Translated by: Kevin O'Rourke
Publisher: Hachette Books, 2001.
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When the twelve-year-old narrator of Our Twisted Hero moves to a small town and enrolls in the local school, he’s confident that his big city sophistication will establish him as a natural leader. He is shocked to find his new classmates and teacher under the spell of the class monitor. As the narrator sets out to overthrow the bully, he is threatened, teased–and finally broken.
Overall, Our Twisted Hero is rather a chore to read, though it is interesting for its balanced assessment of the rights and wrongs of Korea’s developmental dictatorship. But political allegory gets in the way of character delineation, with the result that you feel no sympathy with any of the protagonists; and even reading it as allegory you wonder how far to push the real-world parallels.
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