The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafón

shadow of the wind“Once, in my father’s bookshop, I heard a regular customer say that few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds a way into his heart.”

Semuanya bermula dari suatu pagi di awal musim panas 1945, ketika luka-luka akibat perang masih segar dan terbuka. Daniel Sempere, bocah berusia sepuluh tahun putra seorang pemilik toko buku, dibawa oleh ayahnya mengunjungi suatu tempat bernama Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Di suatu tempat di Barcelona, terkubur buku-buku yang terlupakan. Buku-buku yang tak lagi mempunyai rumah karena penutupan perpustakaan atau toko buku, semuanya dibawa ke tempat ini. Dan menurut tradisi, setiap orang yang pertama kali mengunjungi Cemetery of Forgotten Books boleh memilih satu buku untuk dimilikinya, untuk seterusnya dijaga agar tidak hilang selamanya. Dan dari ribuan buku yang tersimpan di dalam Cemetery of Forgotten Books, Daniel memilih satu buku berjudul The Shadow of the Wind, karya Julian Carax. Buku tersebut menyentuh hati Daniel sedemikian rupa sehingga, ia memutuskan untuk mencari buku-buku karya Carax yang lain dan berniat membaca semuanya, dan menyelidiki lebih jauh mengenai sang penulis. Betapa kagetnya ia ketika menemukan bahwa karya-karya Carax yang lain telah dibakar dengan sengaja dan satu-satunya kopi The Shadow of the Wind yang masih ada adalah yang dimilikinya. Informasi ini didapat Daniel dari Gustavo Barcelo, seorang penjual buku bekas yang eksentrik. Di rumah Barcelo juga Daniel bertemu dengan Clara, keponakan Barcelo. Gadis ini secantik malaikat, namun pucat dan lemah. Ia juga buta. Dari Clara-lah Daniel kemudian mendapat informasi yang lebih lengkap mengenai Carax, bagaimana buku-buku karyanya hanya dicetak dalam jumlah yang sangat sedikit, dan bagaimana penulis muda itu menemui kematian yang tragis hanya sesaat sebelum pernikahannya. Juga tentang rumor yang beredar bahwa ada seseorang yang mencari karya-karya Carax di setiap perpustakaan dan toko buku, membeli atau mencuri buku-buku tersebut, dan kemudian membakar setiap kopi yang masih ada.

Pada hari ulang tahunnya yang keenam belas, Daniel yang merasa kecewa karena Clara tidak bisa menghadiri pesta ulang tahunnya, lari keluar dari rumah dalam kegelapan malam dan bertemu orang misterius dengan wajah terbakar yang menginginkan novel The Shadow of the Wind yang dimiliki Daniel. Orang ini mengaku bernama Lain Coubert. Nama itu adalah nama iblis dalam novel The Shadow of the Wind. Mungkinkah kisah dalam The Shadow of the Wind sedang terwujud dalam kehidupan Daniel? Daniel bersama rekannya Fermin Romero de Torres kemudian menyusuri Barcelona demi menyelidiki asal-usul Julian Carax. Di antara bangunan-bangunan tua di Barcelona dan juga debu yang menyelimuti buku-buku di Cemetery of Forgotten Books, sedikit demi sedikit kebenaran mengenai jati diri sang penulis misterius Julian Carax tersibak. Dikisahkan bahwa Julian Carax adalah putra seorang pembuat topi, Antony Fortuny dengan seorang wanita berkebangsaan Prancis, Sophie Carax. Julian kemudian jatuh cinta kepada Penelope Aldaya, putri satu-satunya Don Ricardo Aldaya yang kaya raya, yaitu orang yang bermurah hati mensponsori pendidikan Julian. Don Ricardo Aldaya marah besar ketika ia mengetahui hubungan antara Julian dan putrinya dan hendak memisahkan mereka berdua untuk selamanya. Rencana kawin lari yang dirancang oleh sahabat Julian, Miquel Moliner pun harus gagal karena campur tangan Don Ricardo. Julian kemudian pergi ke Paris dan memulai karir sebagai penulis. Namun, kenangan tentang Penelope terus menerus menghantuinya dan akhirnya ia memutuskan kembali ke Barcelona, tempat dimana seorang Julian Carax, disusul oleh buku-bukunya, satu persatu lenyap tanpa jejak.

