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Barbara Demick

Nothing To Envy

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By Barbara Demick

An eye-opening account of life inside North Korea—a closed world of increasing global importance—hailed as a “tour de force of meticulous reporting”

Format: Paperback
Pages: 336



In this landmark addition to the literature of totalitarianism, award-winning journalist Barbara Demick follows the lives of six North Korean citizens over fifteen years—a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung, the rise to power of his son Kim Jong-il (the father of Kim Jong-un), and a devastating famine that killed one-fifth of the population.

Demick brings to life what it means to be living under the most repressive regime today—an Orwellian world that is by choice not connected to the Internet, where displays of affection are punished, informants are rewarded, and an offhand remark can send a person to the gulag for life. She takes us deep inside the country, beyond the reach of government censors, and through meticulous and sensitive reporting, we see her subjects fall in love, raise families, nurture ambitions, and struggle for survival.

One by one, we witness their profound, life-altering disillusionment with the government and their realisation that, rather than providing them with lives of abundance, their country has betrayed them. 

Read if you: don't care that The Interview only got 51% on Rotten Tomatoes because according to you, it's the world's greatest piece of cinematic history.