Raw language, hard hitting and realistic story

4stars

Lost Seoul – by John Mayston – Review

single_review

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That fact alone for me is worth the price and much more appealing than the storyline itself which is full of suspense nonetheless. I also love how the thoughts of the character are written in italics so that it is easy to differentiate between them and actual spoken dialogs.

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You may or may not like the guts of this book, but the fact remains that John Mayston spares no details to tell you that life can sometimes be hard, indeed very hard. You may hate the raw language of the book, you may also hate the hard hitting storyline and secretly wish that life had dealt with Charlotte Dunn better; however then, the story won’t be as realistic and relatable for me as it is. It is a bitter fact that life can sometimes be cruel, fate can be drastic and sometimes all you have is yourself to deal with the unforeseen circumstances and calamities you face. One of the reasons why we love sweet romances with happy endings is because our own life is often far from happy and perfect (the way we would like it to be); however, I am different because I prefer such realistic and gritty storylines to mainstream romances. Perhaps I want to vicariously feel what people who are far less fortunate than me have to go through.

I don’t like the naive and weak heroines of mainstream romances which is why I scarcely read them (Nicholas Sparks comes to mind; yuck!). Thankfully, the heroine of this book does not remain naive for too long; some of the similar books I have read had heroines with a ‘poor me’ label stuck on them all the time; fortunately, the heroine in this book grew from a stupid and naive damsel to a strong woman. That fact alone for me is worth the price and much more appealing than the storyline itself which is full of suspense nonetheless. I also love how the thoughts of the character are written in italics so that it is easy to differentiate between them and actual spoken dialogs.

And speaking of dialogs, I doubt you would get them any rawer and grittier than this:

“‘Wake up, wake up!’

This time it is Mr Yi who shakes me awake. Mr Choi, who’s looking as menacing as usual, is standing behind Mr Yi, letting him do all the physical work.

‘Get off me! Leave me alone,’ I plead pathetically.

‘Where is it?’ Mr Choi demands.

‘Where is what? I don’t know what you’re talking about,’ I reply, suddenly feeling fully alert.

‘You know what.’

He nods to Mr Yi, who duly obliges and shakes me again, more vigorously than before.

‘Mr Lee lose phone last night,’ Mr Choi continues. ‘I think you take it.’

‘No, I didn’t take it. I don’t know anything about it,’ I lie.

Mr Choi comes closer, while Mr Yi, who has stopped shaking me, pins me down to the bed.

‘I ask again. Where you put phone?’

‘I don’t know where it is! Search the room if you don’t believe me,’ I challenge him.”

Being told from a first person narrative, we learn about all the thoughts of the character; for example, the vacillating nature as well as the shaken self-esteem of the character is clearly brought out by this passage:

“Who can I text or call? Perhaps I should text Rach or, even better, call Joe – tell him I’m at the airport. That will show him that I can do it. But what if he tries to change my mind? I can’t call him. For God’s sake woman, call Rachel instead!”

What I did not like about the book: although mostly written well, the book has some choppy sentences; I believe that some of the same things could have been said in a more beautiful manner, but maybe this is the author’s style or perhaps this is how the author wants to show us the rather disturbed state of the character’s mind:

“It’s a twelve-hour flight so I go to the bookshop to peruse the shelves. Having purchased a book I wander back to the waiting area and watch the screen.”

But anyway, such a minor flaw aside, I found it worth my time. To my mirth, the “naive little girl has finally grown up,” and after reading her story, I feel I have grown up as a person too! Recommended!

Conclusion Rating
4 stars

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