The structure is a composite novel (eight linked stories) set in a convenience store in Seoul, each told by a different character.
- Book Intro
Chapter 1: Delicacies of the Land and Sea Dosirak
Told by Madame Yeom, a retired schoolteacher in her seventies who operates an ALWAYS convenience store
Madame Yeom discovers that she has lost her pouch of valuables, and a man with a halting voice calls, saying that he is at Seoul Station with her belongings. The man politely asks to get a dosirak lunchbox from a convenience store with her cash. Later, she realises that the man is homeless. Madame Yeom rewards him with cash, but sympathising with his plight, she brings him to her store and offers him free dosiraks anytime he wants. Madame Yeom has a good-for-nothing son who wants her money and a married daughter who is a chronic guilt-tripper. When a part-timer quits, Madame Yeom’s son tries to manipulate her into selling the store when she asks for his help. She takes on the shift herself and gets into a brawl with drunken teen customers. Dokgo arrives in time to help, and Madame Yeom offers him the job. Dokgo also promises to become sober.
Chapter 2: JS of JSes
Told by Si-hyeon, a recent graduate who is working part-time at the store while studying for the civil service entrance examination
Chapter 3: The Uses of a Triangle Kimbap
Told by Madame Oh, a middle-aged part-timer who has a difficult relationship with her son
Chapter 4: Two for the Price of One
Told by Kyeong-man, a medical equipment salesman who visits the store daily after work for a late-night drink
Chapter 5: The Uncanny convenience Store
Told by In-kyeong, a quick-tempered has-been theatre actress-turned playwright in her 30s who moves into the neighbourhood for a final attempt to write
Chapter 6: Four Cans for 10,000 won
Told by Min-sik, Madame Yeom’s son, who wants his mother to sell the convenience store to fund his business ideas
Chapter 7: It’s Expired but it’s Okay
Told by Kwak, an ex-policeman in his sixties who becomes a private investigator after being fired for taking bribes.
Chapter 8: ALWAYS
Told by Dokgo as his memories of being a famed plastic surgeon returns and he leaves to confront his past
- About the Author
Kim Hoyeon is a novelist and scenario writer. He has written the novels Mangwon-dong Brothers (2013), Rival Lover (2015) and Ghost Writers (2017); scenarios for Double Agent (2003) and Heartbreak Hotel (2015); and participated in the planning of movie Namhansanseong Fortress (2017). Fauster, which is based on Goethe's Faust, is his fourth novel, which he completed after 3 years of planning and writing.