TRIGGERS: SUICIDE But it was easy to move people back in those days, like the way Anne Frank's diary touched a nerve because of the Halocaust. This book, which centers on a man who goes around finding "clients" whom he then helps commit suicide, is not as interesting or as revolutionary as I thought it would be. He finds these people and encourages/convinces them to commit suicide. So. You may think that this book will be really interesting, but it's not. Two people are convinced to commit suicide in this book - both are women. I toyed with the idea of hiding it in a spoiler, but I'm just not the kind of person who gets joy out of grossing out other people - and typing it out was making me feel a bit ill, so you'll just have to read the book if you want to know. I am actually fine with gross stuff being in a book, but I only feel this way if I feel like it is integral to the plot, or is helping the plot move forward, or is important to know so that you can understand a character. Also, Kim uses dialogue NOT as a way of having people actually talk to each other, but so that his philosophies and ideas can be spouted off in long paragraphs of what essentially amounts to the author lecturing you about life. This makes the book not so much a novel as a philosophy thesis. I don't usually read any South Korean books, so I was interested in picking this up because I always like to expand my reading horizons.
It can be an embracing of life, a meeting of that ultimate moment of life on one's own terms. From Young-ha Kim's perspective, and the perspective of his nameless, faceless narrator, death/suicide is the ultimate artistic expression -- and what is art but a passionate expression of life and living?
Some elements seemed to slip past me in the best way possible and a re-reading seems necessary to catch more of the book's strengths. I also appreciate the fact that Young-ha Kim is a Korean novelist who writes about his home country without ramming politics or social conditions down the reader's throat. By the way, score one for the local independent bookstore.
Looking over other people's reviews, I'm kind of annoyed. This kind of thinking is shallow and stupid. Not everything is about puppies, guys.
The characters, while not memorable, were messed up and lost like phantoms moving through life, finding pleasure through drinking, sex, and their strange imaginations. but then as I started reading and hit the half-way point, I realized the novels best moment are the synopsis and the prologue. I wish the ending could have been elaborated upon, but I think this is one of those books that really has no point it feels like its main purpose is to just make you feel uneasy, which if so, it does a good job of.
The author, painfully self-aware yet vacuous (like a high-school goth reading Rilke) almost screams in your ear, "I'm sophisticated, see?
Não posso dizer que estou decepcionada porque, na verdade, não tinha grandes expectativas sobre este livro. Tinha somente alguma curiosidade para conhecer um autor sul coreano e porque achei o tema interessante: eutanásia e morte assistida. Entretanto, faz "formação profissional", viajando, lendo muito, estudando para aumentar a sua cultura geral por forma a angariar, compreender e ajudar os seus clientes, aos quais apresenta um catálogo para que escolham a melhor forma de se livrarem da sua penosa vida: enforcamento, afogamento, envenenamento, esfaqueamento,...
One of the good points is that the book is short; the author knew his limits. First off, we have "Judith", the insane, emo chick who has a weird obsession with lollipops (sucks on them even during sex), the North Pole (because it can't be tamed, basically), her birthday (when she wants sex, she says it's her birthday), and the obvious, sex (she likes to touch herself at random intervals). If he didn't try too hard with her, I could appreciate her desire for the North Pole, but everything she says sounds so over-the-top and cheesy. So I decided to play a game and see whether I could win you over while I was eating candy, or afterward. She was usually bitchy (yet still wanted sex with a stranger, our narrator) and had some interesting things to say: --"When I love deeply, I vomit."-- --"You know when you feel like throwing everything up? I couldn't get into it and felt no loss for the characters.
Given my effusive lust for Korean cinema, I was excited to find Young-Ha Kim's debut on a remainder table for two dollars.
He was educated at Yonsei University in Seoul, majoring business administration, but he didn't show much interest in it. Kim, after graduating from Yonsei University in 1993, began his military service as an assistant detective at the military police 51st Infantry Division near Suwon.