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I'm a guy who likes science fiction, and sometimes a classic.

A sad tale from Java

Saidjah en Adinda - Thom Hoffman, Multatuli

Multatuli's best known book is Max Havelaar, about the abuses of Dutch colonial rule in the East Indies in the 19th century. Since I prefer to avoid literature that will depress me, I was happy when I found an other audiobook by Multatuli, called Saïdjah en Adinda. But I was mistaken, because this tale was taken from a chapter of that same Max Havelaar book. This short tale about love and life in the Dutch East Indies is well told but ultimately a depressing story.


The girl Adinda gives Melati flowers (jasmine sambac) to the boy Saïdjah.

The girl Adinda gives melati flowers to the boy Saïdjah. They love each other from a young age. - Notes about the Indonesian words explain: the melati flower (jasmine sambac) plays, like for us the rose, a large role in ballads, folklore and legends. - Photograph by Jun's World @ Flickr

(show spoiler)


It's funny, on the one hand I think disseminating ideas in the form of prose is more effective than distributing leaflets or manifesto's. But on the other hand there must be large groups of people who do not want to hear heartbreaking abuse stories. Especially not when the book is a complaint against the government that those same readers are responsible for. Anyway,I must respect authors who manage to turn their writing skills into a (reasonably) effective voice of protest. Conclusion: Depressing. But it's nice to know that Multatuli is a good writer.For this tale: 3,5 out of 5 stars