Thursday, December 17, 2009

Book Review: Looking for a Mr. Kim in Seoul: A Guide to Korean Expressions

Title: Looking for a Mr. Kim in Seoul: A Guide to Korean Expressions
Author: Sang-Hun Choe, Christopher Torchia
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Infini Press (April 2, 2007)
ISBN-10: 1932457038
ISBN-13: 978-1932457032

Man oh man is this book hard to find. If you have the chance to pick it up, buy it and don't think twice. I have no clue why it is so rare but I know that Amazon is the only major online retailer that I can find it on. Moving on.

This book has much to laugh about. It ties in language, culture, and storytelling. You might read this book cover-to-cover and only take away a few memorable stories. I can guarantee you that some Koreans won;t even know the etymology of some of their own words/phrases but you sure as hell well.

It's endearing, funny, and entertaining. It's not exactly appropriate for language study as many of the proverbs and idioms don't exactly make their way into everyday conversation but the history behind these expressions will make you smile if nothing else.

The authors know what they are talking about and are not afraid to share some quirky information with you. Well done!

- - -

This book is a tricky little devil. See, it's already been published in Korea as How Koreans Talk: A collection of Expressions. Like a moron, I bought it here in Korea at 교보문고 (Kyobo Bookstore) thinking I got this awesome book that's similar to one I already bought before. Turns out, I bought the same book.

Normally this wouldn't be too big of a deal, but I already bought this book before - making the red-labeled How Koreans Talk the third time I bought this book. The second time was just a case of I lost the original book but found it right after I bought the second. Ugh.

Anyways, it's a great resource and plenty interesting. Buy it. It's somewhat hard to find and certainly the only type of book of its kind out there.


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