***

Sebenarnya saya sudah cukup lama mengetahui tentang buku ini dan bahwa buku ini sudah diterjemahkan oleh Barokah Ruziati atau Mbak Uci, namun entah mengapa sampai sekarang versi terjemahannya belum terbit juga. Kalau sudah terbit nanti sepertinya saya akan beli untuk koleksi. 😉 Makasih buat Mbak Astrid yang sudah meminjamkan bukunya sehingga rasa penasaran saya akan buku The Shadow of the Wind bisa terpuaskan.

Buku ini menyimpan cerita dalam cerita, tentang misteri, aib, rahasia, dan cinta terlarang. Bertaburan tokoh-tokoh yang tak jauh dengan buku (pecinta buku, pemilik toko buku, kolektor buku, dan sebagainya), dan dengan gaya penceritaan yang memesona, nafas novel gothic, setting Barcelona yang eksotik, dan alur yang mengalir lancar dan menegangkan, buku ini membuat saya mampu menghabiskannya dalam waktu kurang dari seminggu padahal biasanya saya lelet banget kalau harus membaca buku dalam bahasa Inggris. Buku ini bagus, namun ada beberapa kejanggalan dan hal yang saya tidak suka  yang membuat saya terpaksa memberi buku ini empat bintang, dan bukannya lima:

  1. Bab di dalam buku ini dipisahkan secara kronologis. Misalnya bab “Days of the Ashes” berlangsung antara tahun 1945-1949, dan bab “An Empty Plate” pada tahun 1950. Namun yang janggal adalah akhir bab “True to Character” (1951-1953) langsung dilanjutkan di bab “City of Shadows” (1954) pada “hari berikutnya”, anehnya tanpa menyebut bahwa diantara kedua bab itu telah terjadi pergantian tahun. Mungkin hal ini terjadi juga di bab-bab selanjutnya, tapi yang paling saya ingat adalah bab ini.
  2. Karakter Lain Coubert dikisahkan mengalami luka bakar di sekujur tubuhnya. Sungguh aneh bagaimana ia bisa bertahan hidup begitu lama dan beraktivitas selayaknya manusia normal.
  3. Ada beberapa hal yang tidak saya sukai mengenai endingnya. [SPOILER ALERT!] Pertama, bahwa Lain Coubert tetap bertahan hidup sampai di akhir buku. Selain tidak masuk akal bahwa ia mengelak dari maut dua kali, dan bahwa ia hidup dengan kondisi sekujur tubuh terbakar, bagi saya jauh lebih baik jika setelah melalui klimaks, karakter ini akhirnya tiada dalam damai. Yang kedua, saya tidak suka karakter yang terpaksa harus berkeluarga pada usia masih belasan tahun akibat “kecelakaan”, dan tidak dikisahkan segala susah payah yang harusnya mewarnai kehidupan keluarga muda tersebut. Bagi saya itu sama saja dengan mengatakan, “It’s okay to have sex and have children in your young age.”

Di luar ketiga hal diatas, novel The Shadow of the Wind hampir bisa dikatakan sempurna. Dilengkapi juga dengan bagian “A Walk in the Footsteps of The Shadow of the Wind” dengan peta Barcelona dan guide bagi pembaca yang ingin benar-benar menyusuri Barcelona dan melihat setiap tempat yang dijadikan setting dalam novel The Shadow of the Wind. What a brilliant idea. Buku ini juga menyimpan banyak Memorable Quotes yang menawan hati seperti berikut ini:

“Someone once said that the moment you stop to think about whether you love someone, you’ve already stopped loving that person forever.”

