to strictly censored information, and audiences with Kim Jong-il himself, his life in Pyongyang seemed safe and secure. But this privileged existence was about to be shattered. When a strictly forbidden magazine he lent to a friend goes missing, Jang Jin-sung must flee for his life.
Never before has a member of the elite described the inner workings of this totalitarian state and its propaganda machine. An astonishing exposé told through the heart-stopping story of Jang Jin-sung's escape to South Korea, Dear Leader is a rare and unprecedented insight into the world’s most secretive and repressive regime.
©2014 Jang Jin-Sung. All rights reserved. (P)2014 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Gotta Tellya on 09-29-14

Outstanding! A life-changing listen.

I agree with other reviews stating that once you start listening, it's hard to pause for any reason. This is a heart-stopping story, probably the greatest eye-opener I have ever read. The North Korean regime is abominable--how truly horrible, I had no idea until I listened to Dear Leader. The author, Jang Jin-sung, gave up a privileged existence to seek truth and freedom outside the confines of his brutally repressed country. Even though it is obvious from the start that he must have survived his escape attempt in order to tell his story, I was on the edge of my seat until I finished the book and confirmed that Mr. Jang had indeed survived. I can't say much more without providing spoilers. Either read or listen to this book. You won't be the same person after you finish it. The narration is excellent and moving, as is the writing. I would give Dear Leader ten stars if I could.

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19 of 19 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Andy on 07-17-14

richly detailed account of getting out

A captivating and richly detailed recap of the authors escape from North Korea. Very interesting to hear exactly how it was done.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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