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Jalan Jalan: A Novel of Indonesia

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Highlights

  • ISBN13:9780804846295
  • ISBN10:0804846294
  • Publisher:Tuttle Publishing
  • Language:English
  • Author:Mike Stoner
  • Binding:Paperback
  • SUPC: SDL170947263

Description

Brief Description

"**Winner of The Guardian London's Self-published Book of the Month Award** Set on the lush tropical island of Sumatra, Jalan Jalan is the story of one man's attempt to escape from himself and the memory of his dead girlfriend. On the first page our narrator arrives in Indonesia, having taken a job in a ragtag language school where his fellow teachers are all misfits seemingly on the run from the realities of life in their home countries. "What sort of idiot takes a job after a five minute phone interview, in a country he knows nothing much about and on the other side of the world, in a school he's never heard of? Me idiot. That's who!" says the disaffected Newbie--a nickname given to him by his colleagues. This story of a quest for salvation in an exotic foreign land will appeal to fans of Alex Garland's The Beach, Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love and Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano. The title of the book comes from the Indonesian phrase jalan jalan ("walk walk") which one of the characters describes as: "Just fu,&ing walking man. Out for a stroll." To Newbie, whose real name is never revealed until the book's final page, the phrase aptly sums up the emotional detachment he seeks. Yet despite himself, he cannot help being transformed by his new experiences. Characters in the novel include Charles, a dubious Indonesian nightclub owner; Kim, Newbie's dope-smoking Californian housemate; down-to-earth Julie, taciturn Marty and neurotic Geoff--all fellow teachers at his school; and Eka, a sensuous Indonesian prostitute who becomes his lover and primary solace. Newbie's late girlfriend Laura remains a ghostly presence, tormenting him with memories of their past, as the narrative weaves between richly textured descriptions of life on the beautiful island of Sumatra and the languid English seaside town where they once lived. Through internal dialogues and flashbacks, we learn of their past and of the day Laura's mother called to say she had died in a horrific traffic accident. Newbie does his best to reinvent himself, throwing himself into the life of a reckless young expat--drinking, taking drugs, and exploring Indonesia's breathtaking landscapes. There are moments of enlightenment--when he takes magic mushrooms for the first time, sees orangutans in the wild, and helps Charles reunite with his wife. But he cannot escape the memory of Laura, and has an alcohol and drug-fuelled breakdown on what would have been her birthday. Charles arranges an exorcism with an Indonesian shaman, who, in a surreal scene on a deserted beach, not only makes the ghost of Laura disappear but plants a strong suggestion in Newbie's head that time isn't linear, that the events of the past may never have happened--and that Laura might still be alive!"--

Learn More about the Book

**Winner of The Guardian London's Self-published Book of the Month Award**
"What sort of idiot takes a job after a five minute phone interview, in a country he knows nothing much about and on the other side of the world, in a school he's never heard of?"
Newbie is on the run. From England. From the past. From memories of his dead girlfriend, Laura. Indonesia is as good a place as any to reinvent himself cheap beer, exotic landscapes, a beautiful Indonesian girlfriend, and a bunch of misfit mate all masquerading as English teachers.
Jalan Jalan. "Just walking. Out for a stroll." It's a local phrase that sums up Newbie's quest for emotional detachment, to block out the pain of the past. But Laura won't leave him alone her ghost haunts him, her voice fills his head, her gaze follows him everywhere. It will take a breakdown and an exorcism at the hands of an Indonesian shaman to make Newbie realize that the events of the past might not always be what they seem "

About the Book

**Winner of "The Guardian London's" Self-published Book of the Month Award**
"What sort of idiot takes a job after a five minute phone interview, in a country he knows nothing much about and on the other side of the world, in a school he's never heard of?"
Newbie is on the run. From England. From the past. From memories of his dead girlfriend, Laura. Indonesia is as good a place as any to reinvent himself cheap beer, exotic landscapes, a beautiful Indonesian girlfriend, and a bunch of misfit mate all masquerading as English teachers.
"Jalan Jalan." "Just walking. Out for a stroll." It's a local phrase that sums up Newbie's quest for emotional detachment, to block out the pain of the past. But Laura won't leave him alone her ghost haunts him, her voice fills his head, her gaze follows him everywhere. It will take a breakdown and an exorcism at the hands of an Indonesian shaman to make Newbie realize that the events of the past might not always be what they seem "

Review Quotes

1. "An involving tale of self-transformation." The Guardian"

2. "An involving tale of self-transformation." "The Guardian""

3. "An involving tale of self-transformation." The Guardian"

4. "Tender and accomplished, funny and sad, Stoner's tale, a collision of culture, geography and sex, is a very impressive debut." David Flusfeder, author of The Gift"

5. "Mike Stoner has stylishly reinvented and rebooted this particular "expat in Asia" genre the English teacher in a foreign land breaking hearts and having his heart broken all while sailing into hearts of starless, midnight darkness. It's a great, rollicking read and Stoner has lived it, loved it and returned to regale us with it." Karl Taro Greenfeld, author of The Subprimes"

6. "Jalan Jalan captures perfectly what it is to be young and adrift in southeast Asia. By turns ribald and tender, and with many moments of strange magic, this is a novel suffused with heartbreak, humidity, and the scent of clove cigarettes." Tim Hannigan, author of A Brief History of Indonesia"

7. "Raw, confrontational and aimed directly at anyone who has decided to take a hike from life, hide out for a while and reinvent who you are in another culture, it lays bare the vulnerability of the human psyche Not for the fainthearted, this will take you on a journey which will be hard to forget " Blue Wolf Reviews"

8. "Our adventurer is amusing as he struggles with everything. Simply staying clean poses a challenge for him in a land where 'flat feet plop across the dusty shed skin of people unknown, limbs of dead insects, and dirt walked in by rodents'. A light and uplifting read." Otago Daily Times"

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