Give as a Gift

Send this book as a Gift!

Book Rating (32)

Narrator Rating (7)

The Orphan Master's Son: A Novel

Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher: Random House (Audio)

Date: January 2012

Duration: 19 hours 30 minutes

Summary:

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE

An epic novel and a thrilling literary discovery, The Orphan Masters Son follows a young mans journey through the icy waters, dark tunnels, and eerie spy chambers of the worlds most mysterious dictatorship, North Korea.

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST
- DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE WINNER
- LONGLISTED FOR THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATIONS ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL
- WINNER OF THE CALIFORNIA BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION
- NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New Yorker
- The Washington Post
- Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly
- The Wall Street Journal
- Los Angeles Times
- San Francisco Chronicle
- Financial Times
- Newsweek/The Daily Beast
- The Plain Dealer
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
- Scott Turow, The Millions
- Slate
- Salon
- BookPage
- Shelf Awareness

"The single best work of fiction published [this year] . . . The books cunning, flair and pathos are testaments to the still-formidable power of the written word." - The Wall Street Journal

Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother - a singer "stolen" to Pyongyang - and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return.

Considering himself "a humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world," Jun Do becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the absolute limit of what any human being could endure, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong Il in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress "so pure, she didnt know what starving people looked like."

Part breathless thriller, part story of innocence lost, part story of romantic love, The Orphan Masters Son is also a riveting portrait of a world heretofore hidden from view: a North Korea rife with hunger, corruption, and casual cruelty but also camaraderie, stolen moments of beauty, and love. A towering literary achievement, The Orphan Masters Son ushers Adam Johnson into the small group of todays greatest writers.

Praise for The Orphan Masters Son

"An exquisitely crafted novel that carries the reader on an adventuresome journey into the depths of totalitarian North Korea and into the most intimate spaces of the human heart." - Pulitzer Prize citation

"Mr. Johnson has written a daring and remarkable novel, a novel that not only opens a frightening window on the mysterious kingdom of North Korea, but one that also excavates the very meaning of love and sacrifice." - Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"Rich with a sense of discovery . . . The Orphan Masters Son has an early lead on novel of [the year]." - The Daily Beast

"This is a novel worth getting excited about." - The Washington Post

"[A] ripping piece of fiction that is also an astute commentary on the nature of freedom, sacrifice, and glory." - ElleFrom the Hardcover edition.

Genres:

  • Virginia M

    Fascinating fictional story, but with uncanny resemblance to what we, in the western world, might imagine could be occurring right now in North Korea. Warning- this book haunted me, and was a blow to any sweet dreams I was to have had. Well written, a story with seamless weaving of characters. Very believable.

  • Jennifer Gedney

    Really enjoyed the creative way the author wove together characters to give a glimpse of what life may be like in North Korea.

  • Anna Blake Keeley

    This book will stay with me forever. Worth the read from beginning to end. Sad, surprising, lovely, cruel--haunting in the best way possible. Loved it.

  • nab6215

    Read it. Believe all the hype. This is a well written book. There is nothing new I can say. Just read it.

  • Anonymous

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Is is really like this in North Korea?