Brutal, erotic and compelling. The Vegetarian is about typical couple Yeong-hye na her husband. He works in an office, she plays the role of perfect housewife. All exists in harmony until Yeong-hye starts having terrible dreams and takes up a meat-free lifestyle. from this simple act springs an intense reaction that leads the reader down a path of subversion, power, desire and fantasy.
The Vegetarian was an intense piece of work that drew m in from the beginning. Formed into three parts each told from a different characters perspective and, yet, not the perspective of our central character. Parts one and two were amazing, five star reads for me. I found myself one hundred percent sucked in and invested in the storyline and believing in the characters. The third part fell down a little for me but it finished off the strange tale perfectly. Oddly enough I found shades of Th Natural Way of Things in it.
After devouring this in a day I can understand how The Vegetarian won the Man Booker International in 2016. It was an overwhelming and consuming read despite not even cracking two hundred pages. The vivid and compelling imagery formed in my mind so clearly that I could easily imaging it becoming an arthouse film. While this read won’t be for everyone, particularly the squeamish, I found it a wild ride and am already looking to read more of Kang’s work. A read I would recommend giving a try.