Book review: Almond
I am consciously trying to read more Asian authors lately and I came across a young adult fiction called Almond, which is a very unique story about a boy named Yunjae who suffers from a brain condition called Alexithymia, which makes it hard for him to feel emotions like fear, love, anger or sadness. He lives alone but doesn’t get lonely because he can’t feel it in the first place. The book takes us through his emotionless life which ironically enough, is quite moving for the readers.
Almond is written by South Korean writer Sohn Won-pyung and is a pacey read, with brief chapters and a pretty straightforward writing. The book is brimming with the culture and contemporary lifestyle in urban South Korea and gives a fascinating insight.
Even though it’s a book that is dominated by a medical condition which affects the protagonist, there aren’t a lot of medical jargon so it’s not a very difficult book to read. It gives you glimpses of all that is happening through the boy’s eyes and the way the story unfolds will haunt you because you do feel unlike the main character. It’s a bit dark but a good, short read and the translation in English has been done wonderfully and the prose is very flowy so you can read it fast and finish it in one sitting