 “The nurse knew that those who really love, love in silence, with deeds and not with words.”

“Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.”

(Baca juga Quote mengenai the Cemetery on Forgotten Books di sini.)

5th review for Books in English Reading Challenge 2013 | / 3rd review for TBRR Pile Reading Challenge: Historical Fiction / 6th review for New Authors Reading Challenge 2013

N.B.: Buku ini saya baca dalam bahasa Inggris namun reviewnya ditulis dalam bahasa Indonesia untuk ikut #postingbareng BBI bulan April 2013 tema Buku tentang Buku dan masih dalam rangkaian HUT ke-2 BBI.

Detail buku:

The Shadow of the Wind (judul asli: La sombra del viento), oleh Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Diterjemahkan ke bahasa Inggris oleh Lucia Graves
487 halaman, diterbitkan Januari 2005 oleh Penguin Books (pertama kali diterbitkan tahun 2001)
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

fahrenheit451

Fahrenheit 451 – the temperature at which book paper catches fire, and burns…

In the time where Guy Montag lives, the job of a fireman is not to stop a building to be caught in fire, but to start the fire. It was Montag’s job, along with all firemen, to burn houses that kept books inside. Montag was a man who lived the official firemen slogan to the fullest: “Monday burn Millay, Wednesday burn Whitman, Friday Faulkner, burn ‘em to ashes, then burn the ashes.” Well, Montag was a good fireman for ten years, until he met Clarisse McClellan, a weird seventeen-year-old girl whose family recently moved next door. An odd short rendezvous with Clarisse got Montag thinking, that a long time ago there was different time when books are not forbidden, people were not afraid and firemen had a different mission than what he does at present time. One simple question from Clarisse, “Are you happy?” led the reader to what kind of life Montag was having; empty, cold and dead. Love has withered. The human relationships have vanished. Nobody cares about each other anymore. “Family” was the television screens people installed in parlor walls of their houses. Human beings were merely empty heads and empty souls.

“Last night I thought about all the kerosene I’ve used in the past ten years. And I thought about books. And for the first time I realized that a man was behind each one of the books. A man had to think them up. A man had to take a long time to put them down on paper. And I’d never even thought that thought before.” He got out of bed.

“It took some man a lifetime maybe to put some of his thoughts down, looking around at the world and life, and then I come along in two minutes and boom! It’s all over.” – p. 51-52

Out of desperation, Montag decided to do something completely mad: steal a book from a fire and then search for an old acquaintance: a retired professor named Faber. Together they made up an impossible plan to relive the vanished books. Needless to say that Montag’s little game with fire made him caught the fire. Captain Beatty the chief fireman has been sniffing the strange conduct of Montag and arranged to burn Montag’s house and to chase him down. Montag ran away to the river and came to a dark land in the wilderness. There he met a few people who kept the books like Plato’s Republic and Gulliver’s Travels and books by Charles Darwin and Einstein and Schopenhauer and Albert Schweitzer and many others, not in print and papers but in their heads. It was in their hands the answer to the question: Is there any future for books?

***

I had one question before I start reading this book. It was: what is this book trying to tell the reader? And then after I finished reading it, that one question exploded to many; I was puzzled and confused. One great mystery for me is who Captain Beatty really was. I mean, his mind was obviously well-fed with books, and he talked like he loved books, but yet he burned them. And then what become of Clarisse? Her character was so much like a light in the dark that I longed to see her again throughout the book, but she never showed up. And then the ending. I felt like I want to shout, “Is that it?” In short, I cannot fully understand this book, with its lack of background details and such a weird style of writing (at least for me). But this book got some very good lines that we should never forget.

