Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Bumi Manusia” as Want to Read:
Bumi Manusia
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Bumi Manusia

(Tetralogi Buru #1)

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  16,611 ratings  ·  1,771 reviews
Roman Tetralogi Buru mengambil latar belakang dan cikal bakal nation Indonesia di awal abad ke-20. Dengan membacanya waktu kita dibalikkan sedemikian rupa dan hidup di era membibitnya pergerakan nasional mula-mula, juga pertautan rasa, kegamangan jiwa, percintaan, dan pertarungan kekuatan anonim para srikandi yang mengawal penyemaian bangunan nasional yang kemudian kelak m ...more
Paperback, 535 pages
Published 2005 by Lentera Dipantara (first published August 1980)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Bumi Manusia, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Saleh Tuanany Bumi Manusia - Anak Semua Bangsa - Jejak Langkah - Rumah Kaca
Tetralogi Pulau Buru. dari Pramoedya Ananta Toer.

…more
Bumi Manusia - Anak Semua Bangsa - Jejak Langkah - Rumah Kaca
Tetralogi Pulau Buru. dari Pramoedya Ananta Toer.

(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  16,611 ratings  ·  1,771 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Bumi Manusia
Scott
Jul 18, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If this is a great work of literature, Its greatness eluded me. But I enjoyed the book, learning a bit of Indonesian history and imagining what life would've been like for Natives under Dutch colonial rule. ...more
Harry Rutherford
This Earth of Mankind is the first novel of the Buru Quartet, so called because it was composed when Pramoedya Ananta Toer was a political prisoner on Buru Island in the 60s. I say ‘composed’ rather than ‘written’ because the first version of it was told orally to his fellow prisoners. He had apparently just about finished the research and planning when he was arrested and all his notes and books were destroyed.

Which is an immediately intriguing back-story, although the relationship between the
...more
Jr Bacdayan
Pramoedya Ananta Toer's This Earth of Mankind is a deeply spirited coming-of-age tale of a native Javanese set in the Dutch East Indies or Colonial Indonesia. Pieced together from orally mastered parts composed while a political prisoner, Ananta Toer's work is a vital contribution to the vastly hindered landscape of Indonesian literature.

Before anything else I just want to point out something that bothers me. While browsing through the author's page I noticed that the second sentence of Ananta T
...more
Daniel Simmons
Pretty awful as a work of literary fiction (or else a truly terrible translation of a masterpiece?), but interesting as an anthropological document of colonial-era Java.
Jackie
Jul 30, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jackie by: Frank Brodhead
Three stars because it introduced me to a slice of Javanese-Indonesian history and Dutch colonialism there, but was a difficult read at times. Though Toer takes a pretty clear side against the Dutch and its imperialism, he gives a more complex telling and analysis of Javanese life. However, the language felt a bit old (which it is), and so got got a little repetitive and dry. Still, it's worth reading and admiring the clarity that Toer had at the time in looking at his country. ...more
Michael
Oct 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
This book (English title: The Earth of Mankind) was recommended by an academic friend who learned Indonesian to read it in the author's native language - impressive! The subject is serious: a love affair between a pure-blood Javanese and a mixed-race Indo set against the backdrop of the emergence of Indonesian anti-colonial sentiment near the start of the 20th century. Unfortunately, I found the almost soap-opera-ish style hard to get accustomed to. ...more
Andres Eguiguren
This is a long-delayed review, partly because I must admit I never finished reading it and partly because I so wanted to like this Indonesian author having read about his time as a political prisoner in the 1960s. As a history teacher, I did appreciate how Ananta Toer captures 19th Century colonial life and the caste-like system that was instituted by the Dutch. The romantic story between the native Javanese boy and the mixed race girl at the centre of the novel, however, did not feel realistic ...more
Heidi
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I got this book to read while I was on Java. I didn't dislike it, but it definitely dragged. I was also hoping for something that would give me more of a feel for the island than this did, more akin to "The Gift of Rain" or "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" in terms of being really steeped in the setting. ...more
Naeem
Aug 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: perhaps Maura, perhaps Lisa
Recommended to Naeem by: Sara-Maria, Manu
First, thanks to Sara-Maria and Manu (hard as this is for me to do, a debt is a debt) for encouraging me to read the Buru Qurtet. These four books and Max Havelaar made for superb summer reading.

