In much the same way Simmons felt about her holiday in North Korea, I found her memoir of it both horrifying and educational. I'm not sure I'd have been able to find the hilarity the way she did, had I been the one on the holiday, but I certainly appreciated her humorous perspective and her writing.
As she goes to great pains to make clear, she was there as a tourist; she does not pretend at any point to understand the political underpinnings of the tragedy that is North Korea. This is a memoir of her holiday there, and her personal experiences during those 10 days, both the horrifying and the heart-touching moments. Oh, and a LOT of Twilight Zone moments.
I have to say, I've had this book for awhile, but hesitated to open it because the cover gave me the impression it would be totally different that it is. That cover photos is a photo Simmons took while there, when she was invited to a wedding reception on the spur of the moment. That woman is the bride to be. Knowing that gave this book a whole different spin in my head, and highlighted the comedy of the absurd that ran throughout those 10 days.
If you enjoy travel memoirs, and you're curious about the culture of a totally closed society minus any political philosophy, and heaps of swearing and humor, definitely check this book out. I did not want to put it down from the moment I opened the cover.
ETA: I have the print edition and it's loaded with great full-color photographs that just added that extra level of interest to the book.