Saturday, July 7, 2007

Book Review


Few Weeks ago, i wrote a book review on a book titled 'Mamasan' by Mr Khoo Kheng Hor. It was publised at Star Mag on the 24th of June.

Here is the write up: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/6/24/lifebookshelf/17897198&sec=lifebookshelf

Beyond first impressions
Review by NIGHTWING
Never judge a book by its cover – that’s the lesson to be learnt from this tale.

MAMASAN By Khoo Kheng-HorPublisher: Pelanduk, 516 pages(ISBN No: 978-967-978-941-6)


The title conjures an image of an immoral woman who lives off ladies who work in nightclubs and bars, but, in actual fact, this isn't what the story is about.

Hence, my first reason for enjoying this book: It reminded me not to judge a book by its cover.

And as I got into the book, this point was driven home many more times because each girl who worked in a nightclub had her story to tell. Tales of dreams, hopes, fears, and, of course, the men they meet there. I couldn’t help laughing at the author’s description of one such patron – Octopus Ong – whose arms would cling to the girls and feel them all over.

The author’s words in the beginning of the book are, “Whether they care to admit it or not, people wear masks. The average person carries two masks, one to show to friends and family members, while the other is for strangers and acquaintances.

The shrewder ones wear at least three masks, the first for the world at large, the second for friends and the third is reserved only for close family members. The true face is known only to the self.” Yes, people indeed wear masks. All the characters in this book wear masks. Some of them to the point where they do not even know which is their “true face’’ anymore. An example is a young girl by the name of Rosetta Bunny whose fa├žade is one of sweet innocence but she hides a vain character veered towards narcissism. She eventually becomes so wicked that she resorts to blackmailing and destroys her own life.

The author is able to bring the characters to life and somehow his realistic observations led me to relate to them: You want to laugh at their joy, cry over their struggles and marvel at some of their actions. The protagonist, May Lee, impressed me with how she was able to turn her own life from negative to positive.

This book touches on loyalty, filial piety, honour, respect, trust, betrayal, and demonstrates the common things which people tend to take for granted or simply don’t bother with.
This is well written book by a fellow Malaysian and I hope that someone will turn the