All the book covers say that Toer is "Asia's leading candidate for the Nobel Prize." I have no doubts about that. This not because he is a great stylist of prose (at least not in the English translation), nor because he uncovers new ground in form. Rather, I think it is Toer's ambition and vast knowled
...more
Whitaker
I was completely blown away by this work.

The first three books in the Buru Quartet were decent enough but a little programmatic: Minke starts off as a supporter of the Dutch and his loves represent his gradual move away from colonialist supporter to staunch nationalist. His first crush is the Queen of the Netherlands (!) but then he meets a Eurasian girl and her mother. The injustices visited on them by their half brother is what fuels his start towards nationalism. His next love is a young Chi
...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This is a complex novel about Dutch-Indo relations through the eyes of Minke, an intelligent Javanese boy who is sent up through Dutch schooling. He falls in love with the daughter of a nyai (a concubine, or slave, as she would put it) whose father is Dutch but whose mother is native. He calls the nyai "Mama" through most of the novel. He is forced to confront his own preconceived notions on intelligence, hierarchy, and personal value, largely because of Mama:
"Stories about happy things are
...more
Aloke
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, gift, fiction
Historical fiction set on the island of Java at the turn of the 19th century. Knowing next to nothing about the milieu it was almost like reading science fiction, i.e. trying to understand the "futuristic" slang and social conventions. Adding to my confusion were the echoes of the colonial relationship between the British and India, replaced here by the Dutch and the "Indonesians" (I write it in quotations because the book mostly refers to Javanese, Acehnese, Madurese, i.e. specific islands alth ...more
Missy J
This first time I read this book was in English about 8-9 years ago. I wrote a review in my early days on GR. Soon after that, I got my first smart phone and downloaded the GR app. My clumsy fingers accidentally deleted the original first review and I was never able to retrieve it back. Now, I've come back to Pramoedya Ananta Toer's classic and read it in the original language. I feel so happy. At the same time my feelings about this book have changed quite a bit. The first time I read this book ...more
Andrew
Rest in peace to the postcolonial novel of characters. There were once droves of them, from all parts of the newly liberated world, but they're a rare commodity in an era where the “ethnic” novel in the U.S. has been reduced to level one alienation and occasional italicized references to spices.

Toer wrote a fucking four-volume epic without a pen on a prison island in Indonesia (and you think you're a writer...). And the first volume is a novel of beautifully drawn characters. Like E.M. Forster i
...more
Chelsea Mcgill
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: onblog
My interest in this book is primarily literary and cultural. Pramoedya Ananta Toer has masterfully combined a devastating critique of colonialism with a poignant love story, set in the late 1800s before Indonesia had even been named.

Minke is the only Native Javanese student in the H.B.S., one of the best high schools in the Dutch Indies. Despite his obvious academic abilities, he would not have gained admission to this prestigious school if it were not for his grandfather's status. It turns out
...more
Kiran Bhat
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is a reason why Toer is considered Indonesia's best author. He writes of a certain time of Indonesian history and gives it the life and spark of literature. He makes one feel as an Indonesian everyman visiting the palaces of Dutch lords, he gives a pomp decadence to layouts of luxury, but from the eyes of people who have barely experienced it. Whether it's young females on the age of adolescence or incarcerated intellectuals, Toer spares no time in giving each and every one of his characte ...more
Sara
Jul 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
An interesting book marred( I assume from all the 5 star reviews in the original language) by an abysmal -- and sorry to say, laugh-out-loud--translation. That said, I really enjoyed the outright bizarre and melodramatic (and yes they are melodramatic) turns in the story: the keystone cops chases, the courtroom scenes, the doctor who goes on and on for pages about the psyche like some pipe smoking physician giving Rock Hudson moral advice. I also liked the main character's growing self-awareness ...more
Happy Dwi Wardhana
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Though I've read many Indonesian novels, I missed this book which is considered as the milestone in Indonesian literature. I'm not into classics. The only reason to read it was just because Bumi Manusia would be screening soon, starring my favorite actor: Dilan Iqbaal.

