The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson, 2013

After finishing The Orphan Master’s Son, my first reaction would be to drag you to the closest library/book shop, to put the said book in your trembling little hand and to make you read it ! It is just amazing.

It takes you in a word where everything has been decided for you : who you will be, who you’ll marry, what you’ll think…

It makes you wonder about the very concept of identity : what makes you who you are ? Your name ? Your parents ? Your past ? Your actions ? Your dreams ?

It treats very personal and timeless questions without answering them for you. It holds your hands through the reflection that ensues. It also depicts a political system that is so completely aberrant for Occidental people and so very normal for so many other countries. It definitely makes your put your whiny and small everyday problems into some sort of perspective.

From a literary point of view, the variation of viewpoint in the second part, makes the narration more vivid and dynamic. The biased “Propaganda voice”‘s stories are contradicted by the other characters’s stories. The main character changes his identity half way through which brings a new perspective to the entire story. In, many aspects it reminded me of a modern 1984, with very actual political preoccupations.

I give a well deserved 9/10.


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