Book Review: The Vegetarian by Han Kang

So I have to be honest with y’all, this wasn’t perhaps the best time to read a book like The Vegetarian, with its impending doom, brutality, and impenetrable lead character. However the book does provide an interesting escape, even in its harshness. Here’s my thoughts:

The Good
The premise of this book is really great “what happens when someone decides to stop eating meat?”. The Vegetarian just continues to expand on this and starts weaving in interesting themes such as sexism, abuse, desire, and how cultures react to changes. I liked that the book was unafraid to dig deep.

Even though I just could never really jibe with Yeong-hye as a person, I did find her unwavering life choice fascinating and wanted to gain more insights from her of why she did what she did.

The Bad
For a book that’s under 200 pages, this took me EONS to read cause the pacing and language seemed determined to keep me at a distance. I was never able to truly get into the book, no matter how fast it moved in parts.

The Ugly
I don’t normally mind being in spaces, whether TV, books, or film, where the characters are terrible people. But if you are keeping us locked in a story such as this, I think it is up to the author to give you something to latch on to. Everyone that we meet as a narrator is someone we don’t like, and so to have them telling the story of a woman who, while annoyingly steadfast, is compelling, it just slows the narrative down, particularly in the final 2 sections.