Faber sniffed the book. “Do you know that books smell like nutmeg or some spice from a foreign land? I loved to smell them when I was a boy. Lord, there were a lot of lovely books once, before we let them go.” – p. 81

“Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.” – p. 82-83

“Do you know why books such as this are so important? Because they have quality. And what does the word quality mean? To me it means texture. This book has pores. It has features. This book can go under the microscope. You’d find life under the glass, streaming past in infinite profusion. The more pores, the more truthfully recorded details of life per square inch you can get on a sheet of paper, the more ‘literary’ you are. That’s my definition, anyway. Telling detail. Fresh detail. The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.” – p. 83

What to conclude from those passages? I can only take a personal conclusion. Someone said to me once, “Read good books.” Henry David Thoreau once said, “Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.” Thanks, Mr. Bradbury, for reminding me about that.

Special thanks to Astrid for lending me this book. 😉

***

22nd review for The Classics Club Project | 3rd review for New Authors Reading Challenge 2013 | 2nd review for Books in English Reading Challenge 2013 | 3rd review for Back to the Classics 2013

Book details:

Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
190 pages, published 2003 by Del Rey Books (Random House Publishing Group), first published on 1953
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

“I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”

 

***A SMALL TRUTH***

I am haunted by this book.

Sit still, children. Death has a story to tell. It is about the book thief, who was but a fourteen year-old skinny German girl living in Nazi Germany, whose name was Liesel Meminger. The book thief first conducted her felony when she was nine, the day her little brother was buried in the snow. She, along with her mother and little brother, travelled down to Munich where foster parents would soon take over the care of the children. Or as we shall put it after Liesel’s brother death; only one child. Soon Liesel would separate from her mother and proceed to Himmel Street in Molching, and became foster daughter of Hans and Rosa Hubermann. What an unlikely couple the Hubermanns were, since Hans was the accordion-playing, fatherly-loving figure that Liesel would learn to love dearly soon, and Rosa was a lady rich with words (in which I mean swearing) and she liked to give Liesel a good watschen (which is a slap to one’s bottom). Liesel then learned to read with her beloved foster father, and continued book thievery; from Nazi book-burnings, from the mayor’s wife library and so on. One of her treasured books was The Standover Man, a gift from an unexpected guest for the Hubermanns who came one night, Max Vandenburg. Max was a Jewish fist fighter whose father once fought alongside Hans on World War I. He sought help from the Hubermanns that they would hide him in their house. They paid him the service, and Max then became an important part of the Hubermann family. Max’s presence seemed to bind everyone closer and Liesel became his best friend when he did not even dare to imagine having one. The story then takes readers to witness the struggles the Hubermanns were having for  hiding a Jew, and how the residents of Molching dealt with bomb-droppings on their homes, and how Liesel’s love for books helped them endure the sufferings because of  war. Clearly, an end awaits all of them, Jew or not Jew. An end where lies an enormous possibility that Death is already waiting.

 “They watched the Jews come down the road like a catalog of colors. That wasn’t how the book thief described them, but I can tell you that that’s exactly what they were, for many of them would die. They would each greet me like their last true friend, with bones like smoke and their souls trailing behind.”

 As the main character, Liesel was nothing special. What made her special is the relationship that grew between her and other characters: with Hans Hubermann, with Max, with her ‘boyfriend’; the lemon-haired Rudy Steiner, with the mayor’s wife, and even with Rosa Hubermann, who we would later realize that she could love as much as any other characters in the book.

I love Markus Zusak’s writing style in this book tremendously, despite of some people who call it abnormal, especially for his style of personifying things or figurative language. For me, it’s original and captivating. Dark and gloomy as it is, the author kept the book true and honest, without any unnecessary sweetness. The author’s imagination in making Death the narrator is brilliant. And it made me think, could it be that Death is not as evil as we all think? He’s just doing his job, right?

This book is one of the very few books that can actually make me cry. I’m more of a visual person who cries more easily when seeing an emotional scene, rather than reading one. Yes, I cried at the end of the book. It wasn’t until I reached the last 100 pages that I decided that this book deserves my perfect rating. I think the author kept his best for last. Therefore, five stars.

