A terrifying true story of life in North Korea...Told in simple prose, this is a shocking and devastating tale of a country s utter contempt for its citizens. Kirkus Reviews
In his achingly straightforward memoir, Ishikawa vividly describes the horrendous conditions that the tyrannical and cultish state inflicts on its people...Ishikawa relates his painful story with sardonic humor and unwavering familial love even in the depths of despair, making human the often impersonal news coverage of mysterious and threatening North Korea. Booklist (starred review)
Like Kang Chol-hwan s The Aquariums of Pyongyang (2001) the book that spurred President George W. Bush s commitment to helping the people of North Korea Mr. Ishikawa s...descriptions of North Korean poverty are chilling, as are his accounts of the corruption and repression that dominated every aspect of life there...searing, swiftly paced. Wall Street Journal
Masaji Ishikawa was born in Japan to a Korean father but repatriated as a boy to the supposed paradise of North Korea. Newly translated into English, this account of his life and appalling times should become a classic. South China Morning Post
We often turn to books to help us understand people, experiences, and worldviews different from our own. If you re looking to further your education in 2018, pick up A River in Darkness: One Man s Escape from North Korea. In his memoir, translated from Japanese, Masaji Ishikawa recounts his turbulent childhood and life under a totalitarian regime in North Korea. Yes, you ll learn about the country s politics, leaders, and economy. But more importantly, you ll learn about the people who live there and what it s like to be on the lower end of the social hierarchy. HelloGiggles
Compulsively readable and heart-wrenching, A River in Darkness reveals the daily cruelty of North Korea s government to its poorest people. In this memoir, the victim is a young Japanese-born Korean who settles in the North with his parents, only to endure privation and abuse, as those he loves die of exhaustion, hunger, and loss of hope. Blaine Harden, New York Times bestselling author of Escape from Camp 14 and King of Spies: The Dark Reign of America s Spymaster in Korea
An Amazon Charts Most Read and Most Sold book.
The harrowing true story of one man’s life in—and subsequent escape from—North Korea, one of the world’s most brutal totalitarian regimes.
Half-Korean, half-Japanese, Masaji Ishikawa has spent his whole life feeling like a man without a country. This feeling only deepened when his family moved from Japan to North Korea when Ishikawa was just thirteen years old, and unwittingly became members of the lowest social caste. His father, himself a Korean national, was lured to the new Communist country by promises of abundant work, education for his children, and a higher station in society. But the reality of their new life was far from utopian.
In this memoir translated from the original Japanese, Ishikawa candidly recounts his tumultuous upbringing and the brutal thirty-six years he spent living under a crushing totalitarian regime, as well as the challenges he faced repatriating to Japan after barely escaping North Korea with his life. A River in Darkness is not only a shocking portrait of life inside the country but a testament to the dignity—and indomitable nature—of the human spirit.