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Cantik itu Luka

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  3,263 Ratings  ·  660 Reviews
Di akhir masa kolonial, seorang perempuan dipaksa menjadi pelacur. Kehidupan itu terus dijalaninya hingga ia memiliki tiga anak gadis yang kesemuanya cantik. Ketika mengandung anaknya yang keempat, ia berharap anak itu akan lahir buruk rupa. Itulah yang terjadi, meskipun secara ironik ia memberinya nama si Cantik.

“Perihal berbagai gaya dan bentuk yang diaduk jadi satu ini,
Paperback, 490 pages
Published February 16th 2012 by Gramedia Pustaka Utama (first published December 2002)
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(showing 1-30)
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Feb 07, 2016 Rowena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asia
"One afternoon on a weekend in March, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for twenty-one years."- Eka Kurniawan, Beauty is a Wound

This book has one of the best, most memorable opening sentences I've ever read. And it definitely set the stage for one of the most compelling and engrossing stories I've read in a long time. Over 500 pages of prose and I enjoyed every page. Even without having any knowledge of the history of Indonesia, I loved it.

Indonesia seems to have had a turbulent hist
Eka Kurniawan, said to be following in the giant steps of Indonesia's most famous author, Pramoedya Ananta Toer (known for his anti-colonial and social realism tetralogy, Buru Quartet), is a popular literary young blood who could be as heavily influenced by a host of literary icons. His novel Beauty is a Wound is a 20th century Indonesian historiography told in the rich folklore of her culture; in gothicism that awakens memories of Lafcadio Hearn's chilling Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strang ...more
May 18, 2016 Perry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating Allegorical Tale of Indonesia f/k/a Dutch East Indies
If you like tales of political/social allegory, such as Animal Farm and One Hundred Years of Solitude, that exercise your brain, without overly challenging to the point of losing intrigue, the kind of story in which you delight in discovering (or trying to) the metaphorical meaning of actions, characters and things within, then I recommend you put this on your list of books to check out.

This brilliant novel reflects and criticize
Jul 26, 2015 Marianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“It’s true that oppressed people only have one tool of resistance: run amok. And if I have to tell you, revolution is nothing more than a collective running amok, organized by one particular party”

Beauty is a Wound is one of only two (so far) works by Indonesian journalist, writer and designer, Eka Kurniawan that have been translated into English. Twelve days after she gave birth to her fourth daughter (ironically named Beauty), Dewi Ayu, even at fifty-two still the most beautiful and desired pr
Morana Mazor
Mar 30, 2017 Morana Mazor rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Rijetko se meni dogodi da odustanem od knjige i ne pročitam je do kraja jer si već nekako znam procijeniti što bi mi se svidjelo, a što ne bi... Ali, u ovom sam se slučaju grdno prevarila (događa se i najboljima.. ;) )..
Isto tako, želja da pišem osvrt i da svima pričam o nekoj knjizi najčešće me uhvati kada me neka knjiga oduševi.. Ove druge eventualno spomenem, u nekoj raspravi ili, ako me netko baš upita za mišljenje o određenoj knjizi koja meni, eto, nije sjela... Ali, ovaj put ću vam baš na
Nov 16, 2016 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This falls somewhere between a 2.5 and a 3.5. When I first started it I thought I was going to love it. It had many shades of One Hundred Years of Solitude. There were many things I did really like. The historical backdrop of Indonesia was fascinating and I ended up googling lots of things to learn more about the history. A lot of this book is political satire which never really works for me. I found some of the characters to be fascinating and I loved their stories but in the end there was far ...more
Roger Brunyate
Indonesian History as Fact and Fable

"One afternoon on a weekend in March, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for twenty-one years." Not your usual opening for a novel, is it? Dewi Ayu, formerly the most sought-after prostitute in the district of Halimunda, walks back to her house, takes a bath, and is reunited with her daughter Beauty, who she had prayed would be born ugly—as indeed she most certainly was. After a few dozen pages, the action slips back in time to Dewi Ayu's childhood,
Sep 26, 2015 Cher rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
1.5 stars - I didn't like it.

After an incredible opening paragraph, this one has begun to just disappoint and bore. DNF'ing around 75 pages / 15% in. I have had my fill of rape, incest and bestiality and am choosing to move on to another book on my never-ending TBR list. This one's just not for me.

