Against a backdrop of rapidly morphing urban landscapes, readers meet migrant workers, Korean manufacturers out to save a few bucks, high-flying venture capitalists, street thugs, and shakedown artists. The picture of China that emerges is at turns unsettling, awe-inspiring, and heart-breaking. Cho deftly portrays a giant awakening to its own raw, volatile, and often uncontrollable power.
The Human Jungle was published as a trilogy of novels in Korean, each of which sold more than one million copies. Translators Bruce Fulton and Ju-Chan Fulton have combined these into a single English-language edition.
Cho Chongnae is a bestselling Korean author known for a trio of massive historical novels: the ten-volume T'aebaek Mountains (1989), the twelve-volume Arirang (1995), and the ten-volume Han River (2002). The Human Jungle is the result of two decades of research. Chongnae predicts that China will be the world's leading economy, or G1, by 2016 and says, "In all matters other than politics, China is more capitalistic than any capitalist country in the world."