A regretful, bittersweet exploration of modernisation, which picks away at the country’s past and present, slowly becoming a moving reflection of what we gain and lose as individuals and a society in the name of progress ... Sora Kim-Russell’s translation becomes a real virtue as the build-up of anecdotes and memories from Minwoo’s past gradually layer into a powerful yet modest and profound meditation on personal responsibility and what a fulfilled life might mean ... never trips over into nostalgia or sentimentality ... [Sok-yong's] writing is laced with the hard-won wisdom of a man with plenty left to say.
Gently told ... The book is on the verge of something, and despite the gentle care in Hwang’s storytelling, there is an urgency to his words. Dusk is a short-lived time of reflection when pink clouds split the dying sunlight. Aptly named, At Dusk is made up of this gorgeous setting light as Minwoo pauses to look around at a Seoul he no longer recognises; just enough time to take it all in before everything goes dark.
Highly engaging ... The reader does not need to be au fait with South Korea’s post-second-world-war history to enjoy this novel ... Hwang has written this novel in a charming conversational style while still allowing for the distinctive voices of the three central characters ... Hwang makes it easy to identify with each of his characters – we feel their pain and share in their happiness. and forgive their mistakes and misunderstandings. And as they share their past with us, we gain a better understanding of the social and political background of the times and the day-by-day lives of South Korean people.