A review by rieviolet
Love in the Big City, by Sang Young Park
- Plot- or character-driven? Character
- Strong character development? Yes
- Loveable characters? Yes
- Diverse cast of characters? Yes
- Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes
I didn't like as much the third and fourth sections ("Love in the Big City" and "Late Rainy Season Vacation"). I think those parts just resonated less with me and I wasn't as much captured by the narrative (which sometimes jumped a little confusingly between time lines) and by its style.
The ending felt a little bit abrupt, I wasn't expecting nor I actually wanted a perfect resolution (I think it would have clashed too much with the overall tone of the novel and the narrative line), I just would've liked it to finish at a different point, in a slightly different way.
Also, I really liked the main character's sense of humour, his funny and a bit dry voice made for a very engaging narrative but I think that this wittiness was more evident in the first section and then became a bit more sparse in the following ones.
All in all, this was a really good book and I'm very glad I've got to read about the experience of queerness in South Korea.
I have to briefly mention the "Acknowledgements" section because reading the author's own words made me really emotional. I especially loved and was moved by the very last paragraphs.
When I write - or when I'm going about my day - I sometimes feel as vague and uncertain as if I'm all alone wandering through a cloud of dust, but sometimes I feel a warmth, like my hands have touched something. I want to call that something love. I know all too well how this emotion called love, how the word itself, can easily crumble into nothing, but all I can do is tightly grip this tiny bit of warmth and embrace it with all my might. Just so I can live on as myself. Just so I can live this life as myself and myself alone.
Graphic: Child abuse, Sexism, Forced institutionalization, Chronic illness, Alcohol, Homophobia, Toxic relationship, Cancer, Medical content, and Sexual content
Moderate: Outing, Mental illness, Grief, Suicide attempt, Religious bigotry, Alcoholism, Fatphobia, Abortion, Suicidal thoughts, and Infidelity
Minor: Death and Car accident