Same Difference and Other Stories

Overview

After selling through the self-published run of Same Difference and Other Stories in just a few short months, Derek Kirk Kim proudly moves his debut collection to Top Shelf! Through a series of sensitive - and often hilarious - short stories, Kim deftly explores the not-so-average twenty-something's quarter-life crisis, romantic neurosis, and a refreshing slice of Korean-American life.
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Overview

After selling through the self-published run of Same Difference and Other Stories in just a few short months, Derek Kirk Kim proudly moves his debut collection to Top Shelf! Through a series of sensitive - and often hilarious - short stories, Kim deftly explores the not-so-average twenty-something's quarter-life crisis, romantic neurosis, and a refreshing slice of Korean-American life.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This promising collection brings together stories Kim produced for a variety of sources. The earliest, a vignette written in 1997-8, appeared in a Xeroxed mini-comic; the title novella has just finished being serialized on Kim's Web site. There's little self-indulgent apprentice work here, though. Although Kim has chosen to work apart from the mainstream, his stories are surprisingly accessible, with hardly any outright surrealism or defiant offensiveness. Many of the characters are, like the author, young Korean-Americans, but that doesn't necessarily limit their interest; conversely, it adds another layer to their standard YA alienation. Kim moves past the most easily exploitable teenage concern (sex) to show realistically and sympathetically how awkward young people can feel without a secure place in society, certainty about how to behave around other people, or a sense of what their future holds. He convinces readers that his character are more than whining slackers. The best of these stories work in understated, Raymond Carver territory. In the title novella, for example, a bored young man and woman take a short trip during which very little overt drama occurs-but they do begin to come to terms with past actions of which they're ashamed, share friendship, and generally establish themselves as worthwhile human beings. Kim has a good sense of dialogue and design; even conversation-packed panels are lively and rewarding. He also knows when to pull back from his characters and let the universe ebb and flow around them. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT
Derek Kirk Kim is Korean American, and this graphic novel is the first collection of his stories. "Same Difference," the best of the bunch, is all about honesty. Nancy gets a bunch of letters addressed to a girl named Sarah (who's moved away), and eventually gets curious enough to open them. They're love letters—pathetic, drippy love letters written to a girl who could obviously care less. Nancy writes the guy back in Sarah's voice, and even tries to convince her friend Simon to drive her to the town he lives in—she wants to see what kind of sad loser he is. Simon does, and she sees, and it's not at all what she expected. The stories in Same Difference have an autobiographical flavor. Kim's characters are very real; I admire writers who are brave enough to create flawed characters and not apologize for them. Kim lived in South Korea until he was eight years old, and then moved to the US. Perhaps coincidentally, many of the stories deal with being an outsider; themes such as loneliness, insecurity, and not being able to get a date (a big one) are prevalent. Luckily, Kim has a great sense of humor, and the stories are written with a light touch. Same Difference contains adult situations, vulgarity (including the F-Bomb), and semi-nudity; highly recommended for collections that cater to older readers. KLIATT Codes: SA*—Exceptional book, recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2004, Top Shelf, 143p. illus., Ages 15 to adult.
—George Galuschak
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781891830570
  • Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
  • Publication date: 6/23/2004
  • Edition description: Not Appropriate For Children
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 7.96 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Table of Contents

Same Difference 8
Hurdles 88
Pulling 90
Super Unleaded 99
Interview With A Human 105
Emo Rock Hyung 114
Oliver Pikk 116
Valentine's Day 126
My Sistine Chapel 128
The Shaft 129
Ungrateful Appreciation 132
The Sound 135
Island 140
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