Hannah, David, Connie, and Linda - four terminally ill patients - have been selected for the SUBlife pilot program, which will grant them brand-new, genetically perfect bodies....
Anna Łania is just seven years old when the Germans take her father, a linguistics professor, during their purge of intellectuals in Poland. She's alone. And then Anna meets the Swallow Man....
Marina Makarova is a young woman of privilege who aches to break free of the constraints of her genteel life, a life about to be violently upended by the vast forces of history....
When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition....
Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn't spoken for many years, comes to see her....
On the day of Barack Obama's inauguration, an enigmatic billionaire from foreign shores takes up residence in the architectural jewel of "the Gardens"....
College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person....
A profound, startling, and beautifully crafted debut novel, The Sympathizer is the story of a man of two minds, someone whose political beliefs clash with his individual loyalties....
It all began with a correspondence between two quite different women: 28-year-old Sara from Haninge, Sweden, and 65-year-old Amy from the small town of Broken Wheel, Iowa....
Anna Kerrigan, nearly 12 years old, accompanies her father to the house of a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family....
In Lisbon in 1904, a young man named Tomás discovers an old journal. It hints at the existence of an extraordinary artifact that - if he can find it - would redefine history....
My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila, who represent the story of a nation and the nature of friendship....
Mahmood, a civil engineer, becomes a target of the new fundamentalist regime and is murdered....
A biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court....
Fates and Furies is a literary masterpiece that defies expectation. A dazzling examination of a marriage, it is also a portrait of creative partnership....
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The English-language debut of Indonesia's rising star. The epic novel Beauty Is a Wound combines history, satire, family tragedy, legend, humor, and romance in a sweeping polyphony.
The beautiful Indo prostitute Dewi Ayu and her four daughters are beset by incest, murder, bestiality, rape, insanity, monstrosity, and the often vengeful undead. Kurniawan's gleefully grotesque hyperbole functions as a scathing critique of his young nation's troubled past: the rapacious offhand greed of colonialism; the chaotic struggle for independence; the 1965 mass murders of perhaps a million "Communists", followed by three decades of Suharto's despotic rule.
Beauty Is a Wound astonishes from its opening line: "One afternoon on a weekend in May, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for 21 years...." Drawing on local sources - folktales and the all-night shadow puppet plays, with their bawdy wit and epic scope - and inspired by Melville and Gogol, Kurniawan's distinctive voice brings something luscious yet astringent to contemporary literature.
While this is most certainly a graphic book and explores in at some times crude terms the facets of love and desire, there is so much going on that I will need to listen to it a second time to pick up everything the author is saying. One of my new favorites!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
This was an audiobook. What a great story weaver the author is! I would highly recommend.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Very interesting storyline which wandered greatly throughout the story, but did finally bring itself to a culmination of all the stories. I really enjoyed this book and the tales it told. Very well worth a read
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I enjoyed this audio book, though not sure I would have finished if it were not for the narrators entertaining depiction of characters and story.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
If you enjoy allegorical tales; yearn to learn and think as you read without being overly challenged; delight in discovering (or trying to) the metaphorical meaning of actions, characters and things within a story; and/or relished "Animal Farm" and/or "One Hundred Years of Solitude,"
You should definitely read this novel which reflects and criticizes the turbulent history of the world's 4th most populous country Indonesia, a country of more than 14,000 islands and of terrible tsunamis. Indonesia's native citizens suffered under three and a half centuries of Dutch rule, Japanese occupation for 3 years during WWII, the mass slaughter of possibly a million citizens after the failed Communist coup in 1965, followed by the despotic rule of Suharto for 3 decades.
Kurniawan tells this tempestuous history by the epic story, by turns ridiculous, magical and hilarious but always captivating, of Dewi Ayu, the 3/4 Dutch and 1/4 Malaysian girl forced into prostitution in her late teens upon Japanese occupation, her four daughters (each with different fathers), their lovers and husbands, Dewi Ayu's 3 grandchildren, and the village of Halimundo, which is very reminiscent of the village of Macondo in One Hundred Years of Solitude. Kurniawan also weaves in colorful, intriguing local folklore to make his points.
While the novel contains some scenes of the grotesque and of rapes, they did not seem gratuitous and I can't say they weren't needed to reflect the tragedies that have befallen Indonesia and its residents.
I'll go out on a limb to say this fascinating, sordid and intellectually stimulating novel is destined to be deemed a classic written by the young Indonesian author Eka Kurniawan, for whom the comparisons to Gabriel Garcia Marquez are well-deserved.
10 of 13 people found this review helpful
I kept listening out of intrigue as in where is the going. The narration was superb. The voices accurately depicting what the words were describing. May be the best dramatic reading I have heard. The moral of the tale is all in the title. It is worth a listen as long as you are prepared to be confused by the stupidity of some characters and the audacity of others. And then there is the supernatural component that you simply need to ride along with.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Great story with historical context. An prostitute comes back to life to recount Indonesia's civil war
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Without spoiling the plot much I can say I found the main character completely unappealing. She's a hard luck tale who likes who she is, but it's just too nasty to repeat how she got there. It may redeem itself in the ending of the book, but I'm too grossed out to get there. It's not the sex in the novel, which is minimal. The characters are almost sociopathic, without the glitter. I'm returning this book.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
The story line is bizarre and I kept waiting for an interesting twist and it never happened.
What was most disappointing about Eka Kurniawan’s story?
There was nothing entertaining, funny or even interesting to the story. Bizarre is the best word.
What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?
performance could not overcome the story
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
0 of 3 people found this review helpful
This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
A teen age boy.
What do you think your next listen will be?
For Whom the Bell Tolled.
What didn’t you like about Jonathan Davis’s performance?
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
Any additional comments?
Sensational, catering to the lowest common denominator.
2 of 16 people found this review helpful