London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Index of book reviews – fiction

Here is some of the fiction we’ve read over the years, together with a highly subjective rating. The ratings system is explained here. Some of the titles below don’t have links to reviews. Those are the ones where we liked or disliked a book but have not yet found words to describe why. (Keep visiting this page – there’s a backlog of earlier reviews that I haven’t yet had a chance to include in this list)

F = a more or less Full length review
S = a Short, mini-review – a one or two-liner

Author Title Original title / year F/S Rating
Korean literature in translation
Ahn Do-hyun The Salmon Who Dared to Leap Higher 연어, 1996 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Ahn Junghyo White Badge 하얀전쟁, 1983 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-1
Ahn Junghyo Silver Stallion 1986 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-1
Bae Myung-hoon Tower 타워, 2009 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-1
Bae Suah A Higway with Green Apples 푸른 사과가 있는 국도, 1995 score-2score-2score-0score-0score-0
Bae Suah Nowhere to be Found 철수, 1998 score-2score-2score-0score-0score-0
Bae Suah A Greater Music 에세이스트의 책상, 2003 S score-2score-0score-0score-0score-0*
Bae Suah Untold Night and Day 알려지지 않은 밤과 하루, 2013 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-2
Bandi The Accusation 고발, 2014 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-1
Chae Man-sik Peace under Heaven 태평천하, 1938 S score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Cheon Myeong-kwan Modern Family 고령화 가족, 2010 F score-2score-2score-2score-0score-0
Cheon Un-yeong The Catcher in the Loft 생강, 2010 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-2
Cho Chongnae How in Heaven’s Name 오 하느님 / 사람의 탈 F score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0
Cho Nam-joo Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 82년생 김지영, 2016 F score-2score-2score-1score-0score-0
Choe Yun There a Petal Silently Falls 저기 소리 없이 한 점 꽃잎이 지고, 1992 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Gong Ji-young Our Happy Time 우리들의 행복한 시간, 2005 F score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0
Ha Seong-nan Flowers of Mold 곰팡이꽃, 1999 S score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Haïlji The Republic of Užupis 우주피스 공화국, 2009 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Han Kang The Vegetarian 채식주의자, 2007 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-1
Han Kang Human Acts 소년이 온다, 2014 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-2
Han Kang The White Book 흰, 2016 S score-2score-2score-0score-0score-0*
Han Yujoo The Impossible Fairy Tale 불가능한 동화 , 2013 F score-2score-2score-2score-0score-0
Hwang Jungeun I’ll Go On 계속해보겠습니다, 2014 F score-2score-2score-2score-0score-0
Hwang Jungeun One Hundred Shadows 百의 그림자, 2010 F score-2score-2score-2score-0score-0
Hwang Sok-yong Shadow of Arms 무기의 그늘, 1985 score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0
Hwang Sok-yong The Old Garden 오래된 정원, 2000 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Hwang Sok-yong The Guest 손님, 2001 S score-2score-2score-2score-2score-2
Hwang Sok-yong Princess Bari 바리데기, 2007 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Hwang Sok-yong Familiar Things 낯익은 세상, 2011 score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0
Hwang Sok-yong At Dusk 해질 무렵, 2015 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-1
Hwang Sun-mi The Hen who Dreamed she could Fly 마당을 나온 암탉, 2000 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-2
Hwang Sun-won The Descendants of Cain 카인의 후예, 1954 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Hwang Sun-won Trees on a Slope 나무들 비탈에 서다, 1960 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Hwang Sun-won Lost Souls 1940 – 1957 F score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0
Hyun Ki-young Sun-i Samch’on 순이삼촌, 1978 F score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0
Hyun Kil-un Dead Silence and other stories of the Jeju Massacre 1980s F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Jang Eun-jin No One Writes Back 아무도 편지하지 않다, 2009 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-2
Jang Jung-il When Adam Opens His Eyes 아담이 눈뜰 때, 1990 F score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0
