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Dear Leader: My Escape from North Korea by…
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Dear Leader: My Escape from North Korea (edition 2015)

by Jang Jin-sung (Author)

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172969,056 (4)4
Member:TrocaireLibraries
Title:Dear Leader: My Escape from North Korea
Authors:Jang Jin-sung (Author)
Info:Atria / 37 INK (2015), Edition: 37th ed., 368 pages
Collections:Nursing
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Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee--A Look Inside North Korea by Jang Jin-sung

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Edge of the seat drama, political intrigue and intricacies of a dark place explained. I didn't expect to love this, but I did. North Korea is a continuing mystery. ( )
  KRoan | Jun 3, 2016 |
This is the best book I've read in a long time. I expected a standard escape memoir, but this hit me with the emotional impact of "Alive" and other survival stories in grueling circumstances. The translation is top-notch. It's beautifully written, to the point where I'm amazed it's a translation. Jang Jin-Sung has a way of building suspense, and a way with words, that kept me listening to the audiobook all night. The story comes across as very authentic--he's not a hero so much as a normal human being who values freedom enough to sacrifice everything else he values and risk his life in order to obtain it.

I recommend this book to everyone and anyone. Read it if you want insights into North Korea, the cult of Kim, or oppressive regimes in general. Read it if you want insights into the value of human life and liberty. Read it if you want a heroic adventure story, or transportation to another world. Read it if you relate to feeling like a stranger in a strange land. I'm grateful to live in a nation where books are affordable to ordinary citizens, and reading a novel written by a foreigner won't get me thrown in a gulag. ( )
  Abby_Goldsmith | Feb 10, 2016 |
A terrible story. Hard to believe it happened this century! ( )
  cygnet81 | Jan 17, 2016 |
Jang Jin-Sung is the pseudonym of a defector from North Korea—a former poet laureate who became disillusioned with the regime under which he lived, and who fled across the Chinese border with a colleague of his, hoping to claim asylum in South Korea. The book's account of daily life in North Korea is fascinating, and provided the kinds of details which you're unlikely to find in accounts written by those who are not from such a closed society.

However, there's a 'but' here—a big 'but'—which is that I simply do not believe large swathes of the author's account, both about his involvement with the North Korean regime and about his escape. The translator's note at the end of the book states that Jang can't be entirely forthcoming about events for fear of causing further harm to his family and to those in China who helped him—that I can well believe. But other things, like his encounter with the Korean-Chinese version of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl? Not so much. ( )
  siriaeve | Aug 4, 2015 |
A fascinating, insightful insider's look into North Korea by one of its elite who defected. ( )
  Sullywriter | May 22, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 147676655X, Hardcover)

In this rare insider’s view into contemporary North Korea, a high-ranking counterintelligence agent describes his life as a former poet laureate to Kim Jong-il and his breathtaking escape to freedom.

“The General will now enter the room.”

Everyone turns to stone. Not moving my head, I direct my eyes to a point halfway up the archway where Kim Jong-il’s face will soon appear…

As North Korea’s State Poet Laureate, Jang Jin-sung led a charmed life. With food provisions (even as the country suffered through its great famine), a travel pass, access to strictly censored information, and audiences with Kim Jong-il himself, his life in Pyongyang seemed safe and secure. But this privileged existence was about to be shattered. When a strictly forbidden magazine he lent to a friend goes missing, Jang Jin-sung must flee for his life.

Never before has a member of the elite described the inner workings of this totalitarian state and its propaganda machine. An astonishing exposé told through the heart-stopping story of Jang Jin-sung’s escape to South Korea, Dear Leader is a rare and unprecedented insight into the world’s most secretive and repressive regime.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:28 -0400)

"In this rare insider's view into contemporary North Korea, a high-ranking counterintelligence agent describes his life as a former poet laureate to Kim Jong-il and his breathtaking escape to freedom. "The General will now enter the room." Everyone turns to stone. Not moving my head, I direct my eyes to a point halfway up the archway where Kim Jong-il's face will soon appear... As North Korea's State Poet Laureate, Jang Jin-sung led a charmed life. With food provisions (even as the country suffered through its great famine), a travel pass, access to strictly censored information, and audiences with Kim Jong-il himself, his life in Pyongyang seemed safe and secure. But this privileged existence was about to be shattered. When a strictly forbidden magazine he lent to a friend goes missing, Jang Jin-sung must flee for his life. Never before has a member of the elite described the inner workings of this totalitarian state and its propaganda machine. An astonishing expose; told through the heart-stopping story of Jang Jin-sung's escape to South Korea, Dear Leader is a rare and unprecedented insight into the world's most secretive and repressive regime"--… (more)

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