BKMT READING GUIDES



 
Interesting,
Graphic,
Dark

4 reviews

The Vegetarian: A Novel
by Han Kang

Published: 2016-02-02
Hardcover : 192 pages
2 members reading this now
11 clubs reading this now
2 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 4 of 4 members
Winner of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize
ONE OF ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY’S “BEST BOOKS OF 2016 SO FAR”
ONE OF TIME’S “BEST BOOKS OF 2016 SO FAR”

A beautiful, unsettling novel about rebellion and taboo, violence and eroticism, and the twisting metamorphosis of a soul
 
...
No other editions available.
Add to Club Selections
Add to Possible Club Selections
Add to My Personal Queue
Jump to

Introduction

Winner of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize
ONE OF ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY’S “BEST BOOKS OF 2016 SO FAR”
ONE OF TIME’S “BEST BOOKS OF 2016 SO FAR”

A beautiful, unsettling novel about rebellion and taboo, violence and eroticism, and the twisting metamorphosis of a soul
 
Before the nightmares began, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary, controlled life. But the dreams—invasive images of blood and brutality—torture her, driving Yeong-hye to purge her mind and renounce eating meat altogether. It’s a small act of independence, but it interrupts her marriage and sets into motion an increasingly grotesque chain of events at home. As her husband, her brother-in-law and sister each fight to reassert their control, Yeong-hye obsessively defends the choice that’s become sacred to her. Soon their attempts turn desperate, subjecting first her mind, and then her body, to ever more intrusive and perverse violations, sending Yeong-hye spiraling into a dangerous, bizarre estrangement, not only from those closest to her, but also from herself.
 
Celebrated by critics around the world, The Vegetarian is a darkly allegorical, Kafka-esque tale of power, obsession, and one woman’s struggle to break free from the violence both without and within her.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

No Excerpt Currently Available

Discussion Questions

1. What is the relationship between Yeong-hye, "the most ordinary woman in the world," and her husband, Mr. Cheong. Why is her refusal to eat meat, so shocking to him?

2. The novel is structured in a tryptic format, with each section narrated by a family member who reacts to and interacts with Yeong-hye. As the three narrators confront her deepening madness, each also comes face to face with his/her own desires. What do they each come to understand about themselves and what they want from life? In what way are they transformed?

3. Talk about the way in which the author positions Yeong-Hye's vegetarianism—as a feminist choice and revolt against patriarchy. Are there another way to look at it?

4.The book is suffused with a mix of sex and violence. Do you find the physicality disturbing, shocking, repulsive, or something else? Why is there so much sex and brutality in this work; what might its purpose be?

5. What are your feelings about vegetarianism? Do you know vegetarians, or are you yourself one? What are the reason for eschewing meat? Is it a matter health, morality, religion, or basic distaste? If you are a meat eater, do you sometimes feel like the dinner acquaintance in the novel, who comments: "I'd hate to share a meal with someone who considers eating meat repulsive, just because that's how they themselves personally feel....don't you agree?"

6. Trace the stages of Yeong-hye's state of mind. Talk about her thoughts and the language which reflects them—as the passages range from journal-like entries to disconnected, abstract, almost impressionistic images.

7. The novel ends on an ambiguous note. What do you envision as the outcome? What do you think happens to Yeong-hye?

8. What is this book about anyway?

From Litlovers

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Dark Human Desires"by mopsickmom (see profile) 03/17/17

Not what I expected but made for a good discussion. Well written, no wasted words. Although it is dark, it makes you examine how deep a sister's love can run and what makes a person strong or weak.

 
by Ljwagoner (see profile) 01/08/17

A dark, disturbing tale of the mind in 188 pages.
P.187" ...but surely the dream wasn't all there is? We have to wake up at some point don't we?"

 
by pwjenks (see profile) 12/16/16

 
by Mybbclub (see profile) 11/08/16

 
  "I felt the absence of necessary human emotions in many of the characters."by thewanderingjew (see profile) 03/01/16

The Vegetarian, Han Kang, author; Deborah Smith, translator; Janet Song, narrator and Stephen Park, narrators.
This is a tale about a family from a culture in which wives are expected to be
... (read more)

Rate this book
MEMBER LOGIN
Remember me
BECOME A MEMBER it's free

Join the leading website for book clubs with over 35,000 clubs and 20,000 reading guides.

SEARCH OUR READING GUIDES Search
Search




FEATURED EVENTS
PAST AUTHOR CHATS
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...