Sunday, October 25, 2015

2015 book 250

Han Kang's The Vegetarian
Publisher's Weekly is touting this as "the first must-read book of 2016," but I think that's overstating things a bit. It centers on a woman who, after an unsettling dream, becomes a vegetarian, and it's narrated in turns by her husband, her brother-in-law, and her sister--so the central figure is always something of an enigma. As a vegetarian, I found it a little weird that vegetarianism comes hand-in-hand with a mental breakdown (the depiction of vegetarianism here is not very flattering), and as a human, I didn't really enjoy all the scenes of marital rape. There's an interesting dreamy sort of atmosphere that fits thematically, but on the whole, this didn't really thrill me. It just left me with a lot more questions than answers. B.

A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be released in January. 

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