As a reader, every once in a while, you come across a title and/ or an author that you haven’t ever heard of. That’s common. What makes this discovery even more fascinating is the fact that the book is rather popular and has been praised by some of the best celebrities and respected book lists in the world. This is exactly how I learned about Beauty is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan.
Even if you’re the most ferocious reader, I can assure you; even you can’t guess what will happen in the next page of this book. It’s a sheer journey of 470 pages full of plot twists and surprises.
On the face of it, Beauty is a Wound is a story of an half Dutch half Indonesian prostitute named Dewi Ayu; who hails from the town of Halimunda, but it’s a cobweb of a story; to say the least.
The biggest advantage; which could also easily become a common reason for complain for many readers is the way the book has been written. There are chapters; where Eka seems to be in no hurry to take the story or the character ahead. Plus, with so many characters (Dewi Ayu, her grandparents, her four daughters, three son in laws, three grandchildren and a few subordinate characters), some might say that; the author did end up taking a little too long to get going with the actual story.
But, Beauty is a Wound is not one of those pacey, page turner thrillers. A reader needs to be in the right frame of mind to take in all the history of the place, the incidents, the characters, etc.
Once, the author has got the reader completely immersed into lives of all the characters, that’s where the dynamics of the story comes to play. Lives of characters get intertwined, and that’s when the book changes pace.
What’s interesting about the book is the fact that (almost) all characters are unapologetically grey in their inherent nature. After one point, I lost the count of sexual assault/ rape in the story. Don’t even get me started about killings (of humans, and animals). Plus, there is a lot of fantasy, history, folklore, drama, crime, war, relationships and love in this book.
For a patient reader, this is definitely a complete package. On the contrary, an unaware reader who just picks up the book based on the tempting blurb and the accolades that this book has received, will definitely find themselves in a dilemma.
Beauty is a Wound, is one of the most interesting stories that I’ve read, but it’s one book that I suggest you pick up when it’s recommended to you by someone who understands your reading pace, and choice.
Beauty is a Wound, is a book that will be appreciated by most for varied number of reasons, who manage to stay true to the book; till the last word. It’s a must try for those who appreciate prose, and declare themselves to the whim of the author, selflessly.
Disclaimer: A copy of this book was sent to the blog through the Flipkart blogger program.