Han Kang’s Human Acts Review via Spectator and Spooks

Human Acts, Han Kang’s second novel translated into English (and 6th overall), is breathtakingly good. Its opening follows Dong-Ho from a close second-person perspective and slowly reveals to the reader that he is surrounded by the bodies of those who were killed in the brutal put-down of the Gwangju Uprising, a real demonstration in South Korea where paratroopers opened fire on protesters. Dong Ho is helping families find the bodies of their loved ones and helping the other volunteers dispose of the unclaimed.  Kang writes that Dong-Ho is young enough that his “PE jacket is buttoned up to the top,” cleverly showing with that detail that he’s much too young to be helping families identify corpses. There are so many dead in the city that they cannot perform individual ceremonies for each of them.

Continue reading at Spectator and Spooks.

The Belko Experiment is Chaotic Fun That Needs a Peer Review via Wicked Horror

The Belko Experiment opens with Michael Milch (John Gallagher Jr., 10 Cloverfield Lane, Hush) driving through a market in Bogotá, Columbia. Two little boys in skull masks are playing. A third boy in a creepier mask stares Michael down. He looks back at the boy, and an old man selling safety charms pounds on the opposite window, jolting Michael and the audience. He buys a charm and the opening montage starts introducing the other characters to José Prieto’s upbeat, Spanish cover of “I Will Survive.”

Continue reading at Wicked Horror.