Author: Han Kang · Authors · Book Reviews

Book Review » The Vegetarian by Han Kang

Title: The Vegetarian

Han Kang

Contemporary, Fiction.

ISBN:  9781846276033

Published: 2015

Publisher: Portobello Books

Format: Paperback

Pages: 183

Goodreads Synopsis: Yeong-hye and her husband are ordinary people. He is an office worker with moderate ambitions and mild manners; she is an uninspired but dutiful wife. The acceptable flatline of their marriage is interrupted when Yeong-hye, seeking a more ‘plant-like’ existence, decides to become a vegetarian, prompted by grotesque recurring nightmares. In South Korea, where vegetarianism is almost unheard-of and societal mores are strictly obeyed, Yeong-hye’s decision is a shocking act of subversion. Her passive rebellion manifests in ever more bizarre and frightening forms, leading her bland husband to self-justified acts of sexual sadism. His cruelties drive her towards attempted suicide and hospitalisation. She unknowingly captivates her sister’s husband, a video artist. She becomes the focus of his increasingly erotic and unhinged artworks, while spiralling further and further into her fantasies of abandoning her fleshly prison and becoming – impossibly, ecstatically – a tree.

MY RATING: 5.5 Starts


Fist of all you need to know that is book is disturbing, this story is kinda disturbing but still, in my opinion, seriously amazing !

When I started reading this book I was like “seriously ? are you effing kidding me ?” cause you have no idea how veganism is criticized in this book (in the beginning), you really have no ideia how frustrating it is for a vegan to read such bad things about strict vegetarians, what some characters say in this book is what people in real life actually say to vegan people and that is seriously so so soooo annoying ! At some point you have a huge criticism to veganism, we have characters saying things like “I would not want to eat next to a strict vegetarian because imagine if I’m killing a baby octopus and eating it in front of them, they will look at me like I’m the animal…” and I am not talking about my thoughts about that here because I am a vegan and seriously, I would have a looooot to say about that, but jeez… everything with that sentense is just wrong you know ?

Besides the HUGE criticism to veganism we also have sexism in this book same as speciecism and a lot of “sexual” content… if I think that the author is sexist, against vegan people, and think that the human kind is superior to animals ?! NO, I think that this book was the way she found to show people that we need to think in a more equal world if that makes any sense to you ! She is maybe trying to say that people judge a lot other people even though they have no idea what’s happening in their lives, and that leads to another subject, another issue that is portrayed in this book – psychological issues.

This book is amazing really, it has a lot of information in it even though it looks pretty tiny and it actually is since it has least than 200 pages, but it “talks” about so many important things, and it is confusing, I am not saying otherwise, because it seriously is a confusing book, interesting but confusing af, but if you are seriously interested in understanding the matters in it, if you really want to understand what the author is trying to say in this fiction novel then you totally will be able to understand it, I am sure you will because every single matter in this book is important and at least one of those subjects will get to you.

I totally recommend this novel to you even if you think you’ll not like it, and maybe you will not like it because a lot of people didn’t, but it is worth it, you should at least try to read this book and maybe you’ll be surprised by how you feel about it.




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