Annotations for Orphan Master's Son


Baker & Taylor
The son of a singer mother whose career forcibly separated her from her family and an influential father who runs an orphan work camp, Pak Jun Do rises to prominence using instinctive talents and eventually becomes a professional kidnapper and romantic rival to Kim Jong Il. By the author of Parasites Like Us.

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Baker & Taylor
The son of an influential father who runs an orphan work camp, Pak Jun Do rises to prominence using instinctive talents and eventually becomes a professional kidnapper and romantic rival to Kim Jong Il.

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Random House, Inc.

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE

An epic novel and a thrilling literary discovery, The Orphan Master's Son follows a young man's journey through the icy waters, dark tunnels, and eerie spy chambers of the world's most mysterious dictatorship, North Korea.

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST • DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE WINNER • LONGLISTED FOR THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION'S ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL • WINNER OF THE CALIFORNIA BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY

The New Yorker • The Washington Post • Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly • The Wall Street Journal • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Financial Times • Newsweek/The Daily Beast • The Plain Dealer • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel • Scott Turow, The Millions • Slate • Salon • BookPage • Shelf Awareness

"The single best work of fiction published [this year] . . . The book's cunning, flair and pathos are testaments to the still-formidable power of the written word."--The Wall Street Journal

Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother--a singer "stolen" to Pyongyang--and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return.

Considering himself "a humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world," Jun Do becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the absolute limit of what any human being could endure, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong Il in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress "so pure, she didn't know what starving people looked like."

Part breathless thriller, part story of innocence lost, part story of romantic love, The Orphan Master's Son is also a riveting portrait of a world heretofore hidden from view: a North Korea rife with hunger, corruption, and casual cruelty but also camaraderie, stolen moments of beauty, and love. A towering literary achievement, The Orphan Master's Son ushers Adam Johnson into the small group of today's greatest writers.

Praise for The Orphan Master's Son

"An exquisitely crafted novel that carries the reader on an adventuresome journey into the depths of totalitarian North Korea and into the most intimate spaces of the human heart."--Pulitzer Prize citation

"Mr. Johnson has written a daring and remarkable novel, a novel that not only opens a frightening window on the mysterious kingdom of North Korea, but one that also excavates the very meaning of love and sacrifice."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"Rich with a sense of discovery . . . The Orphan Master's Son has an early lead on novel of [the year]."--The Daily Beast

"This is a novel worth getting excited about."--The Washington Post

"[A] ripping piece of fiction that is also an astute commentary on the nature of freedom, sacrifice, and glory."--Elle



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Random House, Inc.

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE

In this epic, critically acclaimed tour de force, Adam Johnson provides a riveting portrait of a world rife with hunger, corruption, and casual cruelty but also camaraderie, stolen moments of beauty, and love.

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST • DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE WINNER • LONGLISTED FOR THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION'S ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL • WINNER OF THE CALIFORNIA BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY

The New Yorker • The Washington Post • Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly • The Wall Street Journal • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Financial Times • Newsweek/The Daily Beast • The Plain Dealer • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel • Scott Turow, The Millions • Slate • Salon • BookPage • Shelf Awareness

"The single best work of fiction published [this year] . . . The book's cunning, flair and pathos are testaments to the still-formidable power of the written word."--The Wall Street Journal

Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother--a singer "stolen" to Pyongyang--and an influential father who runs a work camp for orphans. Superiors in the state soon recognize the boy's loyalty and keen instincts. Considering himself "a humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world," Jun Do rises in the ranks. He becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the absolute limit of what any human being could endure, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong Il in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress "so pure, she didn't know what starving people looked like."

Praise for The Orphan Master's Son

"An exquisitely crafted novel that carries the reader on an adventuresome journey into the depths of totalitarian North Korea and into the most intimate spaces of the human heart."--Pulitzer Prize citation

"A daring and remarkable novel."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"Gripping . . . Deftly blending adventure, surreal comedy and Casablanca-style romance, the novel takes readers on a jolting ride through an Orwellian landscape of dubious identity and dangerous doublespeak."--San Jose Mercury News

"This is a novel worth getting excited about. . . . Adam Johnson has taken the papier-mâch creation that is North Korea and turned it into a real and riveting place that readers will find unforgettable."--The Washington Post

"[A] brilliant and timely novel."--The Wall Street Journal

"Remarkable and heartbreaking . . . To [the] very short list of exceptional novels that also serve a humanitarian purpose The Orphan Master's Son must now be added."--The New Republic

"A triumph of imagination . . . [Grade:] A."--Entertainment Weekly

"A spellbinding saga of subverted identity and an irrepressible love."--Vogue

Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more.




From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Random House, Inc.

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE

In this epic, critically acclaimed tour de force, Adam Johnson provides a riveting portrait of a world rife with hunger, corruption, and casual cruelty but also camaraderie, stolen moments of beauty, and love.

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST • DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE WINNER • LONGLISTED FOR THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION'S ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL • WINNER OF THE CALIFORNIA BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY

The New Yorker • The Washington Post • Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly • The Wall Street Journal • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Financial Times • Newsweek/The Daily Beast • The Plain Dealer • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel • Scott Turow, The Millions • Slate • Salon • BookPage • Shelf Awareness

"The single best work of fiction published [this year] . . . The book's cunning, flair and pathos are testaments to the still-formidable power of the written word."--The Wall Street Journal

Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother--a singer "stolen" to Pyongyang--and an influential father who runs a work camp for orphans. Superiors in the state soon recognize the boy's loyalty and keen instincts. Considering himself "a humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world," Jun Do rises in the ranks. He becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the absolute limit of what any human being could endure, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong Il in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress "so pure, she didn't know what starving people looked like."

Praise for The Orphan Master's Son

"An exquisitely crafted novel that carries the reader on an adventuresome journey into the depths of totalitarian North Korea and into the most intimate spaces of the human heart."--Pulitzer Prize citation

"A daring and remarkable novel."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"Gripping . . . Deftly blending adventure, surreal comedy and Casablanca-style romance, the novel takes readers on a jolting ride through an Orwellian landscape of dubious identity and dangerous doublespeak."--San Jose Mercury News

"This is a novel worth getting excited about. . . . Adam Johnson has taken the papier-mâch creation that is North Korea and turned it into a real and riveting place that readers will find unforgettable."--The Washington Post

"[A] brilliant and timely novel."--The Wall Street Journal

"Remarkable and heartbreaking . . . To [the] very short list of exceptional novels that also serve a humanitarian purpose The Orphan Master's Son must now be added."--The New Republic

"A triumph of imagination . . . [Grade:] A."--Entertainment Weekly

"A spellbinding saga of subverted identity and an irrepressible love."--Vogue

Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more.



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