• In Order to Live

  • A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom
  • By: Yeonmi Park
  • Narrated by: Eji Kim
  • Length: 9 hrs and 37 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (4,601 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In In Order to Live, Yeonmi Park shines a light not just into the darkest corners of life in North Korea, describing the deprivation and deception she endured and which millions of North Korean people continue to endure to this day, but also onto her own most painful and difficult memories. She tells with bravery and dignity for the first time the story of how she and her mother were betrayed and sold into sexual slavery in China and forced to suffer terrible psychological and physical hardship before they finally made their way to Seoul, South Korea - and to freedom.

Park confronts her past with a startling resilience. In spite of everything, she has never stopped being proud of where she is from, and never stopped striving for a better life. Indeed, today she is a human rights activist working determinedly to bring attention to the oppression taking place in her home country. Park’s testimony is heartbreaking and unimaginable, but never without hope. This is the human spirit at its most indomitable.

©2015 Yeonmi Park (P)2015 Penguin Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"One of the most harrowing stories I have ever heard - and one of the most inspiring." (The Bookseller)

“Park's remarkable and inspiring story shines a light on a country whose inhabitants live in misery beyond comprehension. Park's important memoir showcases the strength of the human spirit and one young woman's incredible determination to never be hungry again.” (Publishers Weekly)

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What listeners say about In Order to Live

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow. What a story!

Please do not shy away from this book based on the part that audible lets you listen to as a sample. While the reader does speak with an accent, the story flows so nicely and is so captivating that once you listen to even half of one chapter you will not even think of the accent. It's very understandable and I think it helps relate to the writer even more because you are hearing it in an Asian accent.

This story is honestly one of the most incredible, sad, captivating, amazing stories I have ever heard in my life. It is a real emotional roller coaster. Yeonmi Park is now a personal hero of mine and I wish there were more chapters in this book to read because I did not want to finish listening. I have been browsing YouTube and listening to her speeches. What an absolutely amazing young girl. I cannot imagine anyone going through what she has gone through.

Definitely listen to this book. You will not regret it. This story needs to be heard by every single person in the world.

74 people found this helpful

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A Truly Inspirational Account

In Order to Live is an emotional account of a young girl's experience of escape from the extreme poverty and political repression in North Korea. Others have criticised the choice of narrator for the audiobook, but I must disagree with them. I found the narrator's Korean accent was not too difficult to understand and enabled me to connect with the story in a way which I would not have if the narrator had been American or British. I thoroughly recommend this audiobook to anyone who is interested in a personal account of life in North Korea and the journey to freedom from it.

32 people found this helpful

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Moving, insightful, inspiring

I avoided listening to Ms. Parks story for several months because I was concerned it would be too sad and depressing. While it is sad, it is more inspirational and a great gift to the reader. Facing what she and her family did, anyone should be motivated to tackle any and all obstacles in their lives with determined resolve. The book is tastefully written. It seemed like the narration would be annoying at first, but I came to love the narrators voice by the end of the first chapter. EXCELLENT!!

47 people found this helpful

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Great book<br />

One of the best books I've ever read. Not a dull paragraph in this whole book. Im going to read it again. We are so fortunate to live in the USA. You think you know about north korea, well you dont until.you read this very informative book. Thank you Yeonmi Park for writing this story. Best of.luck to you, your sister and mother.

21 people found this helpful

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An important story and a powerful performance

We very rarely get to hear the accounts of young women from North Korea who are trafficked and end up living as undocumented sex slaves in China, because they rarely escape. This account from a young woman who went through it and found freedom is commendable and beautifully written. Don’t let the narrator’s accent put you off. It can be a bit jarring at first because her annunciation and pronunciation is different, but it will grow on you, and in the end it adds to the story.

19 people found this helpful

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Excellent!

This was a phenomenal book. Worth every penny! The narration is okay and lends to the numb feeling that Yeonmi describes. I listened to the book in a week (and I NEVER do that!) because I just couldn't put it down.

17 people found this helpful

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Eye-opening, educational and heart breaking!

I first saw Yeonmi Park in a clip online. She was describing her life and escape from North Korea. I was riveted by her story and wanted to know more. I found her book and listened with awe. I have a hard time describing how much her story has moved me. I did not realize how much evil and devastation resides in North Korea. I only knew what little information the media gave us. I truly believe Yeonmi's story and the story of other North Korean defectors needs to be heard by everyone. Eloquently read, I found it hard to "put down" until I got to the end. A must read!

12 people found this helpful

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Narrator difficult to understand

I’m sure this is a great story, and I plan on reading it versus listening to it. The narration from the start is difficult to understand. And like a few other reviews said, the narrator spoke with no emotion when very difficult scenes were depicted.

10 people found this helpful

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Outstanding

Incredible story. I wish Americans cherished freedom and liberty as much as Ms Parks and guarded against their erosion by governments.

I'm left feeling helpless regarding the people of N Korea. How can we help end this madness?

Well done Ms Parks!

28 people found this helpful

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Resilience

I have always been terrified of North Korea and this story only feeds into that. The mind control. However, I feel such hope reading Yeonmi’s story! She helps remind everyone of the humanity struggling to survive in the country. This story forces the reader to look at the day to day realities of a human being trying to live the only life she has ever known in a devastated country. Heartbreaking, but also by the end an inspiring tale. I finished this book once, but I know I will listen again.

I am shocked by the resilience of Yeonmi at such a young age. I found myself jolted into shock EVERYTIME she would remind me how old she was at each point in the story.

I will say the narrator is a little tough to listen to because of the drawn out monotone way of reading. However, I upped the speed of her narration and after a while it did not detract from the story.

7 people found this helpful