For many language learners, the jump to read a novel in a foreign language can be quite daunting. The actual difficulty is one issue. More often than not, there is just this psychological barrier (?) that a ‘real novel’ is too difficult and that we are not ready yet..
I was the total opposite, buying novels when I was definitely not at the standard to read them (ie. few months into learning Korean) and attempting to read them anyway lol.
I always say “you will never be good unless you start”, so instead of wondering if you are of the level to read novels, just TRY.
So today I’m going to do a Korean novel review, focusing more on foreign language learners as the audience. 😀
우리들의 행복한 시간
Together with titles like 엄마를 부탁해 and 아프니까 청춘이다, it is probably one of the very popular books that you may have already heard of. And it definitely lives up to its popularity.
(Bear with my long-windedness today ><)[accordion title=”Bit of a background: (feel free to skip)”]
First got to know of the existence of the novel via Yonsei 6 Reading Textbook when I was in Yonsei during summer 2010. An extract was part of the textbook chapter and I remembered how I was so hyped and intrigued over it. I don’t know if you guys have this feeling – the super super excited kind when you are working through a puzzle and feel that you are getting there and there is so much fun things to learn?
In any case, that particularly passage holds a fond memory in my heart.
More so when I watched the movie. (a few times). I bawled my eyes out the first time round and after watching it for the 2nd time, my love for Kang Dong Won is sealed lol
The novel is also special to me because I received it as a gift from Wei Xin! 😀 [/accordion]
I strongly believe that it is a book that should be on the shelf of every Korean learner.
It is extremely well-written, has a very nuanced and grounded writing style that brought out the depth in each and every character. I don’t know how to explain but the writing style looked simple enough at first but there’s more depth (and difficulty) to it as you read on?
(that is my opinion right now)
As the first novel I read… I first tried reading it in 2012 (4 years into learning Korean) and it was … very difficult ><
To be honest, I won’t recommend it as a first novel if you are one of those that get scared when faced with a huge chunk of words
Progress was really slow and I had to pause and re-read (and re-read and re-read…). Back then, I couldn’t really parse the sentences properly. It felt like I was reading but not fully understanding.
That being said, I highly recommend this book if you are looking to expand your vocabulary bank, especially with descriptive phrases beyond that used in non-fiction books. One of those books that you can get a lot out of and if you are looking to push your Korean ability to the next level, this is a good one.
I wrote about my thoughts after finishing the novel earlier this year.
Okay, I admit that this post is harder than I thought to write. If you have any questions or ideas, please leave a comment!
I guessed I just wrote a huge chunk of text that can be summarised in two words >> HIGHLY RECOMMENDED