By Lee Ki-ho, Christopher J. Dyka
This tale makes a speciality of an company whose merely objective is to supply apologies—for a fee—on behalf of its consumers. This possible insignificant provider leads us into an exam of sin, guilt, and the customarily irrational calls for of society. A kaleidoscope of youth nuisances and significant grievances, this novel heralds a brand new comedian voice in Korean letters.
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Extra resources for At Least We Can Apologize
But there was no one to hear the sound and come after us. Si-bong and I stood frozen in place until the sound of the glass breaking disappeared. This time I went in first through the broken glass. Si-bong followed, and on his way in I gave him a hand. The office was a mess. All of the cabinets were open and there were papers scattered all over the floor. All of the desk drawers were on the floor, and the receiver of the phone that the director general always had in hand was nowhere to be seen. We looked carefully underneath the desk and the cabinets.
The taller one wasn’t able to sleep a wink, as he spent the whole night running back and forth in the hallway, using a wash basin to wet a facecloth. Both Si-bong and I were awake, but he didn’t order us to do anything. He brought plain white rice porridge directly from the cafeteria woman himself, washed the shorter one’s white gown himself, and waited outside the bathroom with toilet paper in his hand. When the superintendent came to their room to yell at them, calling them “worthless pieces of garbage,” the taller one stood up and yelled back, “Jesus Christ, Uncle!
On those days, in his drunken state, he would pull Si-yeon into the bedroom after she’d gotten off work late at night and slap her around for no reason. As he hit her, the man would yell that it was because of her that his life had turned out this way. He would pick things up and throw them, saying that if it weren’t for her, he’d still be a teacher. He’d break things, yelling at the top of his lungs that if he hadn’t gotten sucked into the races, waiting around for her, everything would be different now.