BOOK REVIEW: The Vegetarian by Han Kang

25489025ISBN13: 9780553448184
Publisher: Hogarth
Publication date: February 2, 2016
Format: Hardback
Pages: 192 pages


Before the nightmare, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary life. But when splintering, blood-soaked images start haunting her thoughts, Yeong-hye decides to purge her mind and renounce eating meat. In a country where societal mores are strictly obeyed, Yeong-hye’s decision to embrace a more “plant-like” existence is a shocking act of subversion.


She’s a good woman, he thought. The kind of woman whose goodness is oppressive.

I’m going to share my experience while reading this book. I picked up this book out of curiosity. I’ve been seeing this book a lot on bookstagram so when I saw this at our local bookstore and it was on sale, I immediately bought it. I read it the day after and I was so engrossed while reading it! I couldn’t put the book down! It started of disturbing for me because the place was a little unsettling even the characters are a bit weird for my taste. And it was narrated in a different way – while I was reading it, I felt like I was inside the mind of the character. It was such a different experience! This was actually first published as a Korean novel and sometimes when you translate a certain book into a different language it kind of loses some of its content. But, I think this book is different – it still conveyed the same message.

I’m not sure if this book is for everyone because as I said it was disturbing and unsettling. But if you enjoy those kind of things – then try this book! It will leave you asking a lot of questions but you would still keep on reading it.

This book has three-parts and part by part you would feel more and more engrossed into the story. This story is just not about obsession, it is also about a choice and our attempt to understand others. You could also see a domino effect while reading this story, I think everything was just bottled up before and when Yeong-hye couldn’t take it more. She just shut-off.

I gave this a 4 star rating because I kinda had a hard time processing the ending. It was kind of vague for me but I think it was open for your own interpretation of what would have happened after. But this book was worth my money! I’m planning to get another book by Han Kang next month because I think I kinda started liking her writing.

Thank you for reading up until here! Till next time!

xo, Cath


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