First Sentence: One afternoon on a weekend in March, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for twenty-one years.
Sep 26, 2015 jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translation, fiction
a beautiful, stirring, and powerful epic of indonesian politics and family, eka kurniawan's beauty is a wound (cantik itu luka) must surely be considered as one of the year's finest works of translated fiction. sweeping across decades and generations, beauty is a wound is a violent, enchanted saga, compelling on account of both its impressive breadth and storytelling verve. kurniawan, an indonesian journalist and author, published this remarkable novel when he was 27 years old (released in engli ...more
Viv JM
DNF @ 40%

This is a very rapey book and I really don't want to continue any further, specifically after a scene where a woman, after being gang raped on multiple occasions, is then consumed by lust for her "rescuer". No. Just no. I get that this book is satirical and allegorical and symbolic, but still. The author doesn't graphically describe the rape scenes but there are just so many and I am really not convinced that they are necessary to the plot. It's a shame, because I really liked the begin
Missy J

Beauty is a Wound is the debut novel of Eka Kurniawan, which was originally published in 2002. This is the second time for me to read a work by Kurniawan (earlier this year I read Lelaki Harimau also known as Man Tiger and it is one of my favorite books). Compared to Man Tiger, Beauty is a Wound is a grand and quite over-ambitious satire. With the historic backdrop stretching across the end of Dutch colonialism of the Indies to the end of the 20th century, Kurniawan tells the story of an Ind
This was an unexpectedly good book. Interesting, riveting, surprising, and by the end, all consuming. I listened to this on audible because at this time of the year, reading time is a premium. Simply put, I loved it and Jonathan Davis did a very fine job at narration. Not sure what I was anticipating, but this book took hold of me and would not let go. I would go so far as to call it epic. Part folklore, part Indonesian history, part magical realism, part allegory, part (fictional) memoir, it wa ...more
There is so much rape in this book. I'm not necessarily averse to that but I have questions about how and why sexual violence functions as both plot point and constantly revisited method of characterization, as nearly all of the women in this novel - both primary and secondary- are defined and characterized by their brutal and repetitive violations.

The novel was often beautiful and really well written. I can understand why it has drawn so many glowing comparisons to One Hundred Years of Solitud
Joachim Stoop
Jun 16, 2015 Joachim Stoop rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 100 years this book will (still) be considered an important piece in our literary history.
This is epic, compelling, hard, beautiful. It deserves the same recognition as A Hundred years of solitude by GG Marquez & Voltaire's Zadig. Top!
Alice Lippart
An excellent and original tale. Lots of history, a bit of magical realism and fascinating characters.
I first learned of this novel from the BTBA (Best Translated Book Award) Fiction long list for 2016. I bought it because it is a fictional account of Indonesian history and because I liked the title. It was the last book I read in 2016. Filled with wild and crazy characters, featuring colonial oppression and the rape of natural resources and as well as a mixed race descendant of a Dutch East India Company trader, it covers war, communism, slaughter, rape, unstable politics, indigenous customs, ...more
This book was epic. It was full of violence, rape, mass murder, incest, bestiality and brutality. The narrative spans over many generations of the one family and isn't always linear. I loved this about the book - the complex family trees, the magic realism, the twists and surprises in the plot... right from the very first line I was sucked in to what is essentially a ghost story:

"One afternoon on a weekend in March, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for twenty-one years."

The combina
Sep 30, 2015 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've got to say that I don't usually read books that could be described as this one is in the Goodreads "Description"! That is, one with as much violence--murders, massacres, rapes, etc. BUT, as hackneyed as it sounds, I could not put it down. I can't totally explain why, except to say that the writing is so amazing you don't want to miss any of it. And my burgeoning interest in translated fiction in general is part of it too. The fact that it won the major translation award recently supports my ...more
Dec 05, 2015 Alvina rated it liked it
Sama mbuletnya kayak novel 100 tahun kesunyian. Sama suramnya. Sama memusingkannya.


Ini kisah yang rumit. Sudah lama saya mendengar nama Eka Kurniawan ketika sedang mengobrol dengan teman teman blogger buku atau sekadar melihat buku barunya di timeline. Terlebih setelah bukunya memenangkan anugerah sastra dan banyak review positif mengenainya.

Ketika masih dalam tahap mencoba aplikasi IJak, saya langsung meminjam buku ini. Penasaran tingkat dewa.

Kesan saya? Ouch, buku ini
Dec 03, 2015 Huda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Let me get this straight: Beauty is a wound, because it fosters ill-will and causes chaos among men?

Because men are such animals?

What I don’t want to do is look at this story with the eyes of a haughty modernist, because this is meant to be an epic, and anyway its universe is not set in the rules of logic.

But mannnnnnnnn, what is with all the zoophilia and raping and all the ‘making love’ and all those lol-worthy ghosts, and I cannot even be done with listing all the depravities in this book.
Oct 16, 2007 Windry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, indonesian
(sebenarnya 2.8)

kekuatannya ada di kandungan sejarah membaur dengan cerita ... sisanya, ini bukan buku untuk manusia lugu macam saya (heran, ngomongin seks melulu) dan keknya buku ini seharusnya bisa lebih tipis :D
Aug 25, 2015 A rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
3.5 stars. Impressively ambitious in its scope, especially considering Kurniawan was just 26 when this was originally published (in early 2002). By comparison, Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez were both 40 when their generation-spanning fabulist masterpieces first appeared on shelves.