“It’s probably fair to say that in all the years of Hitler’s reign, no person was able to serve the Führer as loyally as me. A human doesn’t have a heart like mine. The human heart is a line, whereas my own is a circle, and I have the endless ability to be in the right place at the right time. The consequence of this is that I’m always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both. Still, they have one thing I envy. Humans, if nothing else, have the good sense to die.”

***

 Book details:
“The Book Thief”, by Markus Zusak
552 pages Paperback, published 2007 by Knopf
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

Surabaya, Indonesia, June 18th, 2012

Dear friend,

I’ve just read a wonderful book called “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” a few weeks ago, and I thought that I’d write a personal letter to you recommending it.

What first comes to your mind when you hear “World War II”? War must mean blood, chaos, ruthlessness, hope running out; don’t you think? Well, this book was set at the end of the World War II. The main character was Juliet Ashton, a writer for the English weekly Spectator under the pseudonym Izzy Bickerstaff. With her humorous writings Juliet brought the minds of people away from the war for a while. Juliet might have been famous for her Izzy Bickerstaff columns, but she had much deeper passion when it comes to literature. She also wrote a biography of Anne Brontë, which was sold poorly. When she was looking for a subject for her next book, she was accidentally corresponding with Dawsey Adams from the Guernsey Island, who told her about the book society he’s been involved in, how was the society accidentally formed during the German occupation, and how books changed the bitter lives of its members during wartime. Driven by curiosity, Juliet asked Dawsey if she could correspond to other members of the society, and BAM! Her wish was granted. She wrote and received long letters from almost all of the members, only to realize that she fell in love with them and she longed to read more from them. I won’t spoil much plot of the book, but you will find surprises as you turn the pages, surprises that would make you smile long after you finished it. I particularly liked the character Juliet, a woman who would dump a guy because he didn’t share her love for books (whoops!). Guernsey was written by Mary Ann Shaffer and continued by her niece, Annie Barrows.

Have you ever hear about Guernsey Island before? Yes, Victor Hugo wrote Les Misérables during his period of exile in Guernsey. It is a British Crown dependency in the Channel Islands off the coast of Normandy. I attached the map and some photos of the beautiful little island if you’re curious.

Back to the book, it was written in epistolary method (told in series of letters). It was warm and sweet, witty and romantic, you’ll fall in love with the characters (well, not all, thankfully), and it tells a lot about the love for literature. Anybody who loves books and literature should read this book. But mind you, men might not enjoy this book. It was like chick lit set in the 1940s era, written especially for book lovers. By page 11 I found one of my favorite lines of the book:

“I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.”

And in page 16:

“I love seeing the bookshops and meeting the booksellers—booksellers really are a special breed. No one in their right mind would take up clerking in a bookstore for the salary, and no one in his right mind would want to own one—the margin of profit is too small. So, it has to be a love of readers and reading that makes them do it—along with first dibs on the new books.”

And this one line in page 56 reminds me so much of the Indonesian Book Bloggers (BBI) community I’m involved in:

“We read books, talked books, argued over books, and became dearer and dearer to one another.”

Ain’t that sweet? 😀

So, my dear friend, if you are curious much after reading my letter, I suggest you grab a copy of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, as soon as possible. And do you know, the book is filming at the time being with Kate Winslet as Juliet Ashton! When you have read the book, if you loved it, maybe we can watch the movie together. See you when it comes!

Truly yours,
Melisa

Book details:
“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
305 pages Paperback, published May 2009 by Random House
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Dongeng Ketiga Belas (The Thirteenth Tale) – Diane Setterfield

Semua orang memiliki cerita. Karena cerita seperti keluarga. Kau mungkin tidak mengenal siapa mereka, atau telah kehilangan mereka, tetapi mereka tetap ada.
Kau tak bisa berkata kau tidak memiliki mereka.

