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City of Ash and Red
City of Ash and Red: A Novel | Hye-young Pyun
5 posts | 3 read | 2 reading | 9 to read
For fans of J. G. Ballard and early Ian McEwan, a tense psychological thriller and Kafkaesque parable by the 2017 Shirley Jackson Award winnercalled an airtight masterpiece by Korea's Wall street Journal. Distinguished for his talents as a rat killer, the nameless protagonist of Hye-young Pyun's City of Ash and Red is sent by the extermination company he works for on an extended assignment in C, a country descending into chaos and paranoia, swept by a contagious disease, and flooded with trash. No sooner does he disembark than he is whisked away by quarantine officials and detained overnight. Isolated and forgotten, he realizes that he is stranded with no means of contacting the outside world. Still worse, when he finally manages to reach an old friend, he is told that his ex-wife's body was found in his apartment and he is the prime suspect. Barely managing to escape arrest, he must struggle to survive in the streets of this foreign city gripped with fear of contamination and reestablish contact with his company and friends in order to clear his reputation. But as the man's former life slips further and further from his grasp, and he looks back on his time with his wife, it becomes clear that he may not quite be who he seems. From the bestselling author of The Hole, City of Ash and Red is an apocalyptic account of the destructive impact of fear and paranoia on people's lives as well as a haunting novel about a mans loss of himself and his humanity.
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AudreyMorris
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This interesting little book is a dystopia. I think. Or maybe a man‘s descent into mental illness? Or maybe it‘s really an allegory that went over my head, as I definitely don‘t know enough about Korean history or current events to pick up on an allegory. But this was interesting and unusual. The main character is not named, and his story makes odd sense—until it doesn‘t. #intranslation #koreanlit #dystopia

24 likes1 stack add
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mhillis

Well I finished it! City of Ash and Red is disturbing and often disgusting, but I kept reading because it was well written. It‘s hard to describe this book, so here is a review (with spoilers) from Tor https://www.tor.com/2018/11/09/book-reviews-city-of-ash-and-red-by-hye-young-pyu...

Women in Translation readathon: the gap between original publication and translation spans at least 5 years

#witreadathon #womenintranslation #wit

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mhillis
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Made my TBR for Women in Translation readathon and immediately started reading a different book 🤦🏻‍♀️ So far this is intriguing - MC gets transferred to a city in another country which is in the midst of a major trash crisis, but can‘t understand exactly what is happening because he doesn‘t speak the local language well
#womenintranslation #witreadathon #korea #summersendreadathon

53 likes3 stack adds
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teafetish
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There are so many books I'm going to be reading over the next 5 days as I try and quit smoking cold turkey... A book about jazz, several Dedalus books of decadence, poetry, and this one I heard about in the Boston Review... Wish me luck! I'm certainly going to need it!

Chelleo Good luck! 🍀 7mo
teafetish @Chelleo I was waiting for anyone else to say thank you, but I'm new here so, 😎 thanks! 7mo
8 likes2 comments
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jordan_lent54

Just got to part two of a City of Ash and Red. Enjoying it so far. It‘s the first book I‘ve read by a Korean author and it‘s interesting to see the cultural differences in how the character think and behave. I‘ve noticed some things being said or happening in the book that wouldn‘t necessarily be the norm in America. Has anyone else noticed this?