Reviews tagging 'Racial slurs'

Human Acts by Han Kang

1 review

katiemcgregor's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional informative reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


To call Human Acts heart wrenching would be a misnomer. This book shook me to the very core of my soul. Kang does a magnificent job of introducing her readers to a historical event, they very likely haven't heard before, not through a dull recount of names and dates, but through the grief and destruction left in it's wake. The stories of those who live are just as tragic as of those who die and the whole book feels eerily close to non-fiction.

My main misgiving with Human Acts is the switches in perspectives. I found the second person perspective so jarring that, ironically, it was difficult to put myself in the shoes of the characters whose stories were told from this point of view. Along with the fact that I read a translation, the book is simply stilted in some places where it likely isn't in the original transcript.

I wouldn't say these issues prevent Human Acts from being effective in it's mission. Kang asks questions about humanity that are impossible to answer, but still left me steadily weeping through every section; not the intense type of crying that leaves you dehydrated, but the silent tears that can't be stopped because it feels like there's no other way to grapple with the unimaginable cruelties of this world. 

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