Tuesday, June 03, 2008


In the past couple of weeks, I have finished reading two books; one by Kassim Ahmad - an autobiography of some sort entitled "Mencari Jalan Pulang" and the other one is the second novel by Khalid Hosseini entitled "A Thousand Splendid Suns".

Just like his first novel,"A Thousand Splendid Suns" is a story set in the Afghanistan's not so distant past and the present. It tells the story of two Afghan women, Maryam and Laila who came to share a husband and more under different and difficult circumstances. Along the way, they found the meaning of true love in each other and in their children.

The book is great and refreshing. It provides insights into the lives of the Afghans and how they dealt with their difficult lives while facing the ravages of wars. The part where Laila and Maryam tried to escape from their abusive husband was particularly riveting and full of suspense.

However, IMHO, I like the first book better. But this book is still a great read.

As for the second book, it is more of a 'fact-finding' mission. I just like to know more about the man who, to my knowledge, had rocked the country big time. TWICE. The first one was about his unorthodox critical analysis of the Hang Tuah v Hang Jebat saga, and the second controversy was about his book, "Hadis : Satu Penilaian Semula", back in 1986.

In this book, the author talks about his early life,his background and his education. Most importantly, he reveals why and how he became a socialist and fell out of love with the ideology. He is frank in his telling. He mentions about the time he was labelled an atheist after he published his poem, "Sidang Roh". He still stands by his conviction that any hadis which goes against Quran must be rejected.

One thing annoying about the book is that the writer's habit of repeating himself. Maybe it his style, I don't know. It's also written in the style of old school Bahasa. And there are also the sprinkling of dialek Utara as the author comes from Kedah.

However, I have to re-read last chapters of the book as I was kind of rushing to finish reading it.

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