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REDUNDANCY OF COURAGE [Paperback]

Timothy Mo
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 28.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Oct. 27 1992
An Indonesian island is hastily given independence, and a Chinese-educated homosexual who was born on the island returns from his Canadian university to find his life radically altered. The story, shortlisted for the 1991 Booker Prize, represents an account of a post-colonial disaster.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Torn. Nov. 29 2000
Format:Paperback
Timothy Mo's novels have not always appealed to me (especially 'The Insular Possession') but I found this book depressingly capivating. I would unhesitatingly recommend it and have done so to numerous friends over the years. By the way, Timothy Mo's 'Sour Sweet' is also a good read, and especially so for those familiar with both Hong Kong and the U.K.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not redundant at all Feb. 27 2000
Format:Paperback
I have recently re-read this book during a trip to Dili, where I was fortunate enough to meet some of the resistance leaders who feature in "Redundancy" (If Timothy Mo reads this, I would enjoy seeing if my identification of the 'fictional' characters is correct!). This is a shocking story of devastation and brutality on a massive scale, ignored and even aided and abetted by the major Western powers for 25 years. Mo himself seems torn between the cynicism and self-interest of his narrator, self-described as "The Cynical Chinaman", and his own admiration for the FALINTIL guerrillas and the legitimacy of their struggle. Thus on the one hand we have the fictitious account of FAK(sic)INTIL's post-invasion decapitation of the IP (UDT)leaders (Nicolau Lobato, apparently the model for Osvaldo, certainly undertook no such action), on the other we have the final page of the book, a moving and entirely uncynical tribute to 'ordinary people asked extraordinary things in terrible circumsatnces - and delivering'. One could question Mo's judgement in attributing fictitious deeds to identifiable characters in what is really a history book. That, however, in no way detracts from the power of this extremely important work. All of Mo's books seem initially to offer a detached and amused account of aspects of Asian life, whether in Asia or elsewhere, but ultimately surprise and move the reader with compassionate and heartfelt conclusions. "Redundancy" is however different in that it seeks to and succeeds in demonstrating, through these true events, the power and triumph of the human spirit in the face of seemingly impossible odds. "Nothing can stop the march of a people seeking their freedom. Nothing and no one". Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best novels of the 20th Century July 6 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
It is the best I have read. The title is the theme: individual courage in any 20th century national poltical struggle is redundant, irrelevant to the outcome of that struggle. I saw the same thing - on both sides of the conflict- living in Chile during and after the Allende government. Mo's narrator saw it in East Timor after the Indonesian invasion. It is simply brilliant: a War and Peace for the "Third World" and this century. Since I first read it in the year of publication the only thing I can wonder is: why does Timothy Mo not write more? I've read all of his books and I would read many more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best book you will ever read Dec 30 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
An amazing fictionalised account of the East Timor invasion by the Indonesians in the 1970s. A Chinese caught between the crossfire of the invaders and the resistance while keenly obsverving the hyprocracy and sadness of both sides. The black humour comes with revealation of the selfish survival instinct of the individual. Some of the combat descriptions are just so uncomfortably real and shocking. The way the last quarter of the book describes the Indonesians makes me real worried whenever I visit Jakarta. I still do not know how T. Mo managed to gather all the background information and describe them with such poise and crisp.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking, beautiful, unforgettable, important. March 5 1997
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
No book by Timothy Mo is quite like any other, but they are all brilliant. Sour Sweet and The Monkey King diagnose family dysfunction in London and Hong Kong respectively; An Insular Possession is an exquisite satire on the relationship between journalism and imperialism, and Brownout on Breadfruit Boulevard deftly extends the farce to academe.

But "Redundancy" is Mo's masterpiece, a blackly ironic dramatisation of the invasion of East Timor by Indonesia in 1975. The theme is complicity, and the inexorable fate through which Mo's gay, Chinese outsider-narrator becomes implicated in the crimes of *all* his oppressors, will break your heart.

I can't praise this book highly enough. I date my adult life from the day I read it.
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