As the pointless dialogue that did me in While there s some arresting imagery and ffective mood setting ultimately this feels like notes toward a novel that never uite comes together This book very much disturbed me But I did not know how to rate it Some of the writing was very good Some of the writing was I thought too drawn out like nough already I get your point The story line was good I read the book in one sittingBottom line from me The book disturbed me and I think that it should have I think that was what the author intendednot to disturb for disturbing sake but to make the reader aware of the pressures of some teenagers in growing up in South Korean society You might want to read this book and you might find it to be of worth and you might be glad that you read it if you want to go into the mind of a teenage girl in South Korea who is sane but troubled but then sinks into a psychotic state and you are with her in her mind during her psychotic state you are privy to all of her thoughtsand if you are prepared for violence directed at an animal I don t think many of us areI guess the uestion is are you willing to read it if it contributes to the book s themepoint and another human being again not something that many of us relish but is there a point to its inclusion in the story I did not know how to rate
this book so I did something I have never done before when writing GR reviews before I read the reviews book so I did something I have never done before when writing GR reviews before I read the reviews others from newspapers and blogsites
I Needed To Know needed to know others thought this book had redeeming value Because I was flummoxed And I did greatly appreciate the reviews and they are below along with an interview by the author Via the reviews I became a bit ducated on the subject matter in this book I have a long ways to go Reviews Interview with Sagwa on her book October 2018 Interview re newer novel b Book and Me Notes Description of the author on the inside of the back cover Kim Sagwa is one of South Korea s most acclaimed young writers She is the author of several novels story collections and works of nonfiction and has been shortlisted for major South Korean awards including the Munji Prize and the Young Writers Award Kim contributes columns to three major Seoul newspapers and she co translated John Freeman s book How to Read a Novelist into Korean She lives in New York City Jim a list of those books and awards can be found at What also influenced how I rated this book is that a literary periodical that I subscribe to and highly value Granta published a chapter from this book on its website The Closet Sagwa published this book in 2008 a year before she graduated from Korean National University of Arts I believe she was 24 years old It s another one of those books in which the interval between its original date publication and its translation into English 2018 was uite long No Just no I was totally going to finish this book despite the absurdity of verything the sheer randomness and the lack of any likable characters I was going to finish it rate it 1 star and just put it from my mindBut then there had to be a cat killing And not just a cat a KITTEN If you don t like animal death and I certainly don t put this book away immediately I was sickened by the brutality and sheer lack of mpathy for life that the main character xhibits in this bookAlso suicide is handled rather indelicately in my opinion and I am deeply disturbed by the main character s thoughts about it I have no idea how this book is meant to represent the life of a South Korean student when very person in this book seems so grotesue and inhuman Needless to say the summary given by Goodreads does not in any way shape or form
Prepare The Reader For The the reader for the of this book It is dark and twisted and I just can t relate or handle it DNF Kirkus Reviews says Kim s prose is focused sharp I disagree My last read for this year s Women in Translation Month is Mina by Kim Sagwa translated from the Korean While other female writers from Korea have been presenting us with feminist themes inside of somewhat disturbing imagery this is a much younger voice focusing on three young adults and their universe of school plus cram school and the Le valeureux guerrier emotional toll it takes The book feels unsettling from the start for reasons hard to pinpoint and grows increasingly violent from there TW for suicide and suicidal ideation violence towards kittens and humans and mental illnes. Ne irrévérencieuse Kim Applest la figure de proue des écrivains Snowflakes on the Sea en révolte contre un système accusé de broyer une jeunesse insouciante jusu’à l’inconscience jouisseuse violentet si peu préoccupée de l’intérêt public Elle dénonce sans relâche une société mercantile Wrathful Chaos: Five Books of Satanic Philosophy et stressantet des conflits intergénérationnels ui poussent