The Gospel According to Jesus Christ by Jose Saramago

the-gospelWhen I was small, and was on my way to do my first Communion, I was always taught that Jesus was The Savior of all of us. That He had been crucified to save humanity from the sins they had done. The Jesus that I know was born human, and when He grew up, He spread love around the world, and now the followers call themselves as The Christians. The Jesus that I know will open up His arms and welcome children, and all people would like to join His path of redemption. The Jesus that I know is also willing to forgive all of our wrongful.

Although I don’t spend lots of time reading the Bible, I know some important parts that happened in the Old  Testament, from having joined in several church masses throughout the years. The Bible is alluded in many famous literary works, like Carrie by Stephen King. The Bible is said as the most known book on the planet who had given a hard impact on human-kind. My family are not exactly a very religious family, yet we still follow some of our religious obligations. Religion activities are a part of my life since I was little. However, since last year, my mother has step a bit back and given me some freedom to seek God with my own way. Thus, I become a seeker and a believer at the same time.

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O by Eka Kurniawan

oMy review is published in The Jakarta Post on July 21, 2016. The link is here:

And Eka Kurniawan has hightlighted my quote from my review in The Jakarta Post in his site:

Here is the whole article:

Charles Darwin defined The Law of the Jungle as “the principle that those who are strong and apply ruthless self-interest will be most successful”. The jungle is a place full of competition and individuals fighting for their survival where species defend their spot in the food chain and participate in the race of evolution.

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Bot Chan by Soseki Natsune

Botchan_pbCvr.inddI’ve read a few Japanese novels over these past few years, like Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide, or Goodbye Tsugumi by Banana Yoshimoto, and have done many critical comparison blog posts of Japanese literature and American literature. Every time I finish reading a book written by an American author, and immediately read a novel by a Japanese author, I could sense the difference.

I did a small amount of research about the novel itself, and I found out that this book is one of the most popular books in Japan, to the point where its used in many Japanese schools. Jiro Taniguchi had adapted parts of this small novel into a ten part volume series, published in Japan at 1986. This book had gone worldwide, with many other translations such as French and Spanish. There is a film adaptation, and an anime adaptation of this book too. Comparing this to American literature, if it has gone world wide enough, it would gain the title ‘best-seller’ and eventually will win an award, or become adapted into a movie.

Let’s be honest here. How many books that has reached the top 100 greatest novels ever were neither American nor European? I checked out this list, and I barely found books written outside Europe and America. I believe literature books that had originated from Asia and the Middle East should gain more popularity around the world. I’m emphasizing the word ‘literature’ here. If I ask someone to tell me a name of a book originated from Japan, I am pretty certain the answer would be the comic, or as they call it manga.  So what happened to Bot Chan and Guest Cat? Only people who actually hunts for literary books will find them eventually. Can’t they be everywhere too?

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Goodbye Tsugumi by Banana Yoshimoto

goobye tsugumiEveryone is insane in their own way, at least, that’s my opinion. It could be physically insane, like all those in the loony bin, a.k.a insane alyssum, or they could be mentally insane, stressed out after an entire days of long work and just want to throw it out on someone. Tsugumi had been sickly from the day she was born and was told by the doctors again and again that she would never survive. But she pulled through, after long periods of fighting through lots of fevers. You would expect a sickly kid like that to be overly submissive, weak, and just plain timid. But that’s the exact opposite of Tsugumi. She’s spoiled rotten, and was prone to love saying things at the wrong time.

To her cousin, Maria, who narrated the whole story, Tsugumi was two faced in many ways. In front of her school friends and guys, she’s shy and graceful. But in front of her family and cousins, she’s the devil. A pure living Satan. Her tantrums were something almost always common making her always got what she wanted. To worsen things, Tsugumi’s parents and sister were amazingly patient people. They didn’t retaliate to Tsugumi’s attitude and personality. They pampered her even more.

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It by Stephen King

itFear is very natural. People like to challenge their limits on how far they can go. Reading a horror genre book is one of my preferences, not because I like to challenge my limit, but it’s simply because horror is beautiful.

Ghosts and demons appear in many forms. It depends where the movie/book that you read originated from. “Apparition” or “the spirit of the dead” in America are normally vampires, werewolves, or devil. But “apparition” in Asia are beyond devil. Kuntilanak is a young woman who dresses in a white and has a long black hair. Cut out the fact that she’s creepy and always appears at certain place, like on the top of a tree or… behind you.

A horror genre novel doesn’t always involve demon. Take Carrie by Stephen King as an example. There wasn’t any Satan involved. It was Carrie herself who made the whole story spooky — because she had the telekinesis power. To think that a clown at King’s It could be eerie is very interesting one. Yes, that funny person at a five year old kid’s birthday party is scary. I  have a huge fear of clowns ever since I was small. It turns out that my fear is very common for some people. Clowns do look frightening. It is the way the clown’s laugh and his cosmetics–the pale  white face with maroon bloody lips . It is difficult to even consider a clown as funny.

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