Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Book Review: "The Vegetarian" by Han Kang

I may have had unfairly high expectations for this book. After reading the summary and other people's reviews I thought "hooray another weird book!" I have a soft spot for the weird, dark books out there and coming off of Mr Splitfoot and The Beautiful Bureaucrat recently I was hoping for another winner, but this one didn't jive for me like I had hoped.

A young woman decides to become a vegetarian one day. Her husband does not take it really well, he thinks that it reflects badly on him, especially since she doesn't articulate why in a way he would like. She just says that it's because of her dreams. Her husband is not the only one who doesn't just roll with the punches on this one. It becomes a whole thing, to the point where her dad slaps her and tries to force feed her meat during what might be one of the most terrible family dinners on record in literature.

*Just an aside- if my husband decided to stop eating meat I would 1) ask him if he was serious 2) tease him for 10 minutes about he was never on board for Meatless Monday and now he's a vegetarian? 3) get passed it. Why do the people in the book take it so seriously? Like that the fabric of their family is torn in two because one of them doesn't eat me. Cultural? No one wants to be different? I think maybe one of the reasons that this book didn't resonate with me as much was I spent a lot of time being like "Is this a metaphor? Does this represent something?" and I got in too deep trying to analyze it.*

Anyway, the book chronicles how this decision has a ripple down effect through the family. There's infidelity, hospitalization, rape, and a "munching on a bird on a park bench" incident.

I never felt like I got into this book, but it is getting rave reviews from others so if it sounds like something that would get you interested please pick it up!

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Blogging for Books

1 comment:

  1. Sorry this one didn't work so well for you. I was actually surprised that it worked so well for me because during that first section, I almost bailed. Alllllmost.


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