이안주’s “여행자의 하룻밤” is a collection of short stories about people that the author has met while operating his guesthouse, Motif#1, in the Heyri Art Village. Each person or group of travelers has their own story. The author reflects on what he learns from the guest during their time talking together.
Easy to pick up and put down
As a collection of short stories, this book can easily be picked up and put down after reading a few pages. You meet a wide variety of people through the author’s recollections, which keeps things interesting. Short, clearly defined sections—some less than five pages long— are useful to those who aren’t up to reading longer passages. Also, the book uses a few different formats: some chapters fully follow standard paragraph formatting while others are written almost like scripts, the dialogue between the author and the guests uninterrupted so you can feel the flow of the conversation.
Easy format, not vocabulary
The vocabulary in this book can be daunting at times. Some of the stories focus on things like the jobs of the guesthouse patrons. This means that the book will sometimes barrage you with industry-specific vocabulary. At other times, you find yourself breezing easily through fairly simple conversations. In general, I would say that you need a decent vocabulary base to read this book comfortably.
I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with this book. Since the stories are so varied, I find myself alternately enjoying some sections and forcing myself to slog through others. If you want a book that you can read casually here and there without worrying about forgetting plot points and characters, and if you aren’t put off by specific and/or high-level vocab, this might be a good read for you 🙂