As the pages turned on and on, I began to like it. It wasn't like the classics I had read before. The pace wasn't slow as other classics. The characters were built very well. The emotions were absorbed in my mind. It is not exagge
...more
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
I read this book for my world fiction challenge, because it was getting embarrassing that I had nothing from Indonesia (the world’s fourth-most-populous country!). Unfortunately, there just aren’t a lot of choices available in English, so I wound up reading this even though it was largely lost in translation.

This Earth of Mankind is a politically important book--first told orally while the author was a political prisoner--with a political (anti-colonialist) message. Second, it’s the story, set a
...more
Betty Asma
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An introduction to the novels of an internationally read Indonesian author, Pramoedya Ananta Toer. This one begins his Buru Quartet. The tetralogy's title refers to the prison in which he first told then wrote it. The setting begins around 1898 Surabaya, Java, a period of Dutch Indies colonization. The story begins with two privileged, optimistic, competent natives. Nyai (concubine) Ontosoroh has been educated by her Netherlands European consort Herman Mellema. She's competent in the Dutch langu ...more
Sarita
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“I only want to become a free human being, not given orders, not giving orders, Mother.”⁣
“Ha! Will there be a time like that, Gus? This is the first I’ve heard of it.”⁣

This novel sets in 19th century Java in the port of Surabaya during Dutch colonization in East-Indies. The characters in the story are mixture of Indonesian, Dutch, Arabs, Indians, and Chinese. All these people have with them aspects of the life of their own: their politics; their ideas on religion, philosophy, and morality; thei
...more
Rohini Kunchamwar
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, politics
No matter what your circumstances are, you fight ! You fight with all you have.

This Earth of Mankind is the first novel of the Buru Quartet, the book was orally narrated by the author when he was a political prisoner in Buru islands to his fellow prisoners, and it was published later. The book is banned in Indonesia till this day!

This story was slow to start with, had a lot of background to be told and story line to be built. I loved the main characters Minke and specially Nyai. I wish Anneli
...more
Laura
Nov 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 3Ms, Chrissie
Recommended to Laura by: Grace Tjan
WHAT a magnificent book!!

The first book in the Buru Quartet tell the story of Minke, a young Javanese student who is constantly fighting against the Dutch colonial dominance.

His love story with Annelies, a beautiful Indo-European girl and his relation with her mother, show how they have to fight in order to survive in this colonial period.

After his library has been burned during the 1960's coup attempt and his book have been banned, he was able to present an oral version of his novels.

The first
...more
Sarita
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indonesia, classics
“I only want to become a free human being, not given orders, not giving orders, Mother.”⁣
“Ha! Will there be a time like that, Gus? This is the first I’ve heard of it.”⁣

This novel sets in 19th century Java in the port of Surabaya during Dutch colonization in East-Indies. The characters in the story are mixture of Indonesian, Dutch, Arabs, Indians, and Chinese. All these people have with them aspects of the life of their own: their politics; their ideas on religion, philosophy, and morality; the
...more
Tracy Duvall
The story of this novel's creation has as much drama as the novel itself, but, as a reviewer, my interest is in reading the book per se. Set at the end of the nineteenth century, this volume focuses on relations between members of racial categories that the Dutch created and imposed in what is now Indonesia. The author emphasizes the tension between European ideals and Dutch colonial law and between individual capabilities and the policies that limited their expression based on group affiliation ...more
Jim
Oct 22, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first introduction to an Indonesian writer. I thought the book was good, although I am certain much was lost in translation. An interesting tale that sheds light on Dutch colonialism and racism, traditional Indonesian (Javanese) culture and inter-class relations. Minke, a Western-educated Javanese man is brought into a wealthy Dutch/Javanese family, dominated by Nyai, a concubine who was largely self-taught and who runs the family enterprises, and desires for her daughter a compatible native ...more
Christian Satrianta Putra
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: collection
How would you demand justice if its formula is still juvenile and biased? Taking place at the very end of 19th Century Java, this book, the first part of Buru Tetralogy, will introduce you to the definition of human existentialism and how it develops through integrity and/or force majeure (colonialism).

