Dec 02, 2020
One Hundred Shadows
Posted by Hwang Jungeun Jung Yewon

An oblique, hard edged novel tinged with offbeat fantasy, One Hundred Shadows is set in a slum electronics market in central Seoul an area earmarked for demolition in a city better known for its shiny skyscrapers and slick pop videos Here, the awkward, tentative relationship between Eungyo and Mujae, who both dropped out of formal education to work as repair shop assistAn oblique, hard edged novel tinged with offbeat fantasy, One Hundred Shadows is set in a slum electronics market in central Seoul an area earmarked for demolition in a city better known for its shiny skyscrapers and slick pop videos Here, the awkward, tentative relationship between Eungyo and Mujae, who both dropped out of formal education to work as repair shop assistants, is made yet uncertain by their economic circumstances, while their matter of fact discussion of a strange recent development the shadows of the slum s inhabitants have started to rise leaves the reader to make up their own mind as to the nature of this shape shifting tale Hwang s spare prose is illuminated by arresting images, quirky dialogue and moments of great lyricism, crafting a deeply affecting novel of perfectly calibrated emotional restraint Known for her interest in social minorities, Hwang eschews the dreary realism usually employed for such issues, without her social criticism being any less keen As well as an important contribution to contemporary working class literature, One Hundred Shadows depicts the little known underside of a society which can be viciously superficial, complicating the shiny, ultra modern face which South Korea presents to the world.

  • Title: One Hundred Shadows
  • Author: Hwang Jungeun Jung Yewon
  • ISBN: 9781911284024
  • Page: 391
  • Format: Paperback
  • One Hundred Shadows An oblique hard edged novel tinged with offbeat fantasy One Hundred Shadows is set in a slum electronics market in central Seoul an area earmarked for demolition in a city better known for its shiny

    Paul

    4.5 starsMy first foray into Korean literature, and a very positive one from tilted axis press look them up It is set in Seoul in a rundown electronics market which is scheduled for demolition The book revolves around Eungyo and Mujae who have both dropped out of school and are working as repair shop assistants They develop a friendship which the novel follows This is a novel about the underside of modern life and about the urban poor The prose is spare and lyrical, but doesn t fall into the tra [...]


    Maria Chnoic

    I thought to myself that even if my shadow had drawn me deep into the woods, so deep that I never returned, someone would still have stuck flyers on the door, and pizzas would still have been sold The Fantasy elements in this novella are surreal and open to interpretation I enjoyed it, for an urban fantasy novel, it s very grounded in reality This is a story set in Seoul and follows two young people called Eungyo and Mujae Both of them work in an electronics market that is compared to a slum and [...]


    Paul Fulcher

    Money is a powerful thing, Mr Yeo said that the government had made a show of digging up the first shovelful themselves, then quietly handed over the shovel that was how they d always been, and that nothing ever changes Then he swore a couple of times, Lately he said, the shadows have been starting to dominate.Some days when he came to work it was his shadow that went in front of him by Hwang Jung eun has been translated into English as One Hundred Shadows by Jung Yewon.This is the 2nd book from [...]


    Ashley Owens

    Great writing style and and very odd unique story but I have no idea wtf I just read.


    Katie Lumsden

    A very enjoyable and interesting read I loved the writing and the subtle magic realism, and the relationship between the two central character is very well done.


    Kaitlin

    This book was one of the ones sent out to me in the march Mothbox which is run by Mercedes I was certainly drawn to the book becuase of the superb cover and peculiar sounding tale within, and I quickly decided to read it as a good little break between the mammoth books I am currently reading for TomeTopple.This is a story set in South Korea which follows two young people Eungyo and Mujae Both of them work in a run down, sprawling and chaotic market which runs the risk of being shut down, but the [...]


    Angelica

    This reminds me of Murakami in that the minutiae of life is exposed to tell a story There are some cool fantastical elements happening I liked it.


    Hà Linh

    Just don t follow your shadow, he said You have to be careful not to follow, even if it does rise view spoiler One Hundred Shadows, ti u thuy t u tay c a Hwang Jungeun, k v cu c s ng c a nh ng con ng i nh b l m vi c t i c c c a h ng bu n b n tu s a thi t b thu c m t khu trung t m i n t l u i n m gi a l ng Seoul hi n i Khi m i tr ng s ng b e d a b i nh ng quy t nh v t nh c a t ng l p gi u c h n v nhi u quy n l c h n, b ng c a h nh ng ng i g n nh v danh ch c g i b ng h ho c b ng t n kh ng h , lu n [...]


    Alice Lippart

    Strange, atmospheric and slightly sad Really enjoyed the themes and the magical realism.


    Vanessa

    BookTube A Thon Book 1 Read a book in a day Review to follow.


    Marie-Therese

    3.5 stars.An odd and lovely little book Its straightforward narrative style contrasts well with subtle uses of fantasy and a fresh and delicate presentation of new love I would like to read by this author.


    Claire McAlpine

    Ethereal, dream like, accepting of their fate South Korean working class literature.Two young people work in an electronics market and slowly develop a friendship We meet Eungyo as she is following her shadow, causing her to become separated from the group she is with Mujae follows her and stops her Shadows rise and seem to lure one to follow it, something that others try to prevent, for it feels death like.Although it is never explained the constant mention of human shadows and their various be [...]


