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No One Writes Back by Jang Eun-jin
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No One Writes Back (2009)

by Jang Eun-jin

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» See also 2 mentions

I discovered this book after a friend requested it as a birthday present, and I decided to read it as well. I am so glad I did! I found the story to be unique and fascinating. It's a very quick read, but I found myself wanting to delay finishing it because I was enjoying it so much and didn't want it to end. This is one of those books that I can only hope would have a sequel so I can spend more time with these characters. I doubt that it ever will, and the ending is satisfying and does not require any additional exposition, but a man can dream. It has also made me consider reading more titles from this publishing company that I had never heard of but has a good reputation given what I've read about it online.

I highly recommend this book! ( )
  LSUTiger | Jul 25, 2015 |
This is an extraordinarily rich and moving novel, which could happily garner a very wide audience. The story it tells is not specifically Korean, or not to the point where we might feel confused. It's urban, universally so: a story of alienation told in a manner that does not feel sorry for itself, but goes about its business in an odd but determined way.
 
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I left home with an MP3 player and a novel in an old backpack. And with Wajo.
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Book description
Communication--or the lack thereof--is the subject of this sly update of the picaresque. No One Writes Back is the story of a young man who leaves home with only his blind dog, an MP3 player, and a book, traveling aimlessly for three years, from motel to motel, meeting people on the road. Rather than learn the names of his fellow travelers--or invent nicknames for them--he assigns them numbers. There's 239, for example, who once dreamed of being a poet, but who now only reads her poems to a friend in a coma; there's 109, who rides trains endlessly because of a broken heart; and 32, who's already decided to commit suicide. The narrator writes letters to these men and women in the hope that he can console them in their various miseries, as well as keep a record of his own experiences: "A letter is like a journal entry for me, except that it gets sent to other people." No one writes back, of course, but that doesn't mean that there isn't some hope that one of them will, someday . . . [Amazon.co.uk]
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"Communication--or the lack thereof--is the subject of this sly update of the picaresque novel. No One Writes Back is the story of a young man who leaves home with only his blind dog, an MP3 player, and a book, traveling aimlessly for three years, from motel to motel, meeting people on the road. Rather than learn the names of his fellow travelers--or invent nicknames for them--he assigns them numbers. There's 239, for example, who once dreamed of being a poet, but who now only reads her poems to a friend in a coma; there's 109, who rides trains endlessly because of a broken heart; and 32, who's already decided to commit suicide. The narrator writes letters to these men and women in the hope that he can console them in their various miseries, as well as keep a record of his own experiences: `A letter is like a journal entry for me, except that it gets sent to other people.` No one writes back, of course, but that doesn't mean that there isn't some hope that one of them will, someday . . ."--Back cover.… (more)

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