It’s been a while since we’ve had a review here at Daily Mayo! This is, of course, my fault. 🙂
It’s harder for me to read new books these days with a new little baby in the house. However, my husband did buy me a Kindle for Mother’s Day, so that is why I was able to finish a few books recently! It’s easier to hold an e-reader and a baby at the same time than holding an actual book and a baby.
So, on to the review!
Note: I received a free copy of this book from Alex Clermont. All opinions, are my own. You can read more about Alex’s work on his website.
Book: Eating Kimchi and Nodding Politely: Stories About Love, life, Death, and Discovery From an American in South Korea
Author: Alex Clermont
Year Published: 2012
Morality Rating: PG-13, I guess, for some sexual references
Readability Rating: 2 stars
An American English teacher discusses his thoughts, interactions, and students during his two years in South Korea.
When I first started this book, I thought there was no way I would be able to finish. I really felt like I had just opened up this man’s diary and started reading. There was zero editing or cohesion that I could see. I almost quit reading it after the first chapter or two, but mostly continued because the book was so short (less than 100 pages, if I remember correctly). After a while, I did get drawn into the stories somewhat, much like you would become interested in anyone’s story about traveling abroad.
Characters: Since this was a non-fiction story, all characters were real, or at least based on real people, I assume. It was hard to identify which characters were who, because the story jumped around a lot and some characters were never introduced. My favorite characters were his students.
Plot: I was disappointed in the plot of this story. I felt with a little more editing, or something to tie the lose stories together, the book would have been much better.
Setting: This book was set in South Korea, but the story didn’t really cover much about what the city looked like, or felt like, or anything. The book was more of a character sketch of the people that he met rather than a true overview of his stay in the area.
Writing Style: The writing style was too casual for my liking. I have a feeling that he was trying to go for an overly-casual style, because he certainly seems educated, and I don’t think you get to become an English teacher without knowing how to write (maybe I’m wrong). But whether intentional or not, I was not a fan.
I was not a fan of this book. To me, it felt like he simply took his diary entries from that period and published them as is. I was rather surprised to see that this book was available in paperback as well as e-book, mostly because it seemed way too short and unedited to count as a real book. It makes me more convinced than ever that it is possible to publish anything these days.