With it being the end of the month I realized I still didn’t read the book for May yet. There are a number of reasons I could give for taking so long to read the book but the primary reason was that the book was Korean. My last few months in that country were fairly rough and because of it I haven’t been doing as much reading lately. I’m working on getting my reading back to where it was but it’s proving to be a little rough. Anyway, the book were reading this month was I Have the Right to Destroy Myself by Young-Ha Kim.
A quick synopsis of the story is that the unnamed narrator helps people through the process of suicide. Now, he doesn’t actually assist in the act itself he just gives them pointers on how to do it and what the best way may be for each of his clients. This story is about one particular client he had.
I will admit that after reading the back of the book I thought it would a fantastic book. And when I selected this book I was keen to read more Korean literature and this looked like the best way to achieve this goal. Even when I read the introductory chapter “The Death of Marat” I was loving the book. I think it was the whole concept that drew me to the book. But beyond that there was very little I enjoyed about the book.
In-order for the book to seem more realistic the novel was written to “hide the identity” of some of the characters that are still alive. This ended up making the novel confusing at time. There were many aspects of the novel that I just didn’t enjoy. Beyond the beginning of the book there was little to enjoy. The only parts of the novel that I found interesting were when the narrator talked about various places in Seoul and the Republic of Korea. I knew many of the places that he was talking about and so it helped to bring me into the story.
I could also relate to the speed of the taxi drivers. There were many experiences in taxis that were terrifying, and sometimes life threating. One such story invloved being in a taxi going going over 100 in a busy part of Daejeon then he turned to me (I was in the back seat) and started clapping his hands and saying over and over “Taxi race, taxi fast!” I didn’t think I was going to make it to my final destination.
Kim’s book isn’t one that I would recommend to others to read. It was alright but not very memorable or exciting. Only those who have been to Korea would find this story interesting. Only the parts I could relate to did I find interesting. So, not knowing anything about the country would make enjoying the book rather difficult.
Our next, as mentioned my last post will be Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I still welcome anyone interested in joining Bookin’ Around to participate in the group here or find Bookin’ Around on Facebook.