chaue catégorie à n xclure une autre. One corpse Two smiles Incalculable darkness I met Kim Sagwa at the Lituake festival in San Francisco and I loved her xpression and dark sense of humor This definitely comes across in Mina It is so dark and not laugh out loud funny but there is something about the way the story unfolds You do not want to read spoilers as the nding comes as a bit of a shock but then not reallySagwa s writing I m reading in translation is crisp and concise and she builds a compelling portrait of Crystal Mina and the other people in her life are less well fleshed out our lens is clearly on Crystal and what she will do next It s written third person with most of the action swirling around Crystal and to a lesser degree Mina
I Loved This Story And I Hope loved this story and I hope Kim Sagwa s work will be published in English as I want to hear much from her I first came across literally Kim Apple a pen name but phonetically translated as Kim Sagwa in the anthology The Future of Silence Fiction by Korean Womenmy review with her 2010 story It s One of Those The More I m In Motion The Weirder It Gets Days And It s Really Blowing My Mind The title is memorable and the story of a well Humanism: The Greek Ideal and its Survival educated and ostensibly successful company worker increasingly raging at the reality of his lifeually strikingA s mouth is moving I ve been working with her on a project for three months The day I met her she introduced herself as a branding consultant and damned if her business card didn t say Love 2.0 (A Cates Brothers Book, exactly that And then she launched into a spiel about all her whoopity do degrees parading herducation But what I saw in her The Fix eyes was fear I felt that same fear filling myyes I ve been looking into her yes all this time xpecting something No dice A thinks she s something lse I think ignorance is the necessary condition for happiness A has the nerve to think she s happy I think ignorance is the necessary
CONDITION FOR ALL MISUNDERSTANDING I KNOW ALL THESE THINGS for all misunderstanding I know all these things so I am decidedly unhappy All I see are the yes of an animal frozen with fear Those are the yes I always seeIt s 525 pm and the blinds are halfway down Five big cactus plants are lined up in front of those blinds What if I stripped A naked and beat her with the cactus on the far right the *one that looks like a club Her glittering golden nail polish does that * that looks like a club Her glittering golden nail polish does that me very time they reflect the light those fingernails do a number inside my head I want to rip out ach of those fingernails But instead I feed my imaginationHe walks out of the office that vening determined not to return but increasingly his actions start to follow his imagination at times in rather surreal fashionHer 2008 novel has been translated as Mina the Romanised version of the Korean name by Bruce and Ju Chan Fulton who have over the decades done a magnificent and highly valuable service in bringing Korean literature to English speakersMina has a similar sort of flavour much less surreal indeed soberingly realistic but similarly of people snapping under the pressure of modern lifeThe novel is narrated from the perspective of Crystal in Korean an upper middle class teenager studying in P city The ponymous Mina is her best friend albeit their relationship is very much love hate from a different background as her family s wealth derived from a lottery win and Mina s brother Minho is the other main character who Crystal decides to fall in love with The world keeps slowly turning with one part of the city maintaining closed and xclusive middle class lifestyle that is selfish ignorant and irresponsible all its practioners keeping uiet about how that lifestyle came to be and how it managed to repeat itself while in another section of the city the lives of the losers slowly sink beneath all the pressures and sins of the winners though no one calls for accountabilityThe novel opens with Crystal visiting the sibling s apartment where Mina is lying down listening to Sonic Youth s Becuz Wish I could change the way that you feelStanding with him you feel realLooking so sweet with all your mightTrusted in him to put it rightHolding his hand like a brand new kiteBlue yes sparkle open alrightWish I could see the girl who d fightPlaying and laughing and trying to show itRunning and falling and dying to know itStaring you down with her gaze hold itWish I could free you but I can t don t blow itIn a scene that sets the tone for what follows Crystal immediately starts to strangle Mina. Mina Minho t Sujeong les trois lycéens de ce roman font partie de la nouvelle génération Gangnam StyleAprès le suicide de sa meilleure amie la vie de Mina bascule Dans sa chute lle ntraîne Sujeong son autre amie Freinée dans des ambitions u’elle pense légitimes cette dernière va se venger de la plus horrible des manières Une vengeance à plonger le lecteur dans la stupeurAvec Just play strangling but nough that Mina s face contorts her mouth gaping Minho as always is smilingMina and Crystal both xperience the stresses of modern teenage life in the ultra competitive Korean society relationships with boys materialism xperiments with alcohol and above all the pressure of studying But they deal with them in different ways Mina s best friend from before her family struck rich Chiye kills herself jumping from the roof of a building where students rent cubicles to
