Dear Leader, by Jang Jin-Sung, reminds me of one of those dystopian novels, like the Hunger Games. There's hunger. Poverty. Farmers who get shot for eating the food the produce. Nobody could leave their town.
It's not fiction, though; Dear Leader is the memoir of someone who lived in, and worked for, North Korea.
Jang Jin-Sung was protected by his status as a counter-intelligence agent and national poet laureate in North Korea. He got food provisions, a travel pass, and audiences to Kim Jong-il.
Then Jang Jin-Sung made a big mistake, and lent a forbidden magazine to a friend, which the friend lost. When the officials found out, he had to run for his life.
I found Dear Leader impossible to put down. I was reading it at stop lights, at 2 am, and at the coffee shop in the Towson library after my meter had run out.