Tuesday, June 17, 2014

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday Intro - The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by Sea.  

The Orphan Master's Son

Citizens, gather 'round your loudspeakers, for we bring you important updates! In your kitchens, in your offices, on your factory floors--wherever your loudspeaker is located, turn up the volume!

In local news, our Dear Leader Kim Jong Il was seen offering on-the-spot guidance to the engineers deepening the Taedong River channel. While the Dear Leader lectured to the dredge operators, many doves were seen to spontaneously flock above him, hovering to provide our Reverend General some much needed shade on a hot day. Also to report is a request from Pyongyang's Minister of Public Safety, who asks that while pigeon-snaring season is in full swing, trip wires and snatch loops be placed out of the reach of our youngest comrades. And don't forget, citizens: the ban on stargazing is still in effect.


Winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (and the Rooster in the Morning News Tournament of Books), The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson is a fictional rendering of North Korea. The novel tells the story of Pak Jun Do and the perils of everyday life in North Korea.


What do you think? Would you read it? Have you read it?


  1. That's quite an opening! I am not sure I would want to continue reading just based on that, but reading that it's about life in North Korea captures my interest. I'll have to look for this one.

  2. This nook is on my TBR list, but the intro doesn't really grab me. I'd read a little more deciding. Will be curious to hear what you think...

  3. This book won so many awards, but I really couldn't stand it. I wrote a review on it if you want more details about why, but there is just so much going on that is barely related to the central story that it's hard to keep track. That being said, it did get me really interested in life in North Korea (the Afterward on this topic was the best part of the book for me) and I have a few other books on that topic on my TBR list now.

    1. I have been listening to the audio, but I own it in print also and might switch. My hardcover edition doesn't have an afterword though. I'd be curious to see what the author has to say about the book.

  4. I wanted to try this because of the awards, but that intro makes me wonder whether this is just not for me:( hope you love it, and so happy your joined in this week.

  5. There is a lot about pigeons. They give relief from the heat. Plus, pigeon-snaring is done so much they have to mention safety around children. It's interesting how the leader offers guidance over the engineers. We don't see that done here. Is this Korea or China? Did I miss the country?