Nothing To Envy by Barbara Demick

Nothing To Envy

By Barbara Demick

  • Release Date: 2010-06-03
  • Genre: Asia
Score: 4.5
From 67 Ratings
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North Korea is Orwell’s 1984 made reality: it is the only country in the world not connected to the internet; Gone with the Wind is a dangerous, banned book; during political rallies, spies study your expression to check your sincerity. After the death of the country’s great leader Kim Il Sung in 1994, famine descended, and Nothing to Envy – winner of the 2010 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction – weaves together the stories of adversity and resilience of six residents of Chongin, North Korea’s third-largest city. From extensive interviews and with tenacious investigative work, Barbara Demick has recreated the concerns, culture and lifestyles of North Korean citizens in a gripping narrative, and vividly reconstructed the inner workings of this extraordinary and secretive country.


  • Nothing to Envy - great read

    By Gotster
    If you want to get a sense of what life is like in North Korea this is a good book to dip your toe. Putting it down is hard to do when your imagination starts to get involved in the situations of those people.
  • Really enjoyed

    By Del_1990
    Great book, excellent insight to the mad way North Korea was run!
  • Awesome Read!

    By Has R
    One of the best books I have read without doubt. I actually felt, the events were happening in front of me. It seemed like i was interacting with the characters of d book to that extent that once the book got over I thought I lost touch with 6 friends (the characters). Was definitely overwhelmed.
  • Excellent

    By Hotpilchards
    Occasionally a non fiction writer will cross the line between showing and telling, transporting the reader into the shoes and world they are trying to describe. In this book one is truly engaged, without being drowned in painful facts or agonising lengthily description. The true horror and pain and the courage of the North Korean people is shown intelligently and with what appears to be simplicity. A clever, moving and essentially informative book, both heartbreaking and wonderful.
  • Wow!

    By Essenceofman
    I have read less than a dozen books, of my own undertaking, in my life. None of those books has gripped me as this one has. I felt utterly transported, as if watching the events of real North Korean lives unfold before me, in some kind of glass bubble. Highly recommended.
  • Outstanding

    By fourteener
    What an incredible book. A fantastic insight into the most secretive country on earth, straight from the experiences of the few people who have managed to leave. A must-read for those who have an interest in North Korea & those who think they're own country is not so great. Thank you so much
  • Amazing book!

    By Onionbreath12
    What an eye opener! I couldn't put this book down, it is one of the best books I have ever read. I can't recommend it highly enough ...... a 'must read' :)