    Victoria

    Jung Yewon s translation of Hwang Jungeun s One Hundred Shadows is as ethereal and flowing as the plot The spooky fairytale like notion that your shadow can rise up and lead you to your demise is woven through the reality of a young woman working in a soon to be demolished electronics market.This novel is a quick read, but sometimes gets muddled due to the diliberate lack of punctuation relating to the dialogue However this is probably an intended effect and it would do me good to read the book [...]


    Røbert

    A couple developtheir relationship against a backdrop of a world where shadows are not doing as expected Nothing is quite clear or explained as the characters navigate a shifting environment Above all, the style of writing contributes to this otherness, a very light touch and perfectly captures real but confusing short conversations Reminiscent of Murakami Huruki at his best, but pared back to essentilas and poetic A read that will subtley echo and haunt you afterwards.


    Alessandra

    This was my first excourse into Korean fiction, which has it s own writing style similar to the Japanese one.The story of One Hundred Shadows follows Eungyo It never was mentioned how old she is, but my guess would be that she is in her 30s This is a guess only though In the beginning of the book we widnes how her friend Mujae finds her in the woods after she followed her shadow without noticing it What follows is a short, but interesting story about different meeting of people with their shadow [...]


    Marisa

    So torn on this one Really loved the beautiful writing and eery feel, but I can t honestly say I understood what the heck was going on 3.5 4 stars.


    Tommie

    I suppose the Murakami comparisons will be inevitable, but I liked the spare, sometimes aloof, mediations on topics from gentrification to loneliness much better than anything I ve read of him.


    JJ

    Well, that was a ramble One Hundred Shadows is a story of a small handful of people among the poor of South Korea They have shadows which are symbolic The actual plot of this novel is minimal It consists mainly of episodes in the lives of Mujae and Eungyo, who are lovers or are they being chased by symbolic shadows in an electronics market which the government wants to demolish.This is a book I read for the blurb I m not entirely sure how I came across it One day I didn t have it, and then on an [...]


    Beth Chats Books

    4 star read This book had beautiful imagery I loved the repeated metaphor of shadows rising and floating away I also loved the personification of people s shadows and how they became the representation of characters inner turmoils within the novel The world Hwang Jungeun created was bleak yet intoxicatingly mystical and alluring The characters of Eungyo and Mujae were fascinating and their romance captivating I loved the subtleties in this novel A very well composed novel.


    Ajla

    I like the writing style and it s a quick read, but I have no idea what I just read.


    Jim

    The book s publisher describes this book as a mix of oblique fantasy, hard edge social critique, and offbeat romance I m not sure I can do any better It was inspired apparently by the Yongsan Tragedy which, predictably enough, I d never heard of and I doubt many outside Korea will have but instead of tackling the story head on and trying to produce something like the documentary film Two Doors Hwang Jungeun here provides a thoughtful and even poetic take on not so much the tragedy itself but wh [...]


    Julianne (Outlandish Lit)

    Yeah, like me, I said, and then it hit me I looked down at my feet, and sensed something odd about the way they were outlined, against the pine cones and white oak leaves splayed over soft soil My shadow, spread out thin, very thin, stretched out from the little toe of my right foot all the way into the thickets.If you like your novellas in translation with a hint of creepy magical realism, this is the one for you Set in a slum electronics market in South Korea, a girl starts to notice that her [...]


    Callum McAllister

    A delicate novel with some pretty delicious writing The highlights for me were all the bits to do with poverty in Seoul and the way she captures a modern urban landscape while keeping it all eerie and scrappy.


    Julie

    I picked this up as part of a Moth Box service and chose to read it as something short and lighter whilst participating in the Tome Topple Challenge, reading Anna Karenina This may well have spoiled the book for me I read it in small chunks and have since realised and been told that it is better to be read in one sitting.We have two narrators and we often have to work out who is narrating A bit confusing to start with, but I got used to it We are placed in an alternate world where people have sh [...]


    Teresa

    A quiet love story combined with a story of gentrification in Seoul It focuses on a small business with only two employees that will soon be facing relocation This book was a quick read with likable characters and a simple, calm and beautiful writing style It also has a supernatural element that is woven within the realistic world of the novel.I m not sure if this story will stick with me for a long time, but I definitely enjoyed the time I spent reading it.


    Daniel Carrol

    The premise central to the book, that one s shadow can rise when people are vulnerable, lonely, sad and lead them to their demise really got under my skin, that when we re at a low ebb this very real, visible and dangerous sign of our struggles is visible to everyone The discussions that Eungyo and Mujae have about their position in a world that is falling apart are written with real emotional depth.


    Steve Walsh

    Korean author Hwang Jungeun introduces us to Eungyo and Mujae in a slightly strange and hypnotic world where real things are happening, often not in the way they seem The shadows are always there, sometimes a little stronger, sometimes a little weaker but never quite leaving us A beautifully written and quite entrancing novella.


    Alexandre Coates

    An unusual, but moving tale, filled with spare but moving prose I really enjoyed it, and felt immersed in the world despite not really feeling that anything I say could explain to others what draws me in about it Worth your time for certain, even if you don t normally step too far out of your comfort zone with books The atmosphere will carry you.


    Kate Walton

    A really nice short tale about two young Koreans and their shadows The creepiness of the shadows rising seems like a normal occurrence in this world, and I enjoyed the casualness with which it was discussed.


    Hannah Jervis

    Beautiful and haunting The only reason it didn t get five stars was that there were some editing mistakes that were a little jarring and pulled me out of the story a bit, but other than that it was wonderful.



    • [One Hundred Shadows] Δ Hwang Jungeun Jung Yewon
      391 Hwang Jungeun Jung Yewon