O by Eka Kurniawan

oMy review is published in The Jakarta Post on July 21, 2016. The link is here: http://www.thejakartapost.com/life/2016/07/21/review-o-a-dangerous-tale-on-the-law-of-the-jungle.html

And Eka Kurniawan has hightlighted my quote from my review in The Jakarta Post in his site: http://ekakurniawan.com/books/o

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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The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevesky

the idiotWhat first comes in your mind when you’re asked to define the word ‘Idiot?’ The dictionary defines ‘Idiot’ as “a stupid person.” with many other synonyms such as ‘fool’, ‘halfwit’ and ‘moron.’ A person that is under the title is normally someone who had done such a stupid act and had tangled himself into a problem which also could involve other people around him. So the question is, who is ‘The Idiot’ in this story? Prince Myshkin is the symbol of perfection towards several people. He is very open and very meek. He will not hesitate to speak what is going on with his mind, something that is encouraged everywhere at the moment.

But what happens when a character like that is introduced into the ‘real world.’; a place full of crime and corruption; a place full of madness, sadness, greed, and poverty? Of course, the growing flower would turn wilted in less then an hour. Prince Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin was first introduced boarding a train. He had just spent several years in Swiss recovering from epilepsy which was a chronic disorder which might lead to seizures at random times. It was apparently connected with the brain, because those with epilepsy had neurological symptoms too.

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The Stranger VS The Catcher In the Rye

strangerWithout hesitation, I can say some literary writers who have influenced me to see the World (with capital W), but the real “giants” who gift me the most impact for my twelve years of beautiful life are Albert Camus and J.D. Salinger.  Last year I picked up a copy of The Catcher In the Rye and I was hooked. Last month, I had a whole stacked of books to read during my school holiday. I pored over them one by one, started to read. The Stranger won my heart straight away. This time, my writing is intended to be a deep dive, side by side comparison of their similaraties and difference. Those who don’t read the books yet might find this article is confusing as I don’t uncover the storylines in details.

The Stranger is a small powerful novella that talks about how a human battle his consciousness to trivialize everything — the killing, his subsequent arrest, his imprisonment, his trial, his conviction, and his sentencing, while The Catcher in the Rye is also a novella which talks about a teenager who has lots of problems in his daily life — getting expelled from school and roaming round New York — and he ends up doing things he isn’t supposed to do, although he thinks the other way around.

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The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman

golden compassEverybody in this world has a daemon. The daemon is part of their soul, and reflects their personality. When they feel anger and tension at someone else, their daemons will feel it too and fight. When its love, the daemons will nuzzle and pat each other. This is the central idea of The Golden Compass; but I think the concept is not merely just a fiction, or fantasy. It really can relate to us. People has different personalities. Some are solitary like cats, while othres form groups and have a strong sense of belonging, like dogs. Some gets super hardworking like ants, while others are slow like sloths. Some are fierce like sharks, while others are gentle like panda. That’s daemon is all about.

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Kitab Omong Kosong (The Book of Nonsense) by Seno Gumira Ajidarma

kitab omong kosongKitab Omong Kosong is a sort-of-philosophical-fiction book, written in Indonesian language. This is my first difficult (and most challanging) Indonesian novel that I attempted to read. It revolves around  five theories about the worlds, each overlapping and going against the other theories. The theories are written in the form of a story that most people know, called Ramayana. However, the story of Ramayana is twisted in many ways, intertwined with the new plots and characters. Together, they are called Kitab Omong Kosong. How two young people named Satya and Maneka try to find the book, and what their life get to do with the life of Hanuman, the monkey God, who has a great and long spirit? It also tells us the destruction of the White horse army, which start from Maneka’s tatoo that begins this book of nonsense.

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