Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea by Guy Delisle Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea

Famously referred to as one of the “Axis of Evil” countries, North Korea remains one of the most secretive and mysterious nations in the world today. In early 2001 cartoonist Guy Delisle became one of the few Westerners to be allowed access to the fortress-like country. While living in the nation’s capital for two months on a work visa for a French film animation company,
Paul Bryant

Just seen the news about Sony’s movie The Interview and now I’m thinking – Uh oh – I hope this review doesn’t get hacked and bring Goodreads down with it! Because really, all I am trying to do is to lower the international temperature and turn those tears to smiles as we present a short musical selection we like to call

MY BRILLIANT KOREA

President Obama (dressed as a Mother Superior) :

Have you met my good friend North Korea,
The craziest nation on earth?
You’ll know it the minute you see it,
You

MY BRILLIANT KOREA

President Obama (dressed as a Mother Superior) :

Have you met my good friend North Korea,
The craziest nation on earth?
You’ll know it the minute you see it,
You’ll collapse into inappropriate mirth

Mrs Kim Jong-un (looking up from reading the New York Times):

The Jong-uns, darling we’re the Jong-uns
And Jong-uns shouldn’t be afraid
to build – socialism – while the flame is strong
Cause we may not be the Jong-uns very long

Kim Jong-un:

Climb ev’ry mountain, ford ev’ry stream
Follow ev’ry rainbow ’till you build a socialist utopia
A socialist utopia that will need all the love you can give
Everyday of your life for as long as you live

Prez Obama:

How do you solve a problem like North Korea?
How do you drag the Kims before the courts
For infecting all the people with such fear
They try to make their brains stop thinking thoughts?

Kim Jong-un:

Pyongyang is pretty, oh, so pretty,
It’s so pretty and witty and bright!
And I pity any supreme leader who isn’t me tonight.
See the great leader on that billboard there

(Cute party cadres : What billboard where?)

Who can that attractive man be?
Such a noble face, such a well-cut suit,
Such a handsome smile, such a pretty me!
I feel stunning and entrancing,
Feel like running and dancing for joy,
For I’m loved by a pretty wonderful socialist nation!

*

(oh – what? what’s that? you want a book review too? well… I suppose so…)

This is a slightly mean-spirited book which recounts all the tedium of a couple of months in Pyongyang as a Western visitor. There’s nothing much to do except visit massive monuments to Kim Il-Sung as it was in 2005 when GD went there. Or you could visit massive monuments which are in the process of being built. Or you could mutter about being told to keep your acid jazz music down because it might not be appropriate for other people to hear. Hmph! All the minor indignities any Westerner would zero in on. Guy does a lot of huffing and puffing and tutting, and thereby reveals his own appalling pettiness just as he exposes the gruesome mindsets of the North Koreans. Since we already know that Westerners are a pain in the arse when they visit foreign countries and North Koreans are all poor and oppressed and benighted, you really don’t get to learn much you didn’t already know.

Two and a half very lukewarm stars.


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Greta

This is a work of satire. Which means that trenchant wit, irony, sarcasm, parody or caricature is used to expose and discredit vice or folly, to ridicule conduct, doctrines, or institutions.
When I read the reviews, I have the impression that people tend to forget this, or that they really don’t like this genre. A considerable number of reviewers think the author is racist, misogynistic, self-righteous.

I don’t see him like that at all. His satire and politically incorrect jokes are lighthearted

I don’t see him like that at all. His satire and politically incorrect jokes are lighthearted and not really offensive, and above all, he has always a self-mocking attitude.
Probably it all depends on one’s level of tolerance. If you’re easily offended, you better avoid this.

This book was originally published in 2002, and while much of its content is common knowledge by now, I was still startled by some of the things mentioned in it.

At some point Guy Delisle was surprised by the complete absence of handicapped people in Pyongyang. When he tried to talk about it with his guide, he received this answer : “There are none. We’re a very homogenous nation. All North Koreans are born strong, intelligent and healthy”.
This struck me as curious indeed, and after some searching on the internet, I found some really upsetting information…

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/world…

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/…

7/10
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