• Nuclear Family

  • By: Joseph Han
  • Narrated by: Keong Sim
  • Length: 7 hrs and 39 mins
  • 3.4 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

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Nuclear Family  By  cover art

Nuclear Family

By: Joseph Han
Narrated by: Keong Sim
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Publisher's Summary

Things are looking up for Mr. and Mrs. Cho. Their dream of franchising their Korean plate lunch restaurants across Hawai'i seems within reach after a visit from Guy Fieri boosts the profile of Cho's Delicatessen. Their daughter, Grace, is busy finishing her senior year of college, while her older brother, Jacob, just moved to Seoul to teach English. But when a viral video shows Jacob trying—and failing—to cross the Korean demilitarized zone, nothing can protect the family from suspicion and the restaurant from waning sales.

No one knows that Jacob has been possessed by the ghost of his lost grandfather, who feverishly wishes to cross the divide and find the family he left behind in the north. As Jacob is detained by the South Korean government, Mr. and Mrs. Cho fear their son won't ever be able to return home, and Grace gets more and more stoned as she negotiates her family's undoing. Struggling with what they don't know about themselves and one another, the Chos must confront the separations that have endured in their family for decades.

Set in the months leading up to the 2018 false missile alert in Hawai'i, Joseph Han's profoundly funny and strikingly beautiful debut novel is an offering that aches with histories inherited and reunions missed, asking how we heal in the face of what we forget and who we remember.

©2022 Joseph Han (P)2022 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

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The cover is pretty, but…

I listened to this for book club. I kept hoping it would get better; it did not. There were two dozen characters. To make it more confusing, sometimes they referred to them by their given names and other times it was their title (grandmother, aunt, etc. except it was Korean which made it more confusing trying to figure it out). I had to start taking notes to keep it all straight; especially since the book frequently switched back and forth between characters. None of the main characters were likable. Grace whined and complained about everything and then became hooked on marijuana. The parents were workaholics but never achieved their dreams or spent quality time with their children. Then there was the long lists of names near the end. It was a disappointing book and I cannot recommend it.