Friday, November 25, 2011

Native Speaker by Chang-Rae Lee (GRADE B-)

I recently finished Native Speaker by Chang-Rae Lee.

This book is about a Korean American New Yorker who works as a kind of spy for a company that digs up dirt about prominent people in society.  The main character, Henry Park, spies on an up-and-coming korean politician by being a member of his political team.  In the meantime, Henry is estranged from his non-korean american wife.

This book is not plot-driven.  It is more about the character of Henry Park.  If you like Henry's character and care for Henry's character, you will probably like the book but if you do not, you probably will not.  I, unfortunately, did not like Henry as a character; even though I, myself, am a korean american, Henry's character and struggles did not resonate with me.

I don't think that anyone can deny that Chang-Rae Lee is a talented writer; his prose was beautiful.

The pacing of the book was rather slow.  It was too slow for me and I feel that I have a great patience for slow moving stories.  It is probably because I didn't really like the character of Henry Park.

Overall, the writing was excellent but the character and the story was lacking to me.  (But I can see why other people would love love love this book; sadly, I was not one of them.)  I found this book to be a chore to read and get through.  Sorry.  I grade this book a B--.

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