August Selection Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson

An epic novel and a thrilling literary discovery, The Orphan Master’s Son follows a young man’s journey through the icy waters, dark tunnels, and eerie spy chambers of the world’s most mysterious dictatorship, North Korea.



Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother—a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang—and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return.



Considering himself “a humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world,” Jun Do becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the absolute limit of what any human being could endure, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong Il in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress “so pure, she didn’t know what starving people looked like.”

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  • A former member
    A former member

    More N. Korea - Yahoo Financial is reporting today that Kim Jong Un's EX was executed along with others from her rock group by a firing squad using machine guns before family members and the public for allegedly creating pornography.

    1 · August 29, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This month's Atlantic has an interesting update on the U.S. soldier who got drunk and crossed the DMZ in 1965 www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/09/the-defector/309436/

    August 22, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Some of the 'comments' following the article are comical and entertaining as well. Thanks Clay!

      August 21, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Although addicting their own citizens as a by product -- not funny

      August 21, 2013

  • Simone

    Sorry to have missed out on the meeting and discussion :(

    August 15, 2013

    • Clay W.

      We missed you, Simone, but very glad you recommended this book.

      1 · August 15, 2013

    • Simone

      Thank you!

      August 15, 2013

  • Lisa

    North Korean newspaper. Quite an interesting read! http://www.rodong.rep.kp/en/

    1 · August 14, 2013

    • Clay W.

      Thanks for posting, Lisa!

      August 14, 2013

    • Clay W.

      "Let us carry on the march started from Mt. Paektu stoutly under the guidance of the dear respected Comrade Kim Jong Un!"

      1 · August 14, 2013

  • Casi

    I'm going to sit this one out, kids. Try to carry on without me!

    August 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    First time, but I'm looking forward to meeting everyone.

    1 · August 4, 2013

  • Lisa

    I know it is late notice, but if you would like to meet and chow down on some Korean food today at 12:30 (8/3), I will be at the Korea House with a friend who is also into North Korea.

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/korea-house-restaurant-and-sushi-bar-austin#query:korean%20house

    Just let me know if you plan on coming so I can get the appropriately sized table :)

    August 3, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi Lisa....would have joined, but had just finished eating a very large breakfast around 11:30 when I read your message.

      August 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    In reference to our current book selection the author of 'Born and Raised in a Concentration Camp' can be seen on www.youtube.com and uploading: 'Google tech talks author shin dong-hyak' --- During his talk Camp 14 in which the author was born and lived until escaping at age 24 is shown using Google Earth.

    1 · August 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm on the wait list at the library for both the hard copy and e-book.. but pretty far back on both. So unlikely I'll be able to make this one. :(

    July 28, 2013

    • Lisa

      I have the audiobook on CD if you would like to save it to iTunes.

      July 29, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Very kind offers to both of you! But my other book club added a 2nd meeting this month, so will just go with that selection instead since copies were readily available. Hope you enjoy the discussion!

      July 30, 2013

  • Jim D.

    Just finished the book--all 400 + pages in record time. This guy definitely knows how to write. Thanks for selecting this one!

    1 · July 29, 2013

  • E.D.

    The library does not have available copies. We rarely select books not available at the library but we are making an exception in this case.

    July 10, 2013

    • Jim D.

      There are no copies at all at APL and the two at Perry-Castaneda are checked out and have holds placed on them. I got a very good price at Amazon.

      July 16, 2013

  • Clay W.

    For DeLillo fans...Author Don DeLillo, whose works are featured in the exhibition "Literature and Sport," will be speaking next Thursday, July 25, at 7 p.m. at the Harry Ransom Center.

    July 16, 2013

  • Jim D.

    Yay!!!

    July 11, 2013

9 went

  • E.D.
    Co-Organizer, Organizer
    Event Host
  • Clay W.
    Co-Organizer
    Event Host
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member

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Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

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