Friday, April 22, 2016

(2016 International Man Booker Prize Longlist) "Man Tiger" by Eka Kurniawan (Indonesia)

Rating: 2 out of 3

This is a novel about a grisly murder committed by a young man in rural Indonesia. The twist here, though, is that the reader already finds out who killed whom from the very first sentence. What the novel aims to tell us over the next 172 odd pages is why.

I actually ended up liking this novel a lot more than I expected to. It was a rare glimpse at rural Indonesian life, and less of a murder mystery than a look into the issues surrounding two families that led to the fatal, murderous event.

The main character (and murderer) Margio was in particular, well written, although I found all of the characters to be subtly, but well fleshed out. The narrative was interesting, sufficiently well paced and suspenseful enough to keep me engaged all the way till the very end, when the final secret surrounding the murderer's motivations was revealed.

All in all, an interesting read that I would recommend to those interested in world literature.

UP NEXT: 1) 2015 "Big Book" Prize Winner "Zuleikha Opens her Eyes" 2) Marie NDiaye's "Ladivine" 3) yet another International Booker Longlister (this one set in China) 4) the first work to be featured on mychitalka by famed Russian writer Ivan Bunin and 5) the 2015 Prix Medici winner.

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