Book Review – Jasa Pengiriman by L. J. Enslin
Jasa Pengiriman is a fictional Indonesian fictional comedy written by Denholm Elliott. The book is made up of eight numbered stories that form an imaginary Indonesia-centered story around the life of a young boy calledomas. The name of the book is taken from two Indonesian words, “jasa” meaning bright and “engi” meaning city. The life of the boy known asomas who lives in the small town called Wonosobo, is one riddled with misunderstandings and tensions between him and his two best friends.
It is during one of these visits to his friend’s house that the young boy gets a visit from his good friend Mie. Mie shows the young boy a mysterious power that he claims is his magical ability to read minds. The two boys become very good friends and spend a great deal of time together learning more about each other. On a dark occasion, Mie’s best friend commits suicide while committing what appears to be a hate crime.
Years later, Mie’s son takes over the family business. The boy learns that the reason for his father’s death was because of the man’s mysterious powers. He decides to use this knowledge to help his son solve his mother’s murder. He then unleashes his ability to read minds to everyone in the crowd so that he can find out what the motive was behind his mother’s murder.
This book is a rollicking good read that gives its story full momentum. Like most Denholm Elliott stories, Jasa Pengiriman has a unique way of blending humor and romance into the story. I cannot say enough about how realistic Denholm’s descriptions of Indonesian life are. The language is crisp and easy to comprehend.
I would say that the main characters in Jasa Pengiriman are quite likeable. They have different back stories that are well-developed and add a bit of spice and fun to the plot. The supporting cast, especially Mie, is well-developed. Mie is the perfect type of young girl who everyone loves and who is also smart and strong willed. The other female characters in this book are sensible and strong willed as well.
Overall, this is a fast-moving, exciting book with a touch of fantasy and mysticism that will keep you wanting to read more. I would recommend this highly to a first time reader as well as to readers who enjoy dark fiction. For someone who likes fantasy romance, especially a Western version, this is a must read. For someone else, this is a great second or third read because it doesn’t get too serious in the beginning and is also full of entertainment.