Vida Winter adalah seorang penenun cerita. Semasa hidupnya ia telah melahirkan 56 buku yang semuanya laris bak kacang goreng. Cerita-cerita. Dongeng-dongeng.
Namun tak satupun cerita yang ditenunnya memberitahu pembaca kebenaran mengenai jati dirinya sendiri. Kepada para wartawan yang penasaran ia memberikan 19 versi yang berbeda-beda mengenai jati dirinya.

Siapa Vida Winter sesungguhnya tetap tertutup rapat… hingga beberapa waktu menjelang akhir hidupnya. Ingatan tentang kejadian 40 tahun silam kembali menghantuinya. Seorang pemuda, tampak seperti wartawan tak berpengalaman. Dengan raut wajah penuh tekad pemuda itu berkata,
“Ceritakan padaku yang sesungguhnya.”

Empat puluh tahun sesudah kejadian itu, Miss Winter telah siap menguntai jalinan kisah yang sesungguhnya. Ia memilih Margaret Lea, seorang penulis biografi amatir dan anak pemilik toko buku antik, untuk menuliskan biografinya. Margaret, yang tidak tertarik pada literatur kontemporer, awalnya enggan terlibat, namun setelah menemukan edisi langka salah satu buku Miss Winter dalam toko buku antik ayahnya, ia menjadi penasaran. Buku yang ada di toko ayahnya itu berjudul Tiga Belas Dongeng-dongeng Perubahan dan Keputusasaan, namun tidak ada dongeng ketiga belas. Edisi-edisi buku itu yang beredar selanjutnya hanya memuat judul Dongeng-dongeng Perubahan dan Keputusasaan, tanpa embel-embel Tiga Belas. Misteri Dongeng Ketiga Belas ini sama terkenalnya dengan pengarangnya sendiri.

Maka mereka pun bertemu, dan Miss Winter mulai menceritakan kisahnya. Kisah yang ia tuturkan adalah mengenai rumah Angelfield; kakeknya, George Angelfield; ibu dan pamannya, Isabelle dan Charlie Angelfield; dan terutama, mengenai dua anak kembar yang berlawanan sifat, Adeline dan Emmeline. Dan ia juga menceritakan tentang hantu yang ada di tengah-tengah keluarga Angelfield, orang-orang yang datang dan pergi dalam kehidupan mereka, peristiwa-peristiwa yang aneh, menyedihkan, dan mengerikan yang mereka alami. Dan di penghujung cerita, akhirnya, teka-teki Dongeng Ketiga Belas pun dibukakan oleh Miss Winter.

Menyatukan kepingan-kepingan cerita yang satu persatu dituturkan Miss Winter, dengan tabir-tabir misteri yang disibakkan tentang Adeline dan Emmeline yang berperilaku ganjil; Margaret pun larut di dalamnya. Kehidupan pribadinya perlahan meredup dari dirinya dan ia tenggelam dalam cerita Miss Winter. Namun, pada waktunya, Margaret pun harus menghadapi hantunya sendiri; kesedihan yang terasa menekan di sisi tubuhnya.

***

“Tahukah kau perasaan yang muncul saat kau mulai membaca buku baru sebelum pelapis buku terakhir sempat menutup? Kau meninggalkan ide dan tema buku sebelumnya – bahkan karakter-karakternya – terperangkap di serat-serat pakaianmu, dan ketika kau membuka buku baru, semua ide, tema, dan karakter buku sebelumnya masih melekat bersamamu.”

