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I had such high hopes for this book. I love reading historical fiction, especially works about colonialism and Asia, so I jumped at the chance to listen a novel about the Korean War. But I became frustrated by the tired tropes of the novel, the melodramatic tone of the narrator, and the unsympathetic characters and unrealistic plot. I was about two hours from the end of the book, when the tension should have been building to a climax, when I made the decision to stop listening. I rarely abandon books, especially when I'm so far from the end, but I had stopped caring about what happened to the characters and it was a painful listen. The narrator sounded like he was narrating crime fiction, which didn't help my opinion of the book.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful
This book and the narrator are terrific despite the brutality of the content. Although I am familiar with the history of the conflicts between Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese in the 20th century and America's role in this complex part of the world, this fictional story vividly portrays the effect of war on civilians. I don't think that the average American reader has any idea how World War II and the Korean War affected people in those countries and how these effects continue to shape immigrants 50 years later. Chang- Rae Lee's prose is stunning, particularly in an audio book format. This is one of my favorites from Audible
2 of 2 people found this review helpful