Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.

This week’s book:

The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson

Blurb from Goodreads

An epic novel and a thrilling literary discovery, The Orphan Master’s Son follows a young man’s journey through the icy waters, dark tunnels, and eerie spy chambers of the world’s most mysterious dictatorship, North Korea.

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.

Why I Want To Read It

It’s Monday again! A new week has started, and with it, the promise of a fresh start. I hope everyone started their week right. I hope everyone had a good day or will have a great one. As it is a Monday, it is time for another Goodreads Monday update. Recently, I bought a couple of books and one of the books I bought was Adam Johnson’s The Orphan Master’s Son. It is one of the most recent additions to my growing reading lists and a book I was planning on featuring for this week’s Goodreads Monday edition for all the wrong reasons. I really thought that it was a Man Booker Prize winner! You see, I am currently in the midst of a Man Booker Prize reading month. I was aghast with myself when I learned, a couple of minutes before starting this post, that the book actually won the Pulitzer Prize, and not the Man Booker Prize. (Haha, silly me!)  

Nevertheless, I am pushing through with The Orphan Master’s Son for its premise captured my interest. As is the case in most of my book purchases, I barely had an iota on what the book is about; I researched about it only after I had the copy. Apparently, it is a novel that involves North Korea. The fact that it is set in the hermitical kingdom is enough to pique my interest. Whilst the reclusive country is widely featured in various documentaries, I noted that it is rarely portrayed in novels (or mayhaps I have been looking in all the wrong places). I am also looking forward to the novel because I have never read any of Johnson’s works before.

There is another curious thing that has caught my interest before I bought the book. I have noticed that there are several books with titles that carries “son” or “daughter”. A couple of years ago, I bought Kim Edwards’ The Memory Keeper’s Daughter although I have yet to read it. In the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, I have encountered Eudora Welty’s The Optimist’s Daughter, and James Stephen’s The Charwoman’s Daughter. I guess there is nothing to it but it still piqued my attention. I am just hoping I get to read all of these books soon.

How about you fellow reader, what book do you want to read? I hope you can share it in the comment box. For now, happy reading! Have a great week ahead!