I've got a review of Jang Jin-sung's Dear Leader up at the National soon. For now here's a brief extract from the book. Jang, in the role of court poet, meets Kim Jong-il, known to acolytes as the General:
At that very moment, the General wheels round, catching me off guard, and thunders 'You, boy! Are you the one who wrote the poem about the gun barrel?,
I bark my carefully worded response 'Yes General, I am honoured to be in your presence!'
He smirks as he approaches me. 'Someone wrote it for you, isn't that right? Don't even think about lying to me or I'll have you killed.'
As I begin to panic, Dear Leader bursts into hearty laughter and punches me on the shoulder. 'It's a compliment, you silly bugger...'