- Series: Buru Quartet (Book 1)
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (May 1, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140256350
- ISBN-13: 978-0140256352
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 77 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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This Earth of Mankind (Buru Quartet) Paperback – May 1, 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
Indonesian novelist and political dissident Toer's compelling tale of love and colonialism is narrated by a young native student in turn-of-the-century Java who becomes involved in the intrigues of one of the island's leading families.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Protagonist Minke is due all the honors of a Dutch high school graduate in his native Java. Though the 20th century is just dawning, he is a champion of science, technology, and openness amongst the many ethnic levels of Java's colonial society. Himself a Native, Minke marries Annelies, a Mixed-Blood daughter of an astute concubine, one whose owner has left her alone to develop and manage a vast business. When Minke moves in with Annelies and her mother, they form a family at once perfect within yet challenged from without by racial and legal threats that eventually destroy them all. Toer's novel is a beautiful archetype of the evils inherent in colonial and racially stratified societies. The novel was written during Toer's 14 years as a political prisoner, and his continuing city arrest in Jakarta is testimony to its power. Such extraordinary struggle has produced a novel worthy of its author's sacrifice.
- Paul E. Hutchison, Pequea, Pa.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
The book is somewhat light on direct action--though lots does happen!--and is instead structured as a series of conversations that serve as lessons for Manke. If you need something with lots of dramatic sequences, then, the book won't please you. But the dialogue is well-written, the characters are vivid and surprising (especially the concubine, Mama), and the plot has some shocking twists and turns.
My favorite aspect of the book, as a non-Muslim American reader, is how it shows what the West and its values look like from the outside, and nudges you into relating with the Javanese as opposed to Europeans. I don't want to give anything away, but at one point, you'll find yourself rooting for the strict imposition of sharia law instead of Dutch law, which comes off as far more inhumane and unjust than the (in the Western media) much-condemned sharia law. But it does this subtly, as I mentioned above, by making you relate to the characters and their plights, not by caricaturing all Europeans as evil (in fact, most of the European characters are helpful to Manke).
Fun fact about it before you read: The author was placed on an island prison because his writings were seen as potentially dangerous to the regime at the time. He wrote the book by reciting it to his fellow inmates since he didn't have paper. It wasn't until years later, after he was released, that he wrote the story down - contacting his old friends from the island to help him get the story correct.
I've read a lot of well translated novels (Hesse, Camus, Tolstoy) and this quartet from Indonesia is as good (great) as any of them.
Seriously, this is the kind of thing that you should be required to read in school, and some people are.
Pramoedya is Indonesia's Mark Twain. Pointing out the countries faults, but with an obvious love for it's people, and mankind in general.
This is a classic of modern literature. You will be better off for reading it.
An upper class brilliant young Javanese scholar, being groomed by the Dutch, and a ravishingly beautiful young daughter of a rich Dutchman and his Javanese concubine fall hopelessly in love. The wicked brother and rightful heir intercedes, with overtones of the oppressed (Javanese) and the oppressor (Holland). What a story! Probably the most romantic and most beautifully written book I have read in years (of course the fact that I read it in central Java may have added even more emotion and meaning). Anyway, I cannot wait to get on to the next of the four.
Most recent customer reviews
Book was as described and shipping was prompt.