Friday, November 7, 2014

Sad Peninsula review in the Literary Review of Canada

So I'm very excited to report that there is a lengthy review of Sad Peninsula printed in the November issue of the Literary Review of Canada. The review, written by Laurentian University's Tomasz Mrozewski, is not online unfortunately, but here is a sample of what it has to say:

Sad Peninsula, Sampson's second novel, after Off Book, draws on the author's three years in Seoul to paint a fabulously rich picture of expat life revealing what Facebook posts and email from your sons and daughters abroad might not. Sampson's Seoul will be instantly recognizable to many expats, whether they had participated in the hedonistic throb of Itaewon, Hongdae or any one of a dozen bar districts across the country, or just saw their colleagues limp into work after nights filled with cheap drinks and drama.

Mrozewski, who taught in Korea in 2007/08, goes on to praise my characterizations and several of the themes weaving their way through Michael's section of the novel.

The review isn't all positive. In the last quarter or so, it criticizes Eun-young's entire thread of the novel, calling it "dry and didactic" and lacking in the rich nuance of Michael's section. It's interesting to hear a reviewer say this, as the exact opposite critique has been levied against the book from some commenters on Goodreads and Library Thing. It just goes to show that different readers can come at material from different - or, in this case, completely opposite - angles and with different expectations. At any rate, I'm grateful for Mrozewski's honest appraisal of the novel, even the parts he didn't like.

Anyway, the issue of LRC is on news stands now, so go check it out for yourself!


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