HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North…
Loading...

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea (2009)

by Barbara Demick

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,7931193,905 (4.4)392
  1. 72
    Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea by Guy Delisle (lorax)
    lorax: Pyongyang is an outsider's view of the one part of the country where foreigners are generally permitted; Nothing to Envy is an inside look at ordinary life elsewhere in the country where the situation is even grimmer.
  2. 30
    Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden (Stbalbach, rebeccanyc)
    Stbalbach: Amazing story of escape from a North Korea prison camp.
    rebeccanyc: Demick's book explores the lives of several people who lived in and escaped from North Korea, while Harden's focuses on one individual who was born in and escaped from a North Korean slave labor camp. The two books complement each other.
  3. 20
    Escape from North Korea: The Untold Story of Asia's Underground Railroad by Melanie Kirkpatrick (TomWaitsTables)
  4. 10
    Without you, there is no us by Suki Kim (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: Both books are compelling, fascinating reads. Nothing to Envy covers a broad scope, and Without You, There is No Us has a tight focus. They explore the North Korean regime from different angles.
  5. 10
    Kim Il-song's North Korea by Helen-Louise Hunter (wandering_star)
    wandering_star: Credited in Nothing To Envy as one of the sources of info about DPRK.
  6. 00
    Tibetan Diary: From Birth to Death and Beyond in a Himalayan Valley of Nepal by Geoff Childs (meggyweg)
  7. 00
    This is Paradise!: My North Korean Childhood by Hyok Kang (justine28)
    justine28: This is Paradise is a first-hand account of North Korean regime and especially the 1990s famine as experienced by a defector. Very similar to the stories gathered by Demick - a journalist. The two books complement each other.
  8. 03
    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (weener)
    weener: One is fiction, one is non-fiction. One is in Latin America, one is in Asia. Both are heartbreaking, deeply affecting tales of life under totalitarianism.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 392 mentions

English (117)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (119)
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
North Korea invites parody.

And that is often the way North Korea is presented to the world. Through these parodies, it is easy to forget the individual human faces which make up North Korea. We hear about the executions of generations, the punishment for one making offhand remarks about people in power. We see the pictures showing the stark differences between North and South Korea at nighttime. We deplore the people in power having lavish meals while millions starve. Occasionally we read about the journeys of the ones who managed to defect. But what about the everyday life of the ordinary people? What do they think about? What are their childhoods like? How do they pass the time? How do romantic relationships evolve in such an environment?

Here, Barbara Demick skilfully combines these familiar facts and answers these questions and more in relation to the compelling everyday lives of people, whose backgrounds range widely from the ideologically faithful to the privately rebellious to the resigned hopeful for ascension in the social ladder. It is due to Demick's writing prowess that she avoids all the dryness of fact-telling and weaves together a readable oral history, with such flair that the sudden photo of Mrs Song shocked me into remembering the reality of the characters.

A minor relief from the constant distress of just reading about North Korea is the knowledge that the interviewees must have eventually successfully defected. The intricate insights into the history and psychology of North Korea and its inhabitants, whether it was individually or collectively studied, through their daily life in the relatively prosperous sixties or the devastating famine in the nineties - The killer targets the most innocent, the people who would never steal food, lie, cheat, break the law or betray a friend- , make this troubling book a highly-recommended read for anybody, high-schoolers and up. ( )
  kitzyl | Jan 29, 2016 |
A very depressing account of the lives of 6 ordinary citizens of this strange country. How can a dynasty of megalomaniacal crackpots hold 23 million people hostage and meddle with every aspect of their lives. The accounts of the famine and how these people managed to cope thru it is very heart rending.
  danoomistmatiste | Jan 24, 2016 |
This was a great insight into the lives of people in North Korea. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
This was a great insight into the lives of people in North Korea. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
So, I read B. R. Myer's book "The Cleanest Race" a few months ago. This is a great follow-up. The Myer's book concentrated on the Official Story of North Korea -- their government-sanctioned origin story, history, and outlook. "Nothing to Envy" is about the actual lives of the people, constructed from interviews with a handful of defectors, mostly from the Chongjin area. It's a good read. Tragic, but well-constructed with moments of tension, surprise, and even a bit of humor. I flew through it quickly. If you find North Korea interesting, I'd recommend it. (Oddly, it's the second book I've read this year where everyone's starving through most of the story -- the other being "City of Thieves.") ( )
  chasing | Jan 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
Barbara Demick's book Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea opens with a nighttime satellite image of northeast Asia that shows the bright lights of South Korea and China. In the middle of the photograph is a dark spot — a nation of 23 million people that has little electricity.
added by bongiovi | editNPR (Jan 6, 2010)
 
Nothing to Envy – the title comes from a piece of propaganda aimed at hoodwinking gullible North Korean citizens – is a fascinating work which highlights in the lives of the individuals concerned the triumph of the human spirit in the face of overwhelming adversity.
 
Elegantly structured and written, Nothing To Envy is a groundbreaking work of literary nonfiction.
 
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For Nicholas, Gladys, & Eugene
First words
If you look at satellite photographs of the far east by night, you'll see a large splotch curiously lacking in light.
Quotations
[...] she couldn't deny what was staring her plainly in the face: dogs in China ate better than doctors in North Korea.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
'Im Land des Flüsterns' ist eine ergänzte Neuauflage von 'Die Kinogänger von Chongjin'
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (6)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385523912, Paperback)

A National Book Award finalist and National Book Critics Circle finalist, Barbara Demick’s Nothing to Envy is a remarkable view into North Korea, as seen through the lives of six ordinary citizens
 
Award-winning journalist Barbara Demick follows the lives of six North Korean citizens over fifteen years—a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung, the rise to power of his son Kim Jong-il, and a devastating famine that killed one-fifth of the population. Demick brings to life what it means to be living under the most repressive totalitarian regime today—an Orwellian world that is by choice not connected to the Internet, where displays of affection are punished, informants are rewarded, and an offhand remark can send a person to the gulag for life. Demick takes us deep inside the country, beyond the reach of government censors, and through meticulous and sensitive reporting we see her subjects fall in love, raise families, nurture ambitions, and struggle for survival. One by one, we witness their profound, life-altering disillusionment with the government and their realization that, rather than providing them with lives of abundance, their country has betrayed them.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:06 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Follows the lives of six North Koreans over fifteen years, a chaotic period that saw the rise to power of Kim Jong Il and the devastation of a famine that killed one-fifth of the population, illustrating what it means to live under the most repressive totalitarian regime today.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
4 avail.
628 wanted
2 pay5 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.4)
0.5
1 2
1.5
2 1
2.5 1
3 26
3.5 24
4 245
4.5 68
5 270

Audible.com

An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 103,156,622 books! | Top bar: Always visible