Age: 23

Pages: 77 / 188; 41%
ISBN: 9780553448184

The Reason for the Reaping: Winner of the Man Booker International Prize in 2016, Deborah Smith’s translation of this South Korean work makes me want to read it. It’s also supposed to creepy…what’s so creepy about vegetarianism? Also, it was just tossed out of the Tournament of Books 2k17. RIP The Vegetarian.

As I Lay Summarizing: After having a dream, Yeong-hye commits herself to vegetarianism. Told mostly from her husband’s POV, we see he is less than pleased. Also, yes, this is real creepy omg.

The Line That Killed Me: Why? Why am I changing like this? Why are my edges all sharpening–what I am going to gouge?” (41). Death by the oppressive ominous.

Best Character: Yeong-hye

Why [As] You Like It: ugh So sickly sweet! Smith’s translation seems to maintain the integrity of Kang’s original, creeping, stifling work. Evokes creepy-crawlies with every development in the best way. Plus, the setting in South Korea really amplifies the tension, and gives a glimpse into a society I don’t know too much about.

Why I’m Gone, Girl: Even so, Kang might be relying a bit too much on shock factor (ikr how does a novel about a vegetarian have shock factor) to move the plot along. With the sort of oppressive tone throughout, it’s hard to tell where we’re going, and making my skin crawl for no good reason is not my cup of tea.

 Last Line, Last Chance: “‘…there is to it.'”

Will I turn the page, or toss it into Mount Doom?

Of course I will. This won for a reason, and I like where’s it going, even if I don’t know where that is quite yet. Also, I’m not sure if I’m persuaded to become a vegetarian.


One thought on “The Vegetarian by Han Kang

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