The Orphan Master's Son

One of the more challenging books I've read in a while, The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson is the winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Set in North Korea and written in a style the New York Times calls "magical realism," the story is about an orphan, Jun Do, whose amazing life includes being a miner, kidnapper, national hero, and eventually, rival to The Dear Leader, Kim Jung Il. The book is reminiscent of Orwell's 1984 or one of my personal favorites, A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin. Told in multiple voices and filled with memorable characters and incredible circumstances, The Orphan Master's Son is long and sometimes hard to follow, but worth the effort if you can make it through.