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Seperti Dendam, Rindu Harus Dibayar Tuntas

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  2,737 ratings  ·  521 reviews

Vivid, bawdy, comic, and arresting: the exciting new novel by the Indonesian phenomenon

Ajo Kawir is one of the toughest fighters in the Javanese underworld, his fearlessness matched only by his unquenchable thirst for brawling. But the young thug is driven by a painful secret – he is impotent. When he finally meets his match in the shape of the fearsomely beautiful

Paperback, 245 pages
Published April 2014 by Gramedia Pustaka Utama
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  2,737 ratings  ·  521 reviews

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Kevin Ansbro
"Whatever happens, I’m a man. But I’m a man with a soft dick…"
(Not my words, but those of Ajo Kawir, the main character in the book).

Javanese teenager, the aforementioned Ajo Kawir, is forced to witness an act of barbarism that mentally scars him and condemns him to a life blighted by erectile dysfunction. His limp penis thereafter nestles like a newly-hatched bird, insignificant in size and in perpetual slumber. Even a photograph of a bikini-clad woman with thick armpit hair (one of his
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 s

Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash is the third novel by award-winning Indonesian author, Eka Kurniawan to be translated into English. In his early teens, Ajo Kawir witnesses a vicious assault which renders him impotent. Thereafter, he takes out his frustrations on anyone nearby who’s willing to fight. When he happens on Iteung, a tough fighter who is also a beautiful girl, his life changes: he’s fallen in love. But surely Iteung will not want an impotent husband?

Fast forward eleven
Widyanto Gunadi
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eka Kurniawan is a humdinger of an author when it comes to satire. His works, since his first critically acclaimed and majorly successful novel, Beauty is A Wound, has always been brandished with his trademark overbearing presence of devastating chaos instigated by its cast of wacky, insane, and sadistic characters to delineate the reflection of society so horribly corrupt beyond relief. The novella Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash is no different. It is another striking satirical ...more
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translation, fiction
eka kurniawan's breathtaking english debut, beauty is a wound , was one of the finest novels of 2015. his newest, vengeance is mine, all others pay cash (seperti dendam, rindu harus dibayar tuntas) is equally engaging, but otherwise entirely dissimilar in nearly every other regard. first published in its original indonesian in 2014, vengeance is mine, all others pay cash (what a fantastic title!), is the rousing, ribald tale of teenager ajo kawir, who, after witnessing a brutal rape, is no ...more
E. H. Nathasia
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is weird and comical! I keep imagining the scenes moved like comic books, unreal and yet I am reading it. The book is about a man's bird (or penis). But since its Kurniawan we're talking about, it wasn't presented in a sexual or dirty manner. I thoroughly enjoy the book. Fast-paced and easy to read.
Text Publishing
‘Thrilling…an engrossing, emotionally rankling speed-read…original and sure-footed.’
Big Issue UK

‘[Kurniawan] habitually drives his narratives between the extreme poles of the crass and the sublime, the tragic and the comedic, the surreal and the real.’
South China Morning Post

‘It’s funny, enraging, and touching.’
Village Voice

‘I believe the phrase is “page-turner”.’
Words Without Borders

‘Kurniawan gives the reader an original plot while managing to include a good helping of black humour, plenty of
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aku sudah pernah bilang kan, menemukan buku itu kaya menemukan jodoh. Dia ada di depanmu when the least expected.

Actually I don't read books for awhile, just because I haven't met the 'right' book. I know the measurement of 'right' is plausible, at least you could find 100-best-books-all-the-time list and read any book in it. By 'right', I mean that you read a book in a right time, in a right condition, in a right phase of your life. Istilahnya, pas, gitu.

