Summary

Here's a chance to visit sealed-off North Korea. Johnson's protagonist is an orphan who starts out as a tunnel soldier and rises through the military ranks until he's set to challenge Kim Jong-Il himself. Along the way, we encounter what one character calls "the greatest North Korean love story ever told." Evidently a blend of personal story and political revelation, with thriller overtones thrown in for fun, this work is being positioned as a breakout for Johnson. The first two serials go to Granta in August 2011 and Playboy in January 2012, which certainly suggests broad appeal.


WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION
An epic novel and a thrilling literary discovery, The Orphan Master s Sonfollows a young man s journey through the icy waters, dark tunnels, and eerie spy chambers of the world s most mysterious dictatorship, North Korea.
NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE WINNER LONGLISTED FOR THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION S 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 book s 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 didn t know what starving people looked like.
Part breathless thriller, part story of innocence lost, part story of romantic love, The Orphan Master s 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 Master s Son ushers Adam Johnson into the small group of today s greatest writers.
Praise for The Orphan Master s 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 Master s 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. Elle

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