2015 Reading Challenge: Pair 18

18. “A Series of Unfortunate Events” by Lemony Snicket & “The Orphan Master’s Son” by Adam Johnson

Goodreads.com

Goodreads.com

Goodreads.com

Goodreads.com

The two books in this pair are “A Series of Unfortunate Events” by Lemony Snicket and “The Orphan Master’s Son” by Adam Johnson.  Here is the note from the BuzzFeed article:

In “The Orphan Master’s Son”, Adam Johnson tells a tale that could very well be described as a series of unfortunate events, and in a similar vein as Lemony Snicket’s series. It follows the young and motherless Pak Jun Do as he makes his way in North Korea, coming up against harsh demands and arbitrary violence in a thrilling and at times harrowing tale of lost innocence.

Do you agree these were good compliments?  What did you think of the books themselves?

Note: I have linked my reviews to each of the respective books as the titles in the beginning of this post.  Also, if you have not read the books, I will likely have spoilers below so watch out!

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This is another pair that I have extremely mixed feelings on.  While in “The Orphan Master’s Son” Pak Jun Do certainly does go through some aggressive series of unfortunate events, I don’t know if I could compare them to the manipulation that happens in “A Series of Unfortunate Events”.  North Korea is such a weird place and there are so many odd things that happens, I found myself mesmerized by a lot of those aspects of the book.  Additionally, I would say that while the overall story is sad, there’s an oddly uplifting aspect to the ascension throughout his life.

“A Series of Unfortunate Events” while also sad has quite a few uplifting aspects as well.  That being said, it didn’t stick with me event remotely as much as “The Orphan Master’s Son”.  Violet is a spunky heroine, but I don’t find her or the story particularly intriguing.  All in all, I can see some of the similarities between the books, but I wouldn’t agree that they’re complements.