Teakettle Mountain is a wonderful and humorous portrayal of life in South Korea. The detail is amazing – of the people, the place and the culture, as well as the pace and structure of life – absolutely fascinating. I feel like I’ve boarded a plane and physically visited the country.
Ian James’ grip and use of language is a joy to read. I didn’t curl up with the book, Teakettle Mountain curled up with me, and didn’t let me out of its embrace until I had read the last word. It is so full of wonderfully original descriptions it was difficult to find a favourite, and after much deliberation I’ve chosen: ‘Ms Yoon, who spoke American English as though she were a textbook that had been electrified and, Frankenstein-like, bought to life.’
Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t all nicey-nicey and touchy-feely – it’s uncomfortable reading at times. Ian James has chosen honesty above political correctness when writing about his experiences and observations and, as a result, I felt like I really was reading about people, rather than characters or. caricatures. He applies the same acerbic honesty to his observations about himself, and this was truly a joy to read – roll on part 2!.