Saturday, February 12, 2005

Dee's Supernova Petir

As I've promised before, here is the review of Dewi Lestari (Dee)'s latest book: "Supernova: Petir."

Before I start, I should make some disclaimers. It this common? It shows my inexperience. But, who cares. First, I am not a literature expert. I am just an ordinary book reader. Secondly, I have no relation what so ever with the author and publisher. I have no financial gain from this review. Come to think of it I have met the author once in quite an extraordinary situation. It was in a seminar. Dee, the book author, was giving her presentation. I was about to go the back (I forgot why) when she called me from the stage. She said, hang on, don't leave yet. (I wasn't going to leave, though.) I have sent you an email but you have not replied to it. I was shocked. How did she find my email address? The problem is not finding my email address. It's finding the most effective email address to get a quick response. I have too many of email addresses. In any case, I told her that I didn't get any email from her, but I would check. I never got the email.

Let's get on to the review.

This is her third book that I own. They are all Supernova sequel. I don't think she wrote anything else other than the Supernova books. This book is the "softest" in terms of writing style which I will describe next.

Her writing style reminds me of someone. Oh, it was me. Not that I am good at writing, but I used to write stories with short sentences. Direct. No beating around the bush. Abrupt. And frequently, harsh. I have not written non-technical essays in quite a while, but the use of short sentences still sticks on me. The direct and harsh style still shows in my emails. Many times, it hurts people. Another similar thing, she uses footnote in her book. I do too. I was told that most readers do not like this. But, I do it anyway. By the way, I hate my writing style. I thought this will take me nowhere. But, seeing acceptance to Dee's book, I see that there is a future.

The story of "Supernova: Petir" relates to me in many ways. First, growing up in the same city I know the context of what she wrote. Part of the Sundanese culture – in terms of language and jokes – crops up here and there. Then, the main character, Elektra, does many things that I do; using (addicted to?) the Internet. Even the character of her father is an electronic man who challenged electricity. My formal background is in electronics.

I could remember during my university year. At one time we had this "orientasi studi (OS)" – I'll find a more proper translation (it's in the tip of my tongue, damn it!) – where new students were asked to do silly things. One of them was to be "electrocuted" with a "small" electricity voltage. To do so, I had to test the equipment whether the electricity is to high or ok. I had to electrocute myself with small voltage and increaed the voltage to a value that gives a little "surprise", but do not knock them out. So, when Elektra's father – and Elektra herself later on – played with electricity, I smiled. Yeah, I've done that. I wonder if the readers relate to the story as I am.

In any case, I enjoyed reading the book. It's a good book. It took me two days and one night to read the book during my regular trip to Jakarta. I read in in the train going to Jakarta, between meeting, in coffee shops (Sandro and Starbucks), at night, and on the train on the way back to Bandung. One thing that I noticed, when I read the book in public place, many people recognized it as Supernova's book. Any many gave me an unusual look as if they never seen a man reading Dee's book in public. I even heard one girl said, he's reading supernova. I take it as a good comment. (I am interested in knowing the demographic of the reader of this book.)

As for you, Dee, did you really send me an email? I don't even think you still remember saying that.

11 comments:

w said...

Dear Mr. GBT,

i think the term you are searching for is called "hazing". Ospek, mapram, OS. etc.
Elektra ? Father in EL too ? hmm sounds similar to one of your professors. SN ?
cheers.

btw, no trackbacks?

dodi said...

Petir! ohohoh. bagus reviewnya. bagi yg 'in-touch' ama kultur bandung, emang jadi enak pas baca Petir ini.

parastuty said...

Petir also took me 2 days and a night. It is superb. I recognize why you write in short sentence, as I am used to do as well. Coz, you are an 'engineer', in term of student and teacher!hehhehehe. I found struggling writing a bit longer sentence coz now, I enroll in a program that forces me to write a bit longer and 'bla bla bla'. hehhehe.

--ambar-- said...

I read Supernova Satu. Not so impressed me. Anyway who's saying that books only for women ?

Anny said...

i love supernova, dee emang brilian. belom pernah aku baca novel kaya gitu. ga sabar baca novel berikutnya...

taZya said...

supernova..supernova..supernova..
sumpa gwa cinta bgd ma supernova!kalo baca gag bisa berhenti..Dee brilian abiss!!pnasaran ada hubungan apa sie Bodhi,Elektra,Zarah ma Alfa??trus Diva kmana??bakal balik gag??
gag sabar d nunggu yang ke-4,critanya tentang Zarah yaa??btw kapan mw nongol ke permukaan bumi sie??

Anonymous said...

i don't understand much about this book, but i've seen much from it !! i've learned much that life's not that bad 'til u close your self and avoid the truth about your potention.
sometimes i wish i would be the next "Dee"

tiur said...

i owned the 1st supernova book quite a few years back. and recently while visiting my mom in jogja, i purposely asked my sister to take me to the bookstore and i bought supernova akar and petir. i finished reading akar in 2 days, leaving me confused but very satisfied. now i will start on the third book: petir. i really like her writing. very precise and direct. short and simple. and i agree with you gbt. she's very talented. and i hope the next book and her writing signature will grow but still intact with the fne style. :)

patzpulp said...

Yang menarik dari serialnya supernova itu adalah setiap buku memiliki personal dan dunia sendiri, seakan buku itu diceritakan oleh karakternya sendiri dan bukan dari satu penulis yg selalu menggunakan style yg sama...

itu yang membuat serial ini unik (buat gue!) karena setiap baca, kita bener2 dibawa mengunjungi dunia yg authentic dan anehnya kadang gue bener2 merasa kalo karakternya hidup sendiri diluar bukunya... (that amaze me... really i am)

Satu kesamaan yg mungkin ada diantara semua karakter2 utamanya dee, mereka memiliki semacam kejenuhan... kejenuhan yg berat tapi nggak terjelaskan... mungkin semacam kekosongan ato ruang lebih yang yg tau mo diisi apa... semacam kejanggalan hidup...

diluar kekuatan2 nggak jelas yg masing2 karakter miliki... gue rasa yg lebih menarik adalah mengetahui kemana arah semua energi itu akan disalurkan... pertanyaan eksistensi apa yg bakal dipertanyakan dee kalo semua karakternya dah ngumpul....

itu sebabnya gue nggak sabar nunggu selanjutnya.... ayo dee cepetan... buruaaaannnn!!!

Dewi Lestari said...

Dear Mr GBT, I do believe you believe in synchronicity. Today, due to redesigning Petir's cover for the next print out, I did some Google research on Petir, to find something that perhaps I can put on the back cover. And I found your blog. Yep. I did forget to send you an email, mostly because at the time I wasn't so much connected to the internet. Heheh. My apology. Hope to see you again next time. And my best regards to all of the visitors of your blog, esp who posted comments on your Petir review.
I also have a blog, please visit: http://www.dee-idea.blogspot.com

budi said...

Hi Dee. Thanks for stopping by. What? Redesign Petir's cover only? No new book? ha ha ha.

Ditunggu karya barunya lho.