*Archived page. All the latest news now on the blog section.
June 18 2015
Goodreads giveaway of Funereal is now on https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/143145-funereal. Enter now for a chance to win two paperback copies.
Interviews and reviews are also pouring in:
New author Soren Kaneda has also chipped in with a review on his Black Lines blog.
May 12 2015
Critical Kpop has published a great review of my new novel Funereal, writing
As the first Western writer attempting to cover modern day South Korea in the English language, Giacomo Lee does a laudable job presenting these issues in an honest, but careful, way. Funereal matches an engaging story with real and genuine conversation about suicide in a way that is not often accomplished. One novel cannot, by itself, change the dangerously high rate of suicide in South Korea, but it’s an excellent start.
Read the review over on their site, and be sure to check out Sarah Luca’s piece while you’re there on Opening the Discussion about Suicide and Kpop, published March of this year.
April 17 2015
The paperback is out now on Amazon! Check the Store page for more details.
April 2 2015
The ebook is out now in advance of the full release with paperback on April 14th. Check the Store page for more details.
Also up today is United Kpop’s review. Check it out here or in the Press section. The reviewer is a great designer, too – check out her work here. United Kpop also wrote about the Gangnam Sherlock cafe which I visited in 2014 – their article is much better than the one I wrote!
March 16 2015
The very cool Chris Tharp, author of Dispatches from the Peninsula and The Worst Motorcycle in Laos, has given a fantastic review of Funereal, writing
Funereal takes us on a bracing journey through the physical and psychological landscape of modern Seoul, entertaining us while never shying away from the big questions. The prose is taut and electric, buzzing like the hi-tech world that its characters inhabit. Funereal is both a thriller and a meditation on life in the 21st century, illuminating a world where media, technology, and the thirst for fame can turn the idea of living and dying on its head. Funereal is an impressive and imaginative achievement from an exciting new writer.
Thank you Chris. Find this and other reviews of Funereal in the Press section, and check out the new addition to my bibliography, a Japanese translation of my short story All Around the Apiary, which was written in response to the events of 3/11/11. It can be read for free here at 日本語：ショートショート: Short Fictions in Japanese, where it was published today. Any Japanese readers who stumble across it and are wondering what my novel Funereal is all about, then this is for you: 韓国の偽葬式. That’s what it’s about. Please note though that I can’t read or speak any Japanese. Funereal does feature a half Japanese character though, a man by the name of Tetsuo Honda. Find out more come April 14th!
March 9 2015
To me, one of Seoul’s most defining features is its lack of definition — it really is like the story of the six blind men and the elephant. All of us who come here touch a different part of the city and take away such different impressions. In Funereal, Giacomo Lee touches a totally different part of Seoul than I normally do, geographically, mentally and professionally, which is what I found most interesting.
The rare Western writer to look at Korea has usually written about Westerners in Korea or about the Korean War or some distant past. With a touch of Murakami (Ryu or Haruki, take your pick) and dash of Bruce Sterling, Lee evokes a modern Korea, deeply ambivalent about the new society that is rapidly taking shape. At once a realistic look at modern Korea and all too unreal.
A big thank you to Mark. Find this and other reviews of Funereal in the Press section.
Regarding Ryu Murakami, I did have In The Miso Soup in mind when writing Funereal, as I was often wondering when Seoul was going to get it’s own neon-lit, neo-noir examination in English. A neon-noir novel. If LA, Las Vegas and Tokyo can get those kinds of books, then why not Seoul?
Feb 18 2015
A bit of a game changer today, as writer Colin Marshall previewed my new novel Funereal for its first ever review, and posted the first chapter for free on the very influential Boing Boing website. Here’s a little of what he had to say on the book:
Lee…accomplishes a literary act of which I know no precedent: convincingly rendering Korean characters through Western eyes. His countryman David Mitchell essayed a dystopian Korea in one layer of Cloud Atlas, but he set it in the unrecognizably distant future. Lee writes of the dystopian Korea of today, one that, in his conception, has driven itself nearly to the asylum with its own increasingly impossible standards and hopelessly unrealistic expectations.
Mission accomplished! Maybe I’m the new David Mitchell? I’d like to be, that’s for sure. Read more at this permalink, and here’s a direct link to the PDF of Funereal, chapter one, suitable for all e-book readers etc etc.
Funereal is out everywhere on April 14th, 2015. It’s a contemporary fable which I’d dub ‘Korean Kafkaesque’, and the first Western literary novel in English about modern-day South Korea and the lives of Koreans today. Find it on paperback and e-book via Signal 8 Press, Amazon, Smashwords and Book Depository. Thank you to Colin and everyone at Boing Boing!
– Giacomo Lee