In the midst of a violent student uprising in South Korea, a young boy named Dong-ho is shockingly killed.
The story of this tragic episode unfolds in a sequence of interconnected chapters as the victims and the bereaved encounter suppression, denial, and the echoing agony of the massacre. From Dong-ho's best friend who meets his own fateful end; to an editor struggling against censorship; to a prisoner and a factory worker, each suffering from traumatic memories; and to Dong-ho's own grief-stricken mother; and through their collective heartbreak and acts of hope is the tale of a brutalized people in search of a voice.
An award-winning, controversial bestseller, Human Acts is a timeless, pointillist portrait of an historic event with reverberations still being felt today, by turns tracing the harsh reality of oppression and the resounding, extraordinary poetry of humanity. @goodreads
This book was pretty horrific in the sense of what happened to these kids and different people in the took. I won't lie, I didn't understand some of the ways the author wrote the story but I grasped it's meaning all the same.
This is about the Gwangju Uprising in South Korea in the 80's . The author tells about really brutal deaths of people and school children. This was no peaceful protest.
There are different stories in the book that intertwine together. They are all really sad in more of a shocking way when you read it then crying your eyes out. I'm not sure if that makes sense, but I was just shocked at reading about these things, the detail of how some were killed. I don't doubt anything and shouldn't be shocked at anything, there are shocking killings and things that go on today.
The story of the people that worked on the dead that were brought to hopefully be claimed by family members was sad. How they were piling up and the volunteers trying their best to clean them and cover then depending on how badly they were beaten and there were some horrific descriptions.
How long do souls linger by the side of their bodies?
Do they really flutter away like some kind of bird? Is that what trembles the edges of the candle flame?
They have a Memorial Garden where there are graves and different memorials set up at least from what I read on the internet. I found this picture to be the most heart-wrenching and it puts across so many feelings.
I buried you with my own two hands. Removed your PE jacket and your sky-blue tracksuit bottoms, and dressed you in your dark winter uniform, over a white shirt. Tightened your belt just so and put clean gray socks on you. When they put you in a plywood coffin and loaded it up onto the rubbish truck, I said I'd ride at the front to watch over you.
Just the thought of a mother having to do that to her child because of so much stupidity, violence and ignorance makes me so sad.
I think Han Kang did a great job with this book. I really loved "The Vegetarian" but this book is on a whole other level.
Now I need to go read something happy!
*I would like to thank BloggingForBooks for a print copy of this book*