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Old 12-09-2017, 01:01 PM   #1
GlenBarrington
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A River In Darkness by Masaji Ishikawa

As I write this I have just finished a wonderful breakfast of scrambled eggs, coffee, toast with marmalade, and frankly, too much bacon. I feel a bit contaminated by it after reading this book and it will be hard to not get too political given the subject of this book and the world situation. I will try, but please forgive me if I slip a bit.

This was a Kindle First Selection For December 2017, and if you havent selected your KF book for the month you should consider this book. I have cross posted this post to the Kindle review page for the book.

This is the autobiography of a half Korean Japanese man who was one of the Korean underclass in Japanese society, who were slave laborers during WW2 The North Koreans,conspired with the Japanese government to convince these people with Korean connections to return to N.K. where they were promised a wonderful new life full of promise and an education for their children. What they returned to was a society that called them "Japanese Bastards". There was no education for the children, no real jobs (unless these economically poor people brought some assets with them for bribes), and most of all, they were in a land where food was so scarce that their poverty in japan made them seem wealthy in comparison.

The author was Masaji Ishikawa, he spent more than 30 years in North Korea as a peasant, And during those 30 years, there was NEVER a time when he and his family were NOT hungry, and at times near death due to starvation. Some of his family DID die from starvation. Finally When he was certain the end was near for them all, he decided that he HAD to return to Japan, find a job, and save his family.

If you think you know North Korea from novels like "The Orphan Master's Son", this is a story an a whole different level of evil. That novel pretty much presented N.K. from the upper classes of that society, and was the imaginings of Western man. This is a true story of the peasants and the most humble of people in that same society. It presents the mudane every day evil system that those people try to survive.

I think I understand Donald Trump's desire to prevent North Korea from having nuclear weapons. NOTHING good can come from that evil regime being able to exert influence on the world. I won't comment on his tactics, but his intentions are essential to the future political and economic health of the world.

Last edited by GlenBarrington; 12-09-2017 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 12-09-2017, 08:28 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by GlenBarrington View Post
NOTHING good can come from that evil regime being able to exert influence on the world.
I agree completely. The nightmarish living conditions described by the author have probably not changed - it wouldn't be surprising if they have gotten worse, if that is possible - and the thought of this regime holding us hostage with the threat of nuclear devastation is unacceptable.
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:17 AM   #3
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I agree 100 % with you Glenn. I also got this book but have not read it yet, but I will as soon as I finish reading.( The Girl With 7 Names, a North Koreans Defectors Story ) by Lee Hyeonseo. I want to read as much as I can about what's happening in North Korea, The true accounts are just horrific, much worse than any fictional stories. It's so sad this is still happening in our life time. This Is what pure evil power is and does to a closed and isolated country.

Last edited by Wearever; 12-11-2017 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:23 PM   #4
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I just finished the book 1 minute ago and all i can say is wow. Such a good book. I ope he made good money from this book and finally can find his family. To me he is a real hero even if he did not save his family he sure tried! I am in love with this man. Reading his story was a real gift.
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