Hanya sedikit buku yang mampu meninggalkan kesan mendalam bagi saya, dan Dongeng Ketiga Belas (judul asli: The Thirteenth Tale) ini adalah salah satunya.
Buku yang banyak menyebut karya-karya sastra klasik (yang menjadi favorit karakter Margaret Lea) ini adalah karya debut penulis asal Inggris, Diane Setterfield. The Thirteenth Tale meraih kesuksesan dengan meraih predikat New York Times #1 bestseller pada 8 Oktober 2006.
Cerita yang ditulis dengan gaya Gothic ini dihimpun penulis secara rapat tanpa celah, kental dengan aura yang misterius dan penuh teka-teki, namun disampaikan dengan begitu alami, tanpa terkesan mengada-ada atau melebih-lebihkan.

Jane Wood, editor-in-chief Orion, penerbit Inggris untuk The Thirteenth Tale, mengatakan bahwa, “The book marks “a return to that rich mine of storytelling that our parents loved and we loved as children. It also satisfies the appetite for narrative-driven fiction that has beginnings, middles and endings, like the great novels of the 19th century. She creates a wonderful fictional world.”

Gaya penulisan Diane Setterfield yang membius juga membuat saya berpendapat bahwa saya tidak akan bisa menikmati The Thirteenth Tale ini selain dalam bentuk buku. Terjemahannya juga digarap dengan sangat, sangat bagus. Tentu saja review saya yang singkat ini takkan mampu merangkum isi buku yang penuh subtansi ini, anda harus mencicipinya sendiri untuk mengetahui apa yang begitu istimewa dengan buku ini.

Buku yang saya dapatkan sebagai hadiah menang lomba mendongeng Vixxio Buku Gratis di FB (Thanks to Mbak Fanda Vixxio ;-)) ini sebelumnya sudah sering saya lihat di toko buku sih, tapi entah kenapa saya nggak pernah tertarik, mungkin karena covernya yang suram ya? Tapi saya jelas lebih menyukai cover edisi terjemahannya, jika dibandingkan dengan cover edisi aslinya.

Cover edisi internasional The Thirteenth Tale

Karakter Margaret Lea membuat saya tercengang, karena si Margaret ini seorang kutu buku yang amat parah, dan ia hanya tertarik kepada literatur-literatur tua, karya-karya orang yang sudah mati. Begitu cintanya terhadap buku, si Margaret sampai bisa membaca tanpa ingat lagi kepada makanan, hari dan waktu. Bahkan, dia terang-terangan mengakui bahwa ia lebih mencintai buku daripada manusia!
Agak kaget juga ketika mendapati Jane Eyre paling banyak disebut-sebut dalam buku ini – karena saya baru saja menyelesaikan Jane Eyre akhir Februari kemarin dan buku tersebut langsung saja menghuni shelf favorites saya 🙂 . Dua hal ini – Margaret Lea dan Jane Eyre, membuat saya berkata dalam hati, “buku ini memang buat gue!” Hehehe.
Sesudah membaca buku ini saya merenung sejenak mengapa saya begitu menyukai buku-buku klasik, dan jawabannya saya tuangkan dalam tulisan singkat berikut:

“Sebagian buku di dunia ini adalah mesin waktu. Dalam kasusku, buku-buku favoritku seringkali membawaku mundur dua abad dari zaman sekarang. Abad dua puluh satu yang gemerlap, hiruk-pikuk, dan modern, untuk beberapa saat hilang, digantikan dengan abad sembilan belas.
Kehidupan yang sudah mati, lama, dan usang. Namun pernah ada kehidupan seperti itu sebelum saat ini. Itulah yang terpenting.
Lembar-lembar literatur yang ditulis orang-orang dari abad yang telah berlalu adalah harta karun. Tak penting apakah lembar-lembar itu berisi dongeng, sejarah, atau penelitian; seseorang di masa lalu telah menulisnya.”

Referensi:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thirteenth_Tale_%28novel%29
http://www.bookbrowse.com/biographies/index.cfm?author_number=1376

Detail buku:
“Dongeng Ketiga Belas” (judul asli: The Thirteenth Tale), oleh Diane Setterfield
608 halaman, diterbitkan November 2008 oleh Gramedia Pustaka Utama
My rating : ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