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Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North…

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Barbara Demick (Author)

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2,0251373,303 (4.41)427
Title:Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
Authors:Barbara Demick (Author)
Info:Spiegel & Grau (2010), Edition: Reprint, 336 pages

Work details

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

  1. 82
    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. 20
    Escape from North Korea: The Untold Story of Asia's Underground Railroad by Melanie Kirkpatrick (TomWaitsTables)
  3. 20
    Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West 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.
  4. 10
    Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea's Elite 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.

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» See also 427 mentions

English (134)  Italian (1)  French (1)  Danish (1)  All (137)
Showing 1-5 of 134 (next | show all)
Barbara Demick interviewed about 100 North Korean defectors and made nine trips to North Korea between 2001 and 2008. Her notes in the back of the book give a glimpse of the tremendous amount of research that went into this portrayal of six selected lives of defectors.

Each story of the lives is alarming for the living conditions, cultural restraints and the demands from the leaders of North Korea, Kim il sung, Kim Jong il and Kim Jong un. The real focus is on the lives of the ordinary people trying to survive. Their lives are very different from those in South Korea. From brainwashing starting in kindergarten to the constant struggle to find enough to ea.t The telling of the Great Famine by defectors is horrendous. It brings to mind the famines in China but unlike China, the people have not fully recovered. Many have had stunted growth from the famine in the 1990s and the food supply is still not good. There is tremendous pressure to keep your own secrets. If not, your own children may report you. Each person portrayed had tremendous obstacles and barriers to survival. The best part of this book was the finding the updates at the end of the book about the defectors.

I highly recommend this book as a true picture of life in North Korea, the difficulty of escaping and then the final difficulty of adjusting to a completely different world than you have been raised in. ( )
  Carolee888 | Sep 3, 2017 |
If madness is the leavening in history’s nightmares, then North Korea is surely the next furnace of human destruction. ( )
  lanewillson | Aug 30, 2017 |
The occasional news stories you read about bad conditions in North Korea tell you nothing about the stark reality there. Demick's exhaustive reporting and engaging prose style tells the whole truth, the whole shocking, depressing story of a country more isolated than any other. It's also a story of resiliency and the value of family. Read this book and you'll understand the vast gulf between the Western world and this backward, feudal society and see how challenging it is to negotiate with North Korea. ( )
  Mark_Bacon | Jul 24, 2017 |
This book tells the story of several North Korean defectors from the last 20 years. Incredible and heart breaking stories. This is a must read. ( )
  KenMcLain | Jul 18, 2017 |
North Korea, South Korea, read 2017 ( )
  jomartay | Apr 24, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 134 (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.
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If you look at satellite photographs of the far east by night, you'll see a large splotch curiously lacking in light.
[...] she couldn't deny what was staring her plainly in the face: dogs in China ate better than doctors in North Korea.
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'Im Land des Flüsterns' ist eine ergänzte Neuauflage von 'Die Kinogänger von Chongjin'
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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)

(summary from another edition)

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