Download Seoul Man: A Memoir of Cars, Culture, Crisis, and Unexpected Hilarity inside a Korean Corporate Titan Audiobook

Seoul Man: A Memoir of Cars, Culture, Crisis, and Unexpected Hilarity inside a Korean Corporate Titan Audiobook, by Frank Ahrens Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Frank Ahrens Narrator: Frank Ahrens Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2016 ISBN: 9781504729895
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Recounting his three years in Korea, the highest-ranking non-Korean executive at Hyundai sheds light on a business culture very few Western journalists ever experience in this revealing, moving, and hilarious memoir.

When Frank Ahrens, a middle-aged bachelor and eighteen-year veteran at the Washington Post, fell in love with a diplomat, his life changed dramatically. Following his new bride to her first appointment in Seoul, South Korea, Frank traded the newsroom for a corporate suite, becoming director of global communications at Hyundai Motors. In a land whose population is ninety-seven percent Korean, he was one of fewer than ten non-Koreans in a company of 5,000 employees.

For the next three years, Frank traveled to auto shows and press conferences around the world, pitching Hyundai to former colleagues while trying to navigate cultural differences at home and at work. While his appreciation for absurdity enabled him to laugh his way through many awkward encounters, his job began to take a toll on his marriage and family. Eventually, he became a vice president—the highest-ranking non-Korean in the history of Hyundai—but at an untenable price.

Filled with unique insights and told in his engaging, humorous voice, Seoul Man sheds light on a culture few Westerners know, and is a delightfully funny and heartwarming adventure for anyone who has ever felt like a fish out of water—all of us.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Lively, engaging, and deeply personal.”

    Brigid Schulte, New York Times bestselling author

  • “If you have ever worked in a baffling alien culture or endured a family separation because of your job, you will probably enjoy this book…An entertaining read.”

    Financial Times

  • “This important book undertakes three stories in one narrative about a local man’s brief sojourn in a bewildering new environment…With wit about his personal dilemmas and a keen reporter’s eye…Ahrens gives the reader an accessible primer.”

    Washington Times

  • “A nuanced look at a nation where an image of Western modernity is reflected and illuminated by an off-kilter mirror.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Not only a revealing personal odyssey, Seoul Man also looks into the history, culture, politics, and business of the remarkable success story of modern South Korea.”

    Shelf Awareness

  • “Engaging…A great read for business readers and for Americans-abroad memoir fans.”


  • “Amid the author’s personal journey reside priceless cultural and professional insights.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Frank Ahrens shares his Seoul with listeners as he recounts his experiences as Hyundai’s global public relations director…and his earnest wonder is the fuel that drives listeners through it to the epilogue…One continually hears in his voice his amazement at where he found himself—geographically, professionally, and personally.”


  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for August 2016

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About the Author

Frank Ahrens was a reporter at the Washington Post for eighteen years before joining Hyundai Motor Company, where he eventually became a vice president. He lives in Washington, DC.