PositiveThe Irish Times (IRE)The questioning of any notion of authenticity is central to Yun Ko-eun’s excellent The Disaster Tourist ... intrigue and scheming ... All of this is delivered in what might be said to be a familiar form of Korean writing, known to us now, thankfully, through many translations. An ostensibly detached style, using simple language. A plain rendering of the extraordinary.
RaveIrish Times (IRELAND)... close to 1,000 pages, a total made difficult to calculate due to an auxiliary story which nuzzles into the main text every so often. This is written in a more conventional fashion, unlike every other part of the novel which works as a continuous flow of thoughts and associations; an approach that is not in any way gimmicky ... It is, instead, an extraordinary achievement of wit and imagination detailing the life and inner reasoning of a contemporary and conventional American woman who lives in Ohio with her husband and four children ... The manner in which the narrator’s thoughts are conveyed is the principal achievement of this astounding novel ... There is a complete sense of authenticity in the way that words get associated in her mind, a rolling catalogue of great humour and invention (always beginning with \'the fact that\', a device that ought to become tiresome, but which never does) ... There’s so much more to this amazing novel. Undoubtedly it’s a long read, but it is never less than rewarding to engage with the observations of this companionable narrator. The fact that the writing has a beautiful cadence and rhythm. The fact that I haven’t even mentioned all the hilarious, salty comments about Trump. The fact that this isn’t just one of the outstanding books of 2019, it’s one of the outstanding books of the century, so far.
Leila Slimani Trans. by Sam Taylor
MixedThe Irish Times\"The language of the novel, as translated by Sam Taylor, is matter-of-fact, brisk, unadorned – like most of the sex Adèle engages in – and as such it serves the function of taking us through the details of the plot in an unobtrusive way. But we don’t sink into the novel as deeply as we might have if we weren’t always pushed along at the surface level ... It is indeed skilful of Slimani to lead us to reconsider the judgments we make as the complications of her characters’ lives change and are reconfigured.\