Saturday, February 7, 2015

Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea's Elite

Written by: Suki Kim

First line: Time there seemed to pass differently.

Why you should read this book: I know I'm not the only American fascinated, bewildered, and curious about life in North Korea, as evidenced by the number of months I had to wait for this library reserve, and it did not disappoint in terms of sheer, mind-blowing insanity, and its descriptions of a world that is hardly imaginable. Suki Kim, born in South Korea, immigrated to America at age 13, and was also curious about the closed country where some of her relatives had disappeared before she was born, so she disguised herself as a Christian missionary among a group of Christian missionaries disguised as teachers, and spent two semesters living in a virtual prison while gathering intelligence about the most closed country on the planet. I devoured this fascinating narrative in a few hours and highly recommend it to anyone with the least interest in North Korea, oppressive regimes, the meaning of freedom, human rights, or brainwashing an entire country.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You are a Christian missionary disguised as a teacher for the purpose of maintaining a presence in North Korea in case the country should ever open up enough to enable you to proselytize there.

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