Translated by: Krys Lee
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017.
Link to online store *
In South Korea, underground motorcycle gangs attract society’s castoffs. They form groups of hundreds and speed wildly through cities at night. For Jae and Dongyu, two orphans, their motorcycles are a way of survival.
Jae is born in a bathroom stall at the Seoul Express Bus Terminal. And Dongyu is born mute–unable to communicate with anyone except Jae. Both boys grow up on the streets of Seoul among runaway teenagers, con men, prostitutes, religious fanatics, and thieves. After years navigating the streets, Jae becomes an icon for uprooted teenagers, bringing an urgent message to them and making his way to the top of the gang. Under his leadership, the group grows more aggressive and violent–and soon becomes the police’s central target.
A novel of friendship–worship and betrayal, love and loathing–and a searing portrait of what it means to come of age with nothing to call your own, I Hear Your Voice resonates with mythic power. Here is acclaimed author Young-ha Kim’s most daring novel to date.
This feels like it's several novels in one. We're still writing a detailed review of this, and need to think about it some more. But we loved Krys Lee's prose, and Kim Young-ha's fast-moving plot; and thought the metafiction worked slightly better than that in Han Yujoo's Impossible Fairy Tale.
* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site (2) Amazon US site (3) Other sites in US or Europe, including second-hand outlets (4) LTI Korea, where the title is advertised as available from there (5) Onlines stores in Korea. Links to Amazon UK site contain an affiliate code which, should you make a purchase, gives a small commission to LKL at no additional cost to you.