The winner of prestigious prizes in Korea, Kim makes his anglophone debut, thanks to Kim-Russell, who captures his dark, dark wit and searing sarcasm in an irresistible sociopolitical parable designed to delight and dismay.
Powerful, surreal ... Most memorable is the novel’s message about the insidiousness of unaccountable institutions, from those under the military junta to those that thrive in today’s economy. The consequence of the pervasive corruption is an air of existential despair. This strange, ambitious book will appeal equally to literary fiction readers.
Kim makes a few gestures toward literary gravitas ... But between the convoluted plotting and myriad stylistic intentions, Kim hasn’t identified a clear target to hit ... An energetic mashup of thriller tropes that doesn’t quite jell.