A review by katherinevarga
Human Acts by Han Kang

challenging dark emotional reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


This is not the most comforting book to be reading when white supremacists are storming the Capital at the behest of a would-be fascist authoritarian.... but it was too good (and too short) not to finish, so I powered through.

I loved the structure of the book - the first section is "The Boy, 1980" and each subsequent section focuses on another person haunted by the boy's death, leading up to "The Writer, 2013". The writing made me think about death, guilt, and the trauma of sharing stories in new ways. I had to skim past some of the violence and torture - although some of the calmer scenes (like a theatre director finding out he can't do his play, or the mom thinking she's seen her dead son) made my eyes tear up.

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