PREPARE FOR EXAMS AND THE TWOfor xams and the two reaction to the death sums up their approachCrystal is a student with perfect grades who does xactly what is needed to achieve them and nothing Her tutor tells her that personality matters but her mantra is percentilality not personality Reflecting on Chiye and indeed others such as Mina who claim to be depressed she thinks to herself Why do people want to die Because they re dumb I don t understand it I don t understand people I m practical and fficient and pragmatic But other people aren t It makes me mad Unproductive and inefficient It makes me mad Stupid kids ought to be put to work on a farm I mean they only get four out of ten uestions right I don t get it It tells you what kind of parents those kids have Those kids are pathetic So I want to kill them off But Mina tells her describing their life Cram school home school test school school cram school homework tutor cram school home tutor cram school home school back to cram school back to tutor back for a test back to homework back to school back to school back to school Home Cram School How can anyone think this is normal It s crazy Everyone s crazy I can t stand it Not any I can t stand this life This is hell It s gel He ll Chos n Our society is hell That s why Chiye killed herself I get it But you don t do you I can understand it and that s the difference between you and me It s because of people like you that Chiye killed herself You re a killerBut Crystal is certainly not as pyschologically well balanced and similarly to It s One of Those The More I m In Motion The Weirder It Gets Days And It s Really Blowing My
Mind She Starts To Takeshe starts to take fantasies seriously ncouraged by the always smiling and shallow MinhoA powerful novel and Kim Sagwa is pitch perfect on the overdramatic tension of teenage life This review does the book justice than I can and this interview with the author is also very helpful Peeking closely at young amoral privileged kids who have a flamboyant lifestyle is so much fun isn t it And I look forward to of Kim Sagwa s work which is coming from Two Lines Press in 2020 But from a personal perspective this wasn t perhaps the book for me Teenage angst as a novel theme isn t particularly my thing my teenage years were several decades ago and I wasn t a particularly angsty teen ven then and I do feel the Hell Joseon theme is perhaps overdone in Korean literature or at least that which finds its way into English albeit this novel is distinctive for focusing on the pressures on those at the upper nd of society35 stars Oddly xpository at odd intervals A devastating critiue of Korean Cram School culture Unpleasant characters a disturbing read Yet in places the writing atmosphere tension are uite beau ok it s a super vivid criticism of how poisoned our motional health is under neoliberalism im sure feeling nauseous the whole book is part of the point but i just couldn t get on board w it there s a lot of sudden transitions between dialogue to omniscient voice where it goes on for pages rigorously describing the psychology of characters and the political conditions of korean cram school culture i couldn t tell if i liked this or not which probably means i didn t though the omniscient voice was clarifying at times at least of what the author seems to believe abt korean society as the dialogue also was pretty hard to follow distracted but impenetrable bc it mainly came from the unraveling protagonist who would be constantly circling her internal monologues about her murderous rage im giving it 3 stars bc i didn t like the xperience of reading this at all but i also think the book did its job the whole premise is a logical conseuence of training children to think of their lives in terms of how they can best maximize their human capital This book wasn t for me Wasn t a fan of the omniscient point of view and freuent head hopping but it Ina nous ntrons dans le royaume de la jeunesse dorée de Séoul une jeunesse surtout soucieuse de jouir sans ntrave ui n’a ni désillusion ni scrupule ni traumatisme Impassible devant la souffrance des autres ou des animaux The Crucified Ones: Calling Forth the End-Time Remnant et certaine de son destin protégélle st fière d’appartenir à une élite abrutie par le maintien de son statut socialÀ 29 ans considérée comme une écrivai.