Tuesday 5 September 2023

Book Review: A Mirror for the Blind by Mu Jeong (Contemporary Fiction)

Title: A Mirror for the Blind: Reflections of a Digital Seoul
Author: Mu Jeong
Publisher: METRIC
Publication Date: 25 September 2023
Pages: 189
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: ARC via NetGalley

"Hi, nice to meet you. This is my third blind date this week, so... let's get the usual stuff out of the way and decide where to go from there. Great, I'll start. First, what's your age? Your academic background? How much do you make? And your parents? How many siblings do you have? Any debt in the family? How much do you have in your savings account right now? Where do you live in the city? What kind of car do you drive? Purchased or leased?"

Any office worker will tell you nearly every date opens with a conversation just like this. Ticking each of these boxes is simply what it takes to thrive in one of the most fast-paced cities on the planet, with the expectations of family and friends bearing down on you at every moment. People are always made aware of exactly what they bring to the table in terms of their relationships, their companies, their families, and even their social media profiles.

Meet a group of privileged white-collar workers navigating their way through the cutthroat corporate landscape of Seoul. As they juggle day trading, crypto investments, and real estate hustles, they're constantly comparing themselves to others, both in person and online.

The allure of glossy boy bands and psychological thrillers are just two sides of the same culture, as this novel delves into the heart of Korean society – competitive, materialistic, and unyielding.


A Mirror for the Blind had a thoughtful premise and was structured and presented in an interesting way as we moved between characters. I found each of those characters intriguing to learn about and follow, and the themes of the book offered a snapshot of modern society in Seoul with its social hierarchy and the struggle to make ends meet once entering the workforce. And what is true of Korea would be relevant to many other cities too. There's perhaps nothing in this work not already know or seen before, but it is, as the title states, a reflection on the current age and is worth a read. I am giving it 4 stars.

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

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