Pemburu Rembulan

Posted by David Khoirul

Pemburu Rembulan by Arul ChandranaPemburu Rembulan, or The Moon Catcher, tells a story of two best friends, two ideas, and two challenges in the exotic island of Bawean, a quiet place, about 15 km north of Surabaya in the Java sea. Arul, a teacher, is determined to give better education for Bawean kids. And Amar, who is a climber and has been Arul's best friend since they were at college, turns to be a businessman.

In the island where endemic species Bawean deer (rusa Bawean) can only be found, Arul and Amar spend most of his time teaching 13 students at Taman Pendidikan Al-Qur'an (TPA) or Quranic School. They meet old-minded teachers who reject every kind of modern approaches to education. Amar and Arul work hard to convince people and give understandings about how this new approach will transform the way they learn, the way they teach, for a better learning environment.

And although Amar and Arul are always afraid of ghosts, they believe in one thing: Great heroes are those who keep fighting even though they don't have great power.

The author, Arul Chandrana, moved from Bawean to the Java island in 2005 to pursue a higher education. From 2005 to 2009, he studied English Education at the University of Ronggolawe in Tuban, East Java, while working and living with his brothers in Jompong, a small village in Lamongan.

Arul's writing style is quite new to Indonesian readers. Fond of reading American literatures of great authors such as Charles Dickens and Hemingway, Arul says he gets a lot of influences of the style. In most of his writings, Arul plays with rhythm and pace, rhyme and word choice, sentence structure and punctuation. He exploits the complexity of language, something that most Indonesian writers do not do. Arul does not fear long sentences; the usage of dashes and semicolons; and, of course, humor.

Bawean, an island with winding shores and small bays, is an isolated place where Arul spent his childhood and learnt writings at the age of 12 by reading and rewriting series Wiro Sableng by Bastian Tito. The first book that he claims has influenced his style is Ziarah by Iwan Simatupang, a book he stole from his school library when he was in Senior High School.

Divided into two regions, Sangkapura and Tambak, Bawean is a home for Arul Chandrana despite the fact that he was born in the Java island.

Pemburu Rembulan is truly an inspiring novel, a good read for you who seek a different style in telling stories -- it's worth reading.

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