Nothing to envy: Real lives in North Korea

Nothing to envy

This book is a bit of a cheat but it is as close to a North Korean book as I am likely to find. It is written by an American, but one who interviewed and then told the stories of people born in North Korean who managed to escape to South Korean.

The readers are told the lives of the characters, interwoven with the politics of the country. As such the book is in part an example of amazing journalism, and in part a very readable story.  That North Korean exists at all in this day and age is amazing. Stuck in a pre-technology time where it is illegal for private citizens to own a car, where radios and tvs are stuck on the government issue station only, where hand holding is considered sexually inappropriate in public, North Koreans, just kilometres from Seoul, have no idea that the world out there is different from what they are experiencing.

The lives of the people in the book sound like those of pre-Industrial Revolution Westerners – and it is all happening right now.

A wonderful book that had me relating facts to friends and googling for additional information.

Well worth reading


And for interest, check out this 2009 satellite photo of North Korea

North Korea