Reviews tagging Cancer

Love in the Big City, by Sang Young Park

15 reviews

secrethistory's review

Go to review page

emotional funny reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

A really beautiful book that captures queer loneliness and sadness with humor and a lot of love for those who left. More insightful than it may initially appear

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

reverie_and_books's review against another edition

Go to review page

hopeful inspiring reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

4.0

Love in the Big City by San Young Park, translated by Anton Hur - Review (🇬🇧)

“He was the first person who had ever gazed after me that way. For too long, I was caught up in the delusion that wherever I was and whatever I did, he would always be there behind me, waving.“

This novel is about Young, who freezes Marlboros for his best friend and in turn, she stocks frozen blueberries for him. It is about him caring for his sick mother, even though their dynamic is quite difficult. It is also about falling in and out of love, with wrong and right men. The title is very apt: it is about Love in the Big City and the many shapes it can take.

“Sometimes his very existence to me is the existence of love itself.”

The book consists of four parts which could stand on their own, their focus ever shifting. All are multilayered and feel very tangible — the author lets the reader very close. This feeling is probably propelled by Anton Hurs translation: in his thoughtful afterword he describes how very familiar this novel felt to his own experiences as a young gay man in Seoul.

It was a quick read. It’s hazy, a bit sad, a tad hopeful, neither shocking nor euphemistic. It feels autobiographical, but it isn’t fully. I liked the writing style, the way the narration is (not entirely) structured. 

“An excess of self-awareness was a disease in itself.”

I appreciated these pages a lot. They felt so very personal. For me, it was a 4 ⭐️ read - but please consider my rating as even more subjective than usual.


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

khakipantsofsex's review against another edition

Go to review page

emotional reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

aet_rebecca's review

Go to review page

emotional reflective sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

yellowatelier's review

Go to review page

dark funny lighthearted reflective sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

yuna's review against another edition

Go to review page

dark sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

claudiamacpherson's review against another edition

Go to review page

emotional reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.5


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

afion's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

thewordsdevourer's review against another edition

Go to review page

emotional funny reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

4.0

an understatedly melancholic yet adventurous book abt love, everyday struggles, and identity, love in the big city has surprising depth and emotional resonance, and is one that touches me deeply.

my caveats w/ the novel are its timeline and structure which are confusing at times, and the lack of continuity in characters and points of conflict between all the parts. for the latter, young's strained relationship w/ his mom is an example, as well as jaehee, who for such large a presence she has in young's life initially, basically disappears like 1/4 of the way.

aside from the aforementioned, however, i enjoy all other aspects of the novel. this book is funny and can be endearingly sweet, while also being scarily realistic in its depictions of struggles for one's dream, career, and everyday life. the bangkok setting later in the book's also delightfully surprising, and it's great seeing places from my own life feature quite prominently in a book i rly like.

the main character young has me endlessly rooting for him as he grapples w/ love and life, made doubly more complicated by his queer identity, and w/ reveals that shed more light on him in every part. there are no stereotypes and caricatures here, instead park delves into issues rarely touched upon - a minority w/in a minority - w/ young's HIV+ status and the normality yet ramifications of it, hampering young's life in frustrating ways.

what touches me most is perhaps young's relationship w/ gyu-ho, filled w/ both drama and mundanity that's multifaceted and refreshingly non-toxic. the naksan park scene is one that will stay w/ me, brimming w/ empathy and love. and although the ending is quite melacholic, i like the ambiguity of it. this book squeezes and fills my heart, and i sincerely hope more of park's works will be translated in the future, bc i for one cant wait to read them.

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

lilly_anne's review against another edition

Go to review page

emotional informative reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.25


Expand filter menu Content Warnings