Where he was once a World War Two prison guard, Yuichi Watanabe is now himself, held captive. During his incarceration as a 'low-level war criminal' by the Americans, he has time to remember his experiences in the notorious Fukuoka Prison: the Korean prisoners, the Japanese guards and particularly the investigation he undertook to find the killer of the prison guard Sugiyama Dozan. What he discovers is unexpected given Sugiyama's reputation as the 'Butcher' and leads to Yuichi's exposure to the Korean poet Yun Dong-ju.
Inspired by a true story, this novel is not only a complex murder mystery but a celebration of the power of literature and the resilience of the human spirit. Translated from the Korean. [Larger font]
Members enjoyed the geo-political context of the the book, and the role of poetry in shaping the narrative.
Mixed response from members. Some loved it, others not so keen.
Everyone enjoyed the book. Beautifully written and an interesting take on a true story. History compelling.
Our Club loved this book, and after having 'The Lost Wife' we had been discussing, "Where are the books on P.O.W. life from the other side" This is one such book, not only from 'the other side' but also 2 different cultures. Members loved the integration of the poetry.
A beautifully written book, and thoroughly enjoyed by most of our group. Another insight into war atrocities.
This book more than any other, received wildly diverse responses. 3 members found it engaging, unique and quite magical. Two others found it interesting and different. The remainder either could not read it past the first few pages or gave up, mainly because they found the material too grim, did not like the poetry and did not enjoy the writing. Those of us who enjoyed it are looking forward to reading more by this author. We thought the translation was quite beautiful.
"A really good read." " An exciting murder mystery and well written to boot." "Too hard to get into."
The book excited a great deal of discussion. Most of us really enjoyed it, but a couple found it a little too grim (although all did finish it in the end, and appreciated the writing and thoughts it provoked). Those who read the notes reported that they were excellent.
Half the group barely got past the first page....The other half highly recommend it - a very powerful, sometimes difficult but ultimately rewarding book. Lots of discussion!
Our group had a variety of views about this book. It created much discussion - both literary and historical.
There was a mixed reaction to The Investigation from our group. Some found the book an interesting read and 'whodunit' with a lot of well executed and unexpected twists, and some also went into further reading about Korea. Others found the content a bit too harrowing, gruesome and cruel.