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  • I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki

  • By: Baek Sehee
  • Narrated by: Jully Lee
  • Length: 3 hrs and 56 mins
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (73 ratings)

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I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki cover art

I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki

By: Baek Sehee
Narrated by: Jully Lee
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Summary

Bloomsbury presents I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki by Baek Sehee, read by Jully Lee.

The Phenomenal Korean Bestseller

Translated by International Booker Shortlistee Anton Hur

Psychiatrist: So how can I help you?

Me: I don’t know, I’m—what’s the word—depressed? Do I have to go into detail?

Baek Sehee is a successful young social media director at a publishing house when she begins seeing a psychiatrist about her—what to call it?—depression? She feels persistently low, anxious, endlessly self-doubting, but also highly judgemental of others. She hides her feelings well at work and with friends; adept at performing the calmness, even ease, her lifestyle demands. The effort is exhausting, overwhelming, and keeps her from forming deep relationships. This can't be normal. 

But if she's so hopeless, why can she always summon a desire for her favourite street food, the hot, spicy rice cake, tteokbokki? Is this just what life is like?

Recording her dialogues with her psychiatrist over a 12-week period, Baek begins to disentangle the feedback loops, knee-jerk reactions and harmful behaviours that keep her locked in a cycle of self-abuse. Part memoir, part self-help book, I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki is a book to keep close and to reach for in times of darkness.

©2018 Baek Sehee (P)2022 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

What listeners say about I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki

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Not a good listen if you are a psychologist

...and this has everything to do with the said psychiatrist unfortunately. I do hope that this is not what she actually said to the main character because I find the analysis hopelessly nonsensical. however, if this was indeed her therapy and if the main character feels it helped her, of course that is what matters. But as a psychologist I do feel worried about how incorrect the analyses are.

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3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A bit superficial

I enjoyed the performance of it more than the actual text. I think as someone who has been through many therapists in my life this seemed far too easy and effective. I’m glad the author had a relatively easy time understanding and working through her issues, but it didn’t feel very real to me unfortunately. I think it was a very brave book to write, I just don’t think I am the right audience for it.

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1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A very interesting insight into a young woman’s mind

This book is for those who ask themselves, ‘do others also feel that their mind is torturing them every second?’, or for those who want to understand how complicated one’s mind can be when one constantly needs external validation, and on top of it, is extremely empathetic. It is extremely insightful into a young woman’s mind, although of course, not everyone experiences the same challenges. I recognise the signs in many a young person I know, and the psychiatrist does help question certain beliefs. The reflections of the author show her pathway for her to become a better person (in her opinion), which are also useful for those struggling with finding their way in life.
This book showed me how blurry the lines could be between mental health and personality / character, and emotional needs. The challenge for us all is to have as good a mental health as you can have, within the constraints of your own personality, and managing those needs so that they are realistic.

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1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

the dialogue between psychologist and author

conversation between psychologist and author and the experience the author shares was really real and captivating

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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A very honest and open view into something very personal

This is a very personal book and not everyone could relate to it but those who can, please understand that you could find this book a bit uncomfortable. I found myself irrationally frustrated with the authors thinking sometimes but looking back at it, it wasn’t the author that made me uncomfortable, it was the fact that I could see myself in her place. I was angry at myself for not being different, not being better… All in all, I believe everyone could enjoy this book and might even benefit from reading about such a private part of someone’s life.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting

Maybe would read better as a book as the constant 'therapist..., me.... therapist...' that were read out, got annoying.
As for the book itself, it was interesting. I liked the fact its narrative is different to any other book I've read before. It also provides key insights to issues that are widely applicable, definitely found myself bookmarking certain places!


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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Loved it!

Another recommendation by Kim Namjoon and it did not disappoint. Anton Hur's translation was impeccable as always. Highly recommend this book to anyone struggling with their mental health or who knows someone who is and want to understand them better.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

Superficial and obsessed with self-image, with no proper therapy but a long list of medications.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I felt so seen

This book should be read in a stable state of mind but I recommend

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great reading

Heavy matter simply been simplified. Full of wisdom, every young person should read this book. Great reading voice as well, brought the book to life. Enjoyed the book with tears of realisation. Thank you.

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