The largest Islamic nation and the fourth most populous country in the world, Indonesia, looming large to New Zealand's north is a land of diverse language, ethnicity, religion and peoples. Journalist, seasoned observer and enthusiastic Indonesia-phile Elizabeth Pisani guides us through the culture, politics and society that comprise this 'improbable' post-independence nation.
Blending humour, empathy and information galore, this is the best of travel writing as it weaves anecdote and analysis into a fascinating and entertaining mix.
Important book - we all should know about Indonesia.
Most of the group knew little about Indonesia before reading the book, and it helped us to understand the many aspects of Indonesian culture and life. Some members found it rather repetitive.
A dense book to read, but a well-written travelogue with insightful observations about life in Indonesia. None of us had much knowledge about, or connection with, Indonesia, but feel better informed now.
Only two of us read the book! I found it fascinating. I did not know anything about Indonesia before I read it. The other reader loved it too.
Well-written, but a very big country to cover. Some found it too 'busy', but all enjoyed the historical bits.
Most of us didn't finish this book. While it is a skilfully crafted piece of writing, we found it too text bookish.
Six of us didn't finish the book ( the first time that has happened), but all but one of us enjoyed it. Four members retained the book to finish it. In general we liked the personal, travelling parts rather than the history and political bits. We enjoyed the description of some of the customs.
Many in our group found this a difficult, repetitive and boring book. A couple did not finish it. However, we did have plenty of points to discuss and as usual we had an enjoyable evening. We were fascinated by what the author was prepared to put up with, but in no way were we prepared to follow in her footsteps!
Well written but needed heavy editing to be more readable. Of particular interest to those who had visited Indonesia, but challenging otherwise.