“A spellbinding book that gives you an intimate view into the unimaginable horrors of life in North Korea. The people documented in this book are real and their stories will be etched indelibly in your memory. Extremely well-written...a journalistic tour de force. Highly recommend!”Peggy K wrote this review Saturday, July 7, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“An amazing and informative book about an elusive society. Barbara Demick follows the lives of 6 different defectors from North Korea and their families. Each of them come from different walks of North Korean life, a doctor, university student etc. Each of them have different experiences of their homeland from relative wealth to poverty, though all end up feeling the effects of the famine in the 90s. The path each one takes that leads them to South Korea are varied, and all are fascinating! I really learned a lot from reading this book. I will be keeping a closer eye on the developments in Korea. This was a very moving and gave me a greater appreciation for the life I am living. I highly recommend this book to anyone with the slightest interest in North Korea. ”Connie wrote this review Monday, June 25, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“fascinating book about North- Korea, complete domination by Kim Jong-il and his father Kim Il-sung. The famine, starvation, punishment of any dissent, so much misery 1990-94 and continuing, Also discussion of escape to China and South Korea”Kris M. wrote this review Friday, June 22, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Another one that was recommended to me by my husband that I would never have thought I'd enjoy let alone recommend to others. This non fiction work details the lives of six North Koreans who have subsequently escaped the tyranny of the current government there by escaping to South Korea. I am not a politically aware person and had no idea that people in our day and age were having to live like this. It was incredibly eye opening and it made me hungry for more information which I reckon is always a sign of a good book. While I was reading this North Korea was in the news as the new leader Kim Jong-un (grandson and son of the former *******s that ran the place) had just taken up office the month before. Read it and find out why dogs in China eat better than people in North Korea.”Kinz wrote this review Saturday, June 9, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Fascinating and engaging, I learned a lot”Joanna wrote this review Saturday, June 2, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is like something out of science fiction, and yet it is well-researched and happening now. It's depressing to know that conditions like this exist in this day and age. But encouraging to know that not everyone has drunk the Kool Aid. People do escape. But others try and pay dearly. Most suffer in silence and fear.
Read again for book club Feb 2013. Astonishing. Recommend reading with Orphan Master's Son.”
“Fascinating insight into life in North Korea. ”Temmy wrote this review Thursday, May 17, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“"Nothing to Envy--Ordinary Lives in North Korea" by Barbara Demick tells the true story of six people who lived in North Korea in the late 90s (if you call this living). What an eye-opening account to me of what life is like there. For example, ". . . dogs in China ate better than doctors in North Korea." (p. 220) I can't say enough good things about this book! I really got a sense of what these people went through day to day and will never forget it! If you read this, it will certainly make you glad you live in the USA! It's fantastic!
“Brilliant! Riveting! I couldn't put it down. I thought the fact that the book was largely based on the accounts of North Korean defectors (because of course the author couldn't get much access to the country) would limit its impact...but it didn't, at all.”Trevor Kew wrote this review Sunday, April 8, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No