Saturday 28 March 2020

Book Review: The Disaster Tourist by Yun Ko-eun (Literary Fiction)

Title: The Disaster Tourist
Author: Yun Ko-eun
Publisher: Serpent's Tail

Publication Date: 14 May 2020
eBook - PDF
Literary Fiction
ARC via NetGalley

Yona has been stuck behind a desk for years working as a programming coordinator for Jungle, a travel company specialising in package holidays to destinations ravaged by disaster. When a senior colleague touches her inappropriately she tries to complain, and in an attempt to bury her allegations, the company make her an attractive proposition: a free ticket for one of their most sought-after trips, to the desert island of Mui.

She accepts the offer and travels to the remote island, where the major attraction is a supposedly-dramatic sinkhole. When the customers who've paid a premium for the trip begin to get frustrated, Yona realises that the company has dangerous plans to fabricate an environmental catastrophe to make the trip more interesting, but when she tries to raise the alarm, she discovers she has put her own life in danger.

The Disaster Tourist was a fascinating and thought-provoking read. As well as being an entertaining story, it also made me consider the nature of tourism and how what we see of a country as a tourist, especially on organised tours, is not always a true reflection of the place and its people. The book also raises moral and ethical questions relating to many current issues, as well as touching on other themes such as sexual harassment in the workplace. The Disaster Tourist is a well-written tale with a lot packed into its 190 pages and I am very glad I had the opportunity to read it. I recommend it to readers looking for a quick but thoughtful literary fiction read.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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