Dan petualangan mencari buku yang pas
The publisher’s blurb for this novel goes like this:
Told in short, cinematic bursts, Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash is gloriously pulpy. Ajo Kawir, a lower-class Javanese teenage boy excited about sex, likes to spy on fellow villagers in flagrante, but one night he ends up witnessing the savage rape of a beautiful crazy woman. Deeply traumatised, he becomes impotent, turns to fighting as a way to vent his frustrations.
Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash shows Eka Kurniawan in a
Amith J
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gifted by a dear friend, I started reading this book slowly to grasp the pace at which it moves. The writing style is one of the unique I have come across. Two or three scenes in different time frame all happening at once. Narrated in a rapid, often in short bursts , this book is funny, dark and poigant. A small book but it needs time to absorb the story.
Missy J
Unexpectedly fresh and original. The title "Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash" immediately caught my attention and made me want to read it as soon as possible. I have already read two other works by Eka Kurniawan, "Beauty is a Wound" and "Tiger Man," so I was already prepared for some dark humor, rapes and grotesqueness.

The plot of "Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash" is absurd to say the least. In short, it's about the penis of Ajo Kawir, which can't stand up anymore since the night
Kyle Muntz
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is novel is just as strange as its synopsis would suggest and especially, it's a huge improvement for Kurniawan. This time, the writing is sharp, focused, and comes in quick, nonchronological bursts clustered around a few key events at a time, which makes the chapters feels very organic even though there's a mild level of formal experimentation going on. It does a really good job catching a certain raw, bleak, youthful kind of nihilism, though there's a really sharp divide between the first ...more
Trigger warnings: rape, violence, murder, sexual abuse by a teacher, car accidents, abortion, forced prostitution.

This is a very peculiar little book. It's about a young man who's forced to watch a woman being raped as a kid and is unable to get an erection afterwards. Which is 100% not my kind of book, and yet somehow this managed to be INCREDIBLY compelling and I was hooked basically from the first page.

There were a few confusing moments, as the book jumps back and forth in time quite a lot,
Dec 02, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asia-lit
The gender politics in this book are retrograde af. Basically, all the nice ladies of all the main protagonists get raped, which makes the protagonists real sad. See, rape is bad because it hurts men too! The poor, poor menz. Let's definitely make rape all about men's feelings and their ability to get hard (literally, the book is about a guy becoming impotent from watching someone get raped).

TL;DR: this is a book about how men should not rape women because it makes other men feel bad. Period. It
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indonesia
"'Only guys who can't get hard fight with no fear of death,' Iwan Angsa once said about Ajo Kawir."

Seperti Dendam, Rindu Harus Dibayar Tuntas (Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash) by Eka Kurniawan tells a story about Ajo Kawir, the toughest fighter in Java. After witnessing a terrible rape during his early teenage years, Ajo Kawir can no longer get hard.

He tried many different ways to wake his pecker up.

He rubbed the chopped chili pepper across the surface of his genitals:

"'It burns! It
Morgoth Jr
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Semi-spoiler alert? It's at the bottom.

Okay, I like this guy's stuff.
I thought it was going to be... stupid? 'Ugh, men?' When I found out it was, in fact, an entire book about one man's tragic quest to get an erection - and, yes, it is in fact an entire book about one man's quest to get an erection, and the lessons he learns on the way about what it means to be a Masculine Male Manly Man (the ultimate take-away from the book is that the way of patience and love and forgiveness is right, but as
Chitra Ahanthem
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash by Eka Kurniawan is a crazy read. I have not read the author at all (he made waves on the literary scene after his novel ‘Man Tiger’ was Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2016) but I am kicked about his writings now and will surely look up his earlier works as well. This one covers the journey of Ajo Kawir starting from his wild rocking teens to ultimately a tempered life. There is no sedate drama or emotions in this book. It's all fists, brawn and ...more
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

(Translated by Annie Tucker)
Ajo Kawir is a lower class teenage boy living in Japan, who is obsessed with girls and staring at girls, until one day he witnesses a violent rape, the mental shock of which renders him impotent.
But still, he falls in love with a girl, Iteung, who is a bodyguard for one of the local mafia. He learns to fight and then learns inner calm, but he turns away from his life, leaving his love behind because he cannot do the one thing with her that he wants to do.

