Title: Bilangan Fu
Author: Ayu Utami
Publisher: Gramedia Pustaka Utama
Bilangan Fu is the first part of two books in Bilangan Fu series.
Yuda is a young man shaped in modern society. He didn’t believe in anything but himself and always looked down to villagers and people who believed in urban legend. The only thing interests him was mountain climbing, and Parang Jati, his new twelve-fingered friend.
Parang Jati is a mysterious man with angelic eyes and unstoppable devotion to the nature. Not only he could make Yuda, a modern kid who want to conquer the nature to see the mountain climbing the whole different way, but gave Yuda and his girlfriend Marja, with new point of view in looking at the mystery of life.
The love triangle between Yuda, Parang Jati and Marja happened under the surface of their tight friendships. Together the three of them tried to solve the problem in the society, and the curious matter of Bilangan Fu.
Ayu Utami is one of my favorite Indonesian authors. The supernatural-spiritual tales on the story, featured with urban legend and folktales are her signature which made the story very Indonesia. She wouldn’t hesitate to bring the fictional character as close to the real events, made each characters feels so realistic.
The story was written with a flashback plot, as if it was a journal of Yuda. Of course it means the whole story was seen from Yuda’s point of view, which I think is wise because Yuda is the link between the three best friends and the connection between the three and the whole story.
Even the problem was stated boldly in the story, Ayu Utami still gave the readers the space to develop their own interpretation of it. The author didn’t separate the good, and the bad character, but describe them with flaws and quality, and let them make mistakes. The story grow, and even for me the ending was not as what I wanted I can’t imagine a better closure for the story.
Would I recommend it? Of course I will. If you have read Saman and Larung and you loved it, or you have read Cantik Itu Luka by Eka Kurniawan, and you like them, you might love this one too.