2020 Longlist

The Plotters


Translated from the Korean by Sora Kim-Russell

2020 Longlist

Raised by Old Raccoon in The Library of Dogs, Reseng has always been surrounded by plots to kill – and by books that no one ever reads. In Seoul’s corrupt underworld, he was destined to be an assassin.Until he breaks the rules. That’s when he meets a trio of young women – a convenience store worker, her wheelchair-bound sister, and a cross-eyed obsessive knitter – with an extraordinary plot of their own.

Will the women save the day? Or will Reseng be next on the kill list? Who will look after his cats, Reading Lamp and Book Stand? Who planted the bomb in his toilet? How much beer can he drink before he forgets it all?

About the Author

Un-su Kim was born in 1972 in Busan and is the author of several highly praised novels. He has won the Munhakdongne Novel Prize, Korea’s most prestigious literary prize, and was nominated for the 2016 Grand Prix de la Littéraire Policére. He lives in Jinhae-gu, South Korea.

Librarian’s Comments

This is a story about a group of conspirators who plan and mastermind an assassination in the shadows. As the story delves into the plotters behind the person who pulls the trigger, the author builds a bizarre and surreal world populated by brutal people living unconventional lives. A world in which an assassin who goes off script on a killing assignment becomes the group’s next target, creating an intricate web of killing plots. Accordingly, the novel is far from light and shallow, and compellingly full of dark humour and violence. It is beautifully and deftly written, packed with atmosphere and emotional warmth, mirroring our society and asking uncomfortable questions. As the main character begins to question his life, death and role in this cruel world, you cannot help but empathize and find yourself emotionally invested.

Compared to other works of crime fiction, the author deserves recognition for this book’s unique and unusual aspects. It is well translated, too. Bucheon City Library, Republic of Korea




Text Publishing Company


Stay in touch and sign up to our newsletter to receive all the latest news and updates on the Dublin Literary Award.