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A River in Darkness by Masaji Ishikawa - a Book Review

I thought I knew about distress, bottomless poverty and boundless miseries that many human beings under a totalitarian regime go through. I thought I understood how dehumanized many feel in every second of their brutally suppressed life. Masaji Ishikawa shattered my trifling understanding, by his slender book describing his and his family's endless sufferings in North Korea. 
This is not an easy book to read. Not easy in the sense that I was in repeated shock reading the detail description, how desperate the condition in North Korea actual is, "the land of paradise" in propaganda jargon, but in reality just the opposite for most in that mysterious nation secluded from most of the world. 
This is indeed a good book to read, in the sense that the English translation that I've read was done very well, detailing Masaji Ishikawa's misery filled life in depth. 
Masaji Ishikawa and his family, his Korean father, Japanese mother and siblings were duped in 1960s and were bro…