I bring up Garcia Marquez and Allende not arbitrarily but because magical realism (whatever that means anymore!) is unquestionably the main influence on Kurniawan's 470pp charmer (as you no doubt realized f
Leonart Maruli
Kalimat terakhirnya mungkin salah satu punchline terbaik :

Kenapa kau mencintai perempuan buruk rupa? Sebab cantik itu luka :D

Keseluruhan, novel ini memang memiliki karakteristik tokoh-tokohnya yang tidak waras, wajar saja waktu pertama kali terbit novel ini dianggap novel gagal. Mungkin bagi sebagian orang, karakter yang ada di dalam novel Cantik itu Luka, seperti tidak layak menerima simpati dari pembacanya. Banyak adegan mesum yang terjadi sepanjang novel ini, mulai dari Dewi Ayu sampai semua
Moby F.
Mar 04, 2013 Moby F. rated it it was amazing
Novel yang aneh dan gila. (mengucap panjang)
Aku tak gemar sangat baca benda-benda berkait hal perang, pemberontakkan, komunisme apatah lagi hal pelacuran tapi jalan cerita buku ini disusun sungguh rapi dan teratur menjadikan ia satu bacaan yang tidak membosankan. Penulis sangat pandai mengolah setiap watak sehingga setiap watak dan karakter dibuku ini sama penting dengan Dewi Ayu. Dari kisah Maman Gendeng ke Sang Sodancho terus ke Kamerad Kliwon juga perihal anak-anak Dewi Ayu sendiri malah sehi
Decades after Garcia Marquez and Rushdie made their marks, it turns out magical realism still has some life in it. Now, in those decades, a lot of godawful magical realism has been produced (mango-flavored kisses and all that), but this is the real deal. Not only does it cover the heady intersection of black magic and political fracas that is a hallmark of so many of those primarily Latin American grand masters, it goes into the deep, dark shit... genocide, rape, and bestiality (including via sh ...more
Anggraeni Purfita Sari
Saya membaca buku ini berdekatan dengan membaca karya Pramoedya Ananta Toer, dan saya yakin bukan kebetulan kalau memang saya merasakan nuansa Pram banget di buku ini. Background yang diambil adalah ketika awal masa pendudukan Jepang hingga masa kemerdekaan Indonesia, dengan memasukkan kehidupan para komunis yang cukup kental. Inti cerita adalah kehidupan cinta si tokoh utama, yaitu Dewi Ayu hingga ke anak cucunya.

Dewi Ayu sebagai seorang pelacur kelas atas memiliki 4 orang anak, 3 anak pertaman
Sharulnizam Mohamed Yusof
Cantik Itu Luka saya beli ketika Pesta Buku Kuala Lumpur yang lepas. Diterbitkan semula oleh Dubook Press. Dan saya hanya membacanya ketika mahu ke Pesta Buku Indonesia di Jakarta.

Bagaimana ya, mahu saya ulas buku yang sudah diterjemah kepada 24 bahasa di seluruh dunia ini?

1) Buku ini gabungan kisah mistik, sejarah, falsafah perjuangan dan juga erotis. Mistik pada peringkat permulaan dan penghujung. Mengimbas sejarah dan diselitkan falsafah perjuangan (komunis) untuk mengukuhkan jalan cerita. Er
May 06, 2015 Rizky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ah, setelah berhari-hari berusaha menamatkan buku ini akhirnya 498 halaman berhasil juga kuselesaikan. Bukan karena buku ini tidak bagus, tetapi saking bagusnya aku perlu meresapi kata demi kata cerita ini. Jujur aku takjub dengan begitu banyaknya tokoh dalam kisah ini, tidak hanya membahas mengenai "Si Cantik" saja, tetapi kurasa hampir semua orang dalam kampung si Cantik ada dalam buku ini. Dan itu semua tidak sia-sia, penulis mampu membuatku terhipnotis untuk terus membaca dan membaca.

Vanda Kemala
Sep 03, 2015 Vanda Kemala rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sebelumnya, maafkan kata-kata saya, tapi buku ini edan!

Edan alurnya.
Edan detail cerita penokohannya.
Edan ide ceritanya.
Edan bikin settingnya.
Semuanya! Dan bikin stres nan gemes sendiri pas baca.

Menyelipkan sedikit cerita masa-masa komunis merajai Indonesia, seakan menunjukkan secara halus kiprah mereka pada masanya. Juga runtuhnya mereka karena (katanya) dianggap melakukan kudeta.

Lima bintang bisa aja, andai nggak ditemukan beberapa kesalahan penulisan semacam "memperhatikan", yang seharusnya "m
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Eka Kurniawan was born in Tasikmalaya in 1975 and completed his studies in the Faculty of Philosophy at Gadjah Mada University. He has been described as the “brightest meteorite” in Indonesia’s new literary firmament, the author of two remarkable novels which have brought comparisons to Salman Rushdie, Gabriel García Márquez and Mark Twain; the English translations of these novels were both publis ...more
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“Communism was born from a beautiful dream, the likes of which there will never be again on the face of this earth: that there would no longer be lazy men who eat their fill while others work hard and starve.” 15 likes
“Semua perempuan itu pelacur, sebab seorang istri baik-baik pun menjual kemaluannya demi mas kawin dan uang belanja, atau cinta jika itu ada.” 10 likes
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