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23 August 2013 @ 07:56 pm
Book : Ken & Kaskus  

I was the first to borrow this book from our office library. Pertamax. The cover has this pretty mikado yellow color dominating the book, which overall I'd say is pretty eye-catching and makes me want to grab the book off the shelf and see what it looks like inside, because the look of the content is very important to me. The book has 301 pages and the inside looks a little spacious but not too much. Subsequently I tried to read a few paragraphs from a random page I turned to. The writing style didn't sound too weird to my taste so I decided to read this book from the beginning.

Fyi, I am not  much of a kaskuser but let me inform you about the website from what i know. Kaskus is a large Indonesian online forum that believes in freedom of speech. It has many special terms and abbreviations going around among the users and I haven't bothered trying to remember/understand/use many of them. If you ask me, the forum looks messy like D-adicts but has many diverse subforums like 4-chan. Maybe not the best comparison, but to me they're like that.

Back to the book. Until one third of the book I couldn't really figure out what kind of point this book has set for its readers. Like, what is this book really wanting to talk about? The book starts with his childhood and his views on Indonesian teachers and schools that he thinks don't sharpen students' creativity and only force obedience without wanting to be questioned. Call me impatient, but 100 pages about such a topic is taking too long.

And finally, at page 101 he starts talking about how he met Andrew Darwis, the godfather of Kaskus. This is when the book is starting to be interesting because it focuses on how Kaskus was ever created. It has informational and unique personal happenings. Finally! But then after this book starts focusing on Ken again i decided to put down the book. That's when I thought, "Why is Ken (or his ghostwriter) writing this book? This should have been written by Andrew Darwis himself." But then I picked up the book again the next day.

I guess the choice of title of this book is a very right decision. Ken & Kaskus. Kaskus is Andrew Darwis. A book about Kaskus ideally would be a book about Andrew Darwis, Andrew's past, Andrew's childhood, Andrew's philosophies, Andrew's personal occurrence, Andrew's upbringing, and Andrew's etc. Even by reading this book, I can easily see how Andrew is supposed to be the main cast. But since this book has "Ken" in it, then it should be talking about Ken in a large portion, too.

After I reached almost at the end of the book, I finally got the relevance of kaskus and Ken's childhood stories. But still, 100 pages is still too long.

Another critique, the story about how Ken had a junkie friend whom he was initially pretty close to is definitely irrelevant. He had a friend. He spent much time with Friend in that Friend's room. He watched Friend smoking cigarettes. He watched Friend smoking marijuana. Good thing Friend never told him how great it was to smoke marijuana or tried to get him into smoking it too. He then thought it was not good to spend much time with Friend anymore. He then left Friend and years later he put the story in a book and said to the readers, "Phew guys. That was close". Like, seriously.

So all in all, to me the stories about Ken alone are not very inspiring or anything, but it's still a pretty good book because it has Kaskus and Andrew.
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