I don't know what to write about this book! I have no words. I think the memoirs like these does not require any rating or review. You cannot rate someone's entire lives horrendous struggles to survival just because you have a house to live and foods on your plate. I am totally at a loss of words to explain my feelings after reading this title. I will request the readers to read it and compare it with your lives. The result will be the best rating or review you could imagine possible to this title ever written. It will definitely change your prospectives towards the life.
Ishikawa has been through a nightmare which most of us never can imagine. The book describes the worst of times for a nation in this case North Korea. The propagandist Governments harms people nobody else. The writer lays bare the going ons of a human mind when his physical and mental strength is under tremendous strain. but under the great pressure you can know a human. When one puts down the book one realises that how important the common things are to us the family, the food we eat, the mental uninterrupted state. Human beings tend to be ungrateful that is the reason eastern cultures always promote gratitude to the smallest of objects. Read it its a must read. It will remind you of Man's Search for Meaning.
Few people do complain that they aren't having a car to go to office and tired of two wheeler travel or public transport travel. Well, appreciate what life has given us. The dude, has seen a lot and never gave up, that's the spirit. Very sad story, surviving against all odds but then lots of learnings are there. All that glimmers is not gold. Also I can relate the functioning of North Korea to ways certain IT companies work these days.
This is a novel about a man and his 36 years of horrowing experience just to survive and be alive ( which do not include emotions.. only living). Also in the end even though after the escape he reaches his homeland (Japan) he finds himself in the situation where hes wandering that his stay in N Korea was horrifying experience where they had to eat poisonous weeds, tree barks and whatever edible people can think of they could eat and definitely he would have been dead with his family back in North Korea out of starvation but atleast died along with his family. Back here in Japan he is again struggling earning livelihood with some cleaning job but this time no1 around to share emotions.. being lonely.. which one is better..
This novel really shows how still in so progressive world humans are being treated by other humans.. I have no words to describe it.. It is a must read and lesson to be learnt by evryone that even a smile can change someones mood and dont throw away left over food as it can be a meal for someone starving to death.
Glad i read this book, had heard stories of North Korea. But did not find any full length articles or such. This book was what i was expecting and i wasn't disappointed. The writing, the fate of the people, all were chilling. Won''t be able to get over the books contents soon.
I never knew things about N Korea. Well, nobody knows things about N K. But yeah, this books tell good story. But beyond all, this tells the human life. It gives lessons to take home, i guess every page of the book keeps on reminding of those life lessons.
I love to read memoirs or autobiography as not everything can be experienced in this world. It's not one of the happy book you would read but you would certainly feel that you are so priveledged as compared to people described in the book.
Book flow and language is simple, I feel it is must read if you are interested to understand the life in North Korea..
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I loved the ending the author tells that though he is free, he would still have loved to die with his loved ones. It reminded me about the true story of Japanese warrior named onanda. He returned to Japan after fighting a line battle and the people applauded him, but he found it difficult to live in Japan with all the media attention. He went and settled in Brazil.
Masai Ishikawa had gone through a big ordeal. Still the story has no happy ending but this book and his story really inspires and it makes me believe that I should always be thankful to the almighty to have given such a wonderful place to live in. We all have our daily struggles and fights but the one who has courage will always win at the end. Thanks Masaji
Borders are just in the minds of people they say. Well, these don’t seem true when you read this book. The reader is filled with pity, sorrow and grief at the unimaginable state faced by human kind in some part of this world. One can’t help but wonder ‘how can a human being put through tragedy after tragedy which never seems to end’.