Special Report

My Exciting Life, published in 2011, has sold more than 140 million copies so far. According to Seoul National University (SNU) Central Library, this book was ranked the second most popular book at SNU in 2013, and this story will be released as a movie in 2014. Song Hye-kyo and Kang Dong-won will play the title role. Why is this book loved by many people?

The first reason is rare material. Arum's mom, Mi-ra, gave birth to him when she was 17. Although Dae-su and Mi-ra were young and immature high school students, they did their best to raise Arum. When Arum was 3, they found that he had progeria. Progeria is a rare disease that ages the body much faster than normal. Bones and organs age fast because their growth rate is 4-10 times faster than normal. Therefore, most people with progeria die before the age of 20. 14 years have passed since then. Arum turned 17, but his body turned 80. Arum’s family can’t afford the huge medical bills, so they decided to appear in a documentary to get money to pay the medical bills. After the documentary was broadcasted, Arum got a letter from a girl in a similar situation. He felt love for the girl while his body was getting worse.

The second reason is Kim Ae-ran’s writing style, called hope of Korean writers. Arum who lives a time limited life does not struggle to live, but he doesn't throw away everything and renounce life, either. He accepts his given life and tries to be happy. Kim Ae-ran describes Arum’s life interestingly or lightly and at times she expresses it earnestly. Since the book’s story is not too heavy or too light, the readers can read this book easily. By excluding colorful modifiers and using short sentences, she raises the reader's concentration.

The third reason is that this book reminders us of the preciousness of family and the importance of day-to-day life. Nowadays people are accustomed to the daily routine of repeatedly doing many different kinds of work, so they are exhausted. Because of this, they forget how valuable their time and family are. Arum wants nothing special except a normal life. When we see Arum who struggles to live with his condition and lives his life positively we realize how happy and grateful we are with our lives and how blessed we can feel being a good child.

This book makes readers feel and experience many things. We can realize the preciousness of time and family. I believe that through this book, by experience Arum’s life indirectly, it will make your life more promising.