The Rainbow Troops by Andrea Hirata
A Novel

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...“The Rainbow Troops” is only the first book in a tetralogy; here’s hoping Mr Hirata’s translator is working on the sequels.
-The Economist

Synopsis

Published in Indonesia in 2005, The Rainbow Troops, Andrea Hirata's closely autobiographical debut novel, sold more than five million copies, shattering records. Now it promises to captivate audiences around the globe.

Ikal is a student at the poorest village school on the Indonesian island of Belitong, where graduating from sixth grade is considered a remarkable achievement. His school is under constant threat of closure. In fact, Ikal and his friends—a group nicknamed the Rainbow Troops—face threats from every angle: skeptical government officials, greedy corporations hardly distinguishable from the colonialism they've replaced, deepening poverty and crumbling infrastructure, and their own low self-confidence.

But the students also have hope, which comes in the form of two extraordinary teachers, and Ikal's education in and out of the classroom is an uplifting one. We root for him and his friends as they defy the island's powerful tin mine officials. We meet his first love, the unseen girl who sells chalk from behind a shop screen, whose pretty hands capture Ikal's heart. We cheer for Lintang, the class's barefoot math genius, as he bests the students of the mining corporation's school in an academic challenge. Above all, we gain an intimate acquaintance with the customs and people of the world's largest Muslim society.
This is classic storytelling in the spirit of Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner: an engrossing depiction of a milieu we have never encountered before, bursting with charm and verve.

 

About Andrea Hirata

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Andrea Hirata is an Indonesian writer. He was a participant in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa in 2010. His first novel, The Rainbow Troops (Laskar Pelangi), sold more than five million copies in Indonesia, making him the country's bestselling writer of all time, as well as its first to enjoy truly international success: The Rainbow Troops has been published or is forthcoming in twenty-three countries and counting. Hirata has written three sequels to The Rainbow Troops: Sang Pemimpi (The Dreamer), Edensor, and Maryama Karpov. He lives in Indonesia.
 
Published February 5, 2013 by Sarah Crichton Books. 305 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Rainbow Troops
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Jason Beerman on Feb 15 2013

There is universality to this story that makes the Indonesia on display in these pages...seem sadly familiar. Stories bind us together, and this one offers the purest kind of secular hope, that everything will be all right.

Read Full Review of The Rainbow Troops: A Novel | See more reviews from Toronto Star

The Economist

Good
on Feb 09 2013

...“The Rainbow Troops” is only the first book in a tetralogy; here’s hoping Mr Hirata’s translator is working on the sequels.

Read Full Review of The Rainbow Troops: A Novel | See more reviews from The Economist

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