Pramoedya did not stuck with an inferior romance in which this book began with but instead architected the plot with strong, genuine political and social issues. Fibers human beings must've posse
...more
Hendra Kurniawan
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
this book bring me to the pre-independent and colonialism age of Deutch to Indische. Through this book I didnt just learn history, but also the point of view of Europe-educated man represented by the young man named Minke (HBS Student). Instead of me being critical,this book also made me upset because by the end of the book, Toer bring tragedy to the story, where Minke should be separated from his lovely wife named Annabel.

Mr. Toer, you are the best genius Indonesian author, ever. I wonder why S
...more
Magdelanye
Not sure why my documentation of this series is so sketchy.I read them all in order over the corse of two weeks one spring during my time at Albion Books.

What luck that i was working when these books came into the bookstore, the Buru Quartet, each volume with their exquisite cover. When I read that the author had been imprisoned for the writing I was ready to like his work, and did use my privilege to buy them all before my boss did. I was not expecting to be blown away by it all: the writing, t
...more
Andi Aumi
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
finally understand why all recent lights to Pram (even back to my fresh year) are not just because we claim oldish trend is a new kekinian, but mainly because Bumi Manusia isnt only a love story between Minke and Annelies, it covers what historians would call: a supplementary narrative of class struggle, media, and patriarchy. I realize how much I claim all my feminist chance and law protection for granted, thanks to you Pram.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
This Earth of Mankind 13 358 May 01, 2019 03:50AM  
"Imagi sejarah yang hidup" 9 115 Nov 12, 2015 04:47PM  
Pembaca Buku Pram...: Jual Bumi Manusia C1 Hasta Mitra (Bisa Tukar dengan Arus Balik) 6 87 Dec 04, 2014 05:29AM  
Goodreads Indonesia: Ada yang tau beli tetralogi buru dimana? 6 264 Oct 08, 2014 04:36PM  
Goodreads Librari...: A Dutch version of 2008 #978-90-445-1231-1 7 50 Feb 14, 2012 11:57PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Laut Bercerita
  • Pulang
  • Beauty Is a Wound
  • Ronggeng Dukuh Paruk
  • Negeri 5 Menara
  • Filosofi Teras
  • Madilog
  • 5 cm
  • Seperti Dendam, Rindu Harus Dibayar Tuntas
  • Ayah
  • Aroma Karsa
  • Dilan: Dia Adalah Dilanku Tahun 1990 (Dilan, #1)
  • Hujan
  • Man Tiger
  • Harimau! Harimau!
  • Supernova: Ksatria, Puteri, dan Bintang Jatuh
  • Edensor
  • Laskar Pelangi (Tetralogi Laskar Pelangi, #1)
See similar books…
2,590 followers
Pramoedya Ananta Toer was an Indonesian author of novels, short stories, essays, polemics, and histories of his homeland and its people. A well-regarded writer in the West, Pramoedya's outspoken and often politically charged writings faced censorship in his native land during the pre-reformation era. For opposing the policies of both founding president Sukarno, as well as those of its successor, t ...more

Other books in the series

Tetralogi Buru (4 books)
  • Child of All Nations (Buru Quartet, #2)
  • Jejak Langkah
  • House of Glass (Buru Quartet, #4)

Related Articles

As this strange summer of staying put winds down, one thing remains truer than ever: Books offer us endless adventure and new horizons to...
58 likes · 30 comments
“Berterimakasihlah pada segala yang memberi kehidupan.” 548 likes
“seorang terpelajar harus sudah berbuat adil sejak dalam pikiran apalagi dalam perbuatan” 367 likes
More quotes…