[Book review]- 15번 진짜 안 와


I picked this novel up at a secondhand bookstore on a whim. It was cheap, and the covered seemed weird and interesting, so without even knowing what this book was about, I bought it.


In the end, I’m glad I did! In 박상’s “15번 진짜 안 와,” we follow our protagonist 고남일, an aspiring rock guitarist who ships off to London after a string of bad luck leaves him wanting to get out of Korea and start over. Other main characters include his ex girlfriend, a Greek girl, and a Japanese guy. Oh, and a few god-like figures including 오에스, who wants to reset all of humanity; and Rock Spirit, who wants to stop that from happening.

The book follows 남일 as he tries to navigate life in a foreign country and all the difficulties that come with it as he works toward achieving his dream. It was a fairly fun read for me, and I didn’t find it difficult to understand at all. Most of the words that came up that I was unfamiliar with were extra descriptors that I could sort of guess at and just pass over; I probably looked up fewer than twenty words while reading the whole book. I found myself going through ten or more pages in one sitting easily.

Not quite meant for everyone

I think 15번 진짜 안 와 could be classified as perhaps a YA novel? I’m not quite sure, haha. There is some swearing throughout and a sex scene nearish the end—nothing too long or explicit, but there it is—but it’s generally a fairly non-offensive and simple read if you’re looking to jump in to reading Korean novels.

Final feelings

That isn’t to say I took no issue with the book, but my gripes are not so much with the plot or format as with my personal feelings toward the main character (and some others) at various parts of the book. I don’t want to get too specific, though. I would recommend this novel, so if you feel so inclined, please do check it out~