“Jazz” in the DPRK: Autumn Whispers and the forbidden fruit of Richard Clayderman

I’ve just finished reading Jang Jin-sung’s memoir, Dear Leader. It’s a real page-turner that will appeal to many types of readers, including people who like a good adventure story (the passages describing Jang’s evasion of Chinese and North Korean security forces once he has fled from the North Korean capital are genuinely exciting) and of […]

In a bookshop yesterday…

No, this is not *my* bookshelf (it’s part of the Korean section at the university bookshop yesterday), though I do have a couple of these. I don’t have the yellow one, and don’t propose buying it. But I really recommend Sonia Ryang’s Reading North Korea – a look at how North Korea’s relationship with the […]

Book review: Martin Limón — The Joy Brigade

Martin Limón: The Joy Brigade Soho Press, 2012. 304pp Martin Limón’s eighth novel in the Ernie Bascom and George Sueño series covers new ground in many respects. It is the first novel in which we see Sueno on his own, not accompanied by his buddy Bascom. And it is the first time that Limon has […]

Orphan Master wins Pulitzer

At LKL we were lukewarm, but we don’t mind being in the minority. So congratulations to Adam Johnson for winning the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, “for distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life,” with The Orphan Master’s Son. Source: www.pulitzer.org

You followed the blog, now buy the book

You’ll probably have visited Kim Jong Il Looking at Things once in a while for some gentle entertainment at the expense of the late Dear Leader and his propaganda unit. The blog closed in December 2012, a year after his death, but now you can buy the book, from Jean Boîte Éditions, price EUR24 plus […]

Another book on the DPRK hits the bookshops

I always get depressed when I see a new book on the DPRK, because the DPRK is a depressing subject. Plus, it’s the thought that people are spending their lives trying to figure out this unfathomable regime. It’s the thought that there’s another 500 pages which I feel I ought to read, but which if […]

Damn! I’ve run out of shelf space

I’ve run out of shelf space, so I have no room for the recently issued Volume 17 (enlarged edition) of Kim Jong-il’s selected works. Now I’ll never get the full set, or find out how to “More Firmly Strengthen Socialist Revolutionary Position by Doing Party Work Well”.

Tim Beal’s Crisis in Korea launched

Tim Beal’s new book “Crisis in Korea – America, China and the Risk of War” (Pluto Press) will be launched at Arthur Probsthain Bookshop, 41 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3PE on 25 October, 6.30-8.30 pm. RSVP: arthurprobsthain@hotmail.com Tel: 0207 636 1096. Available on Amazon.co.uk now.