In time, he
Inggita Sahya
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this book to fulfill my curiousity how good the book is (based on reviews from my friends). Turns out it really is. I was amazed how the author can turn something so vulgar to be worth reading in one sit. The story takes place in Jakarta's lower class community which is a background story I've never read, so it's new to me. However, I can still picture them all. Another thing that amazed me is the fact that this book can deliver good quotes and lessons in life without being 'cheap' ...more
Gregory Day
This is a violent, erotic, and a rather moving novel. In order to survive in a cruel world, these young Javanese characters have no choice but to make their way with their fists. Focusing on Ajo Kawir, a young fighter with impotency, Kurniawan ruminates on the relationship between sex and violence, where both are exciting and both have consequences. This is a wallop of a novel, that feels like a Nicholas Winding Refn directed Indonesian gangster flick.

Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. Not perfect, but quite good. I think I liked this even more than Beauty is a Wound. The same cheerful bawdiness balanced on a knife's edge with brutal violence (including a few rape scenes), resulting a kind of affable nihilism; the same winningly lovable characters; and the same twisted, disjointed sense of time, and blurring of fantasy and reality. Where Beauty is a Wound was an epic tale of nation-building, Vengeance is Mine is a kind of gangster picaresque. Great fun.
Lisa Serrano
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting book. I was captured from the beginning & there was more to the story, then took a turn, then another turn, but still captured. This is worth picking up as you would enjoy watching a foreign film. Definitely not everyday movie you would watch, definitely not the everyday novel you pick up.
Jul 17, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gender, translated
This would have been a perfectly fine book if not for its dubious gender politics. For a full review, check out my blog, Strange Bookfellows--but be warned, the review does include an extended discussion of the book's three rape scenes: https://strangebookfellowsblog.wordpr...
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tarantino really needs to turn this into a movie! Or I will have to fly all the way over to Indonesia and do it. Not for everyone, but definitely for me!
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translation
thoughts coming shortly
Annisa Anggiana
Nope. Not my cup of tea this one.
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Not having had the good opportunity of reading a novel by an Indonesian author prior to this — I was initially excited to begin this. Filled with dark humour and much darker themes, it was an uncomfortable experience throughout but this was undeniably a super page-turner. Finished in just 2 sittings, it was a quick read but lots to digest afterwards.
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quirky and arresting. An interesting conceit on machismo and what motivates a man, what drives his emotions and quite often, his reasoning. Hilarious at times. Dark and disturbing in moments.
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Kurniawan novel and I really enjoyed it. The novel is originally written in Indonesian and I think there is a lot lost in translation. There are a few phrases that come off a tad odd and I think it's simply a cultural barrier. Despite that, the story telling really is brilliant. The premise of the novel is very unique. It's about a young boy who witnesses a woman being raped. The event was so traumatising for him that he became impotent. The story follows Ajo Kawir from the age ...more
Loreta Susanto
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
I read the Indonesian version. (It was translated to English with the title Vengeance is mine, all others pay cash.)

First of all, if you get offended easily or can't stand vulgar language, I don't recommend you read this book.

This is the first Kurniawan's book I've ever read, and I have a feeling that I'm going to read another soon! The story is uniquely written in a vulgar language, which is unusual in Indonesia. I was first interested by the tragic plot the main character, Ajo Kawir, had to
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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 ...more
“Kemaluan bisa menggerakkan orang dengan biadab. Kemaluan merupakan otak kedua manusia, seringkali lebih banyak mengatur kita daripada yang bisa dilakukan kepala.” 11 likes
“Si Tokek berpikir, kita tak bisa menghentikan seseorang jatuh cinta. Bahkan orang yang jatuh cinta itu sendiri. Jatuh cinta seperti penyakit. Ia bisa datang kapan saja seperti kilat dan geledek, dan bisa tanpa sebab apa pun. Bahkan ketika ada alasan untuk tidak jatuh cinta, seperti yang dialami Ajo Kawir, cinta merupakan sesuatu yang tak terelakkan.” 6 likes
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