Jeon Sungtae Wolves 늑대, 2009 F score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0
Jeong You-jeong Seven Years of Darkness 7년의 밤, 2011 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Jeong You-jeong The Good Son 종의 기원, 2016 F score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0
Jo Kyung-ran Tongue 혀, 2007 S score-2score-2score-2score-0score-0
Jung Young-moon A Chain of Dark Tales 검은 이야기 사슬, 1998 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Kang Kyong-ae From Wonso Pond 인간문제, 1934 F score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0
Kang Sok-kyong The Valley Nearby 가까운 골짜기, 1989 F score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0
Kim Bo-young Kim Bo-young – I’m Waiting for You, and other stories (audiobook) 당신을 기다리고 있어, 2015 F score-2score-2score-2score-0score-0
Kim In-suk The Long Road 먼 길, 1995 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-1
Kim Joo-young Stingray 홍어, 1998 F score-2score-2score-0score-0score-0
Kim Namcheon Scenes from the Enlightenment 대하, 1939 F score-2score-2score-0score-0score-0*
Kim Sagwa Mina 미나, 2008 F score-2score-2score-0score-0score-0
Kim Sagwa b, Book, and Me 나b책, 2011 F score-2score-2score-0score-0score-0
Kim Soom One Left 한 명, 2016 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Kim Sung-dong Mandala 만다라, 1978 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-2
Kim Un-su The Plotters 설계자들, 2010 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Kim Young-ha I have the right to destroy myself 나는 나를 파괴할 권리가 있다, 1996 S score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Kim Young-ha Black Flower 검은 꽃, 2003 F score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0
Kim Young-ha Your Republic is Calling You 빛의 제국, 2006 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-1
Kim Young-ha I hear your voice 너의 목소리가 들려, 2012 score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Kim Young-ha Diary of a Murderer 살인자의 기억법, 2013 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-1
Kwon Yeo-sun Lemon 레몬, 2019 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Lee Ji-min Marilyn and Me 나와마릴린, 2009 F score-2score-0score-0score-0score-0
Lee Jung-myung The Investigation F score-2score-2score-0score-0score-0
Lee Jung-myung The Boy who Escaped Paradise 천국의 소년, 2013 F score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0
Lee Ki-ho At Least we can Apologize 사과는 잘해요, 2009 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-1
Lee Seung-u The Reverse Side of Life 생의 이면, 1992 S score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0
Oh Jung-hee The Bird 새, 2003 S score-2score-1score-0score-0score-0
Paek Nam Nyong Friend 1988 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Park Kyung-ni Curse of Kim’s Daughters 김약국의 딸들, 1962 S score-2score-0score-0score-0score-0*
Park Kyung-ni Land 토지, 1969 – 1994 S score-2score-1score-0score-0score-0*
Park Min-gyu Pavane for a Dead Princess 죽은 왕녀를 위한 파반느, 2009 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Park Wan-suh Who Ate Up All The Shinga? 그 많던 싱아는 누가 다 먹었을까?, 1992 F score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0
Park Wan-suh Lonesome You 너무도 쓸쓸한 당신, 1998 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-2
Pyun Hye-young Evening Proposal 저녁의 구애, 2011 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Pyun Hye-young The Hole 홀, 2016 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Pyun Hye-young City of Ash and Red 재와 빨강, 2010 F score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0
Pyun Hye-young Law of Lines 선의 법칙, 2015 F score-2score-2score-2score-0score-0
Shin Kyung-sook The Girl who Wrote Loneliness 외딴방, 1995 F score-2score-2score-2score-0score-0
Shin Kyung-sook Please Look After Mother 엄마를 부탁해, 2008 F score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0
Shin Kyung-sook I’ll be right there 어디선가 나를 찾는 전화벨이 울리고, 2010 F score-2score-2score-0score-0score-0
Song Sokze The Amusing Life 재미나는 인생, 1997 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Yi Chong-jun Your Paradise 당신들의 천국, 1976 S score-2score-2score-2score-0score-0
Yi Chong-jun The Abject | The Wounded 벌레 이야기, 1985 | 병신과 머저리, 1966 score-2score-2score-2score-2score-1
Yi Chong-jun Seopyeonje, the Southerners’ Songs 1976 score-2score-2score-2score-2score-2
Yi Chong-jun The Prophet and other stories 1968 – 1985 score-2score-2score-2score-2score-2
Yi In-hwa Everlasting Empire 영원한 제국, 1993 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-2
Yi Kwang-su The Soil 흙, 1932-3 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-1
Yi Kwang-su The Heartless / Mujeong 무정 / 無情, 1917- score-2score-2score-2score-2score-1
Yi Mun-yol Our Twisted Hero 우리들의 일그러진 영웅, 1987 F score-2score-2score-0score-0score-0
Yi Mun-yol The Poet 시인, 1992 S score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Yun Ko-eun The Disaster Tourist 밤의 여행자들, 2013 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Short story anthologies
Fulton (tr) Waxen Wings (2011) 1936 – 2006 F score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0
Fulton (tr) The Future of Silence (2016) 1974 – 2013 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-1
Chung Chong-wha (ed) Modern Korean Literature — An Anthology (1995) 1908 – 1965 F score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0
Pre-modern fiction
Heo Kyun (attr) The Story of Hong Gildong (2018) F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Virtuous Women – three classic Korean novels (1974) (Chunhyang, Queen Inyhon, Nine Cloud Dream) S score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0
The Tale of Cho Ung S score-2score-2score-2score-2score-1
Literature in English
Bracht, Mary Lynn White Chrysanthemum 2018 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Buck, Pearl Living Reed 1963 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Cha, Theresa Hak Kyung Dictée 1982 F score-1score-0score-0score-0score-0
Chang, Leonard Fruit ‘n’ Food 1996 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-1
Chang, Leonard Fade to Clear 2004 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-1
Church, James Inspector O series 2006 – 2016 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-1
Hong, Y Euny Kept 2006 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Johnson, Adam The Orphan Master’s Son 2012 F score-2score-2score-0score-0score-0
Kaiser, Robert A Project Yellow Sky 2006 F score-1score-0score-0score-0score-0
Kim, Crystal Hana If You Leave Me 2018 S score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0
Kim, Eugenia Kinship of Secrets 2018 S score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0
Kim, Eugenia The Calligrapher’s Daughter 2010 F score-2score-2score-2score-0score-0
Kim, Hyejin Jia – a novel of North Korea 2007 S score-2score-2score-2score-0score-0
Kim, Richard E The Martyred 1964 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-2
Kwon, R.O. The Incendiaries 2018 S score-2score-2score-0score-0score-0*
Lee, Julayne Not My White Savior 2018 S score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0
Lee, Krys Drifting House 2012 score-2score-2score-2score-2score-2
Lee, Krys How I Became a North Korean 2016 score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Lee, Min Jin Pachinko 2017 S score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
Lee, Min Jin Free Food for Millionaires 2007 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-1
Lee, Young-im Forgotten Reflections 2017 S score-2score-2score-1score-0score-0
Limón, Martin Sergeants Sueño & Bascom series 1992 – present F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0
McMillan, Ron Yin Yang Tattoo 2010 F score-2score-2score-1score-0score-0
Michell, Hannah The Defections 2014 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-1
Phillips, Jayne Anne Lark and Termite 2009 F score-1score-0score-0score-0score-0
Watkins, Yoko Kawashima So Far from the Bamboo Grove 1986 F score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0
Literature in other languages
Yu Miri Tokyo Ueno Station JR上野駅公園口, 2014 score-2score-2score-2score-0score-0
Kim Sok-pom The Curious Tale of Mandogi’s Ghost 万徳幽霊奇譚, 1970 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-1
Yuasa Katsuei Two Japanese Colonial Novels 1934-5 F score-2score-2score-2score-2score-1
Le Clezio, JMG Bitna Bitna, sous le ciel de Séoul, 2017 score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0

* Indicates that I gave up on this book. Maybe if I had got to the end I would rate it higher, but life’s too short to battle through when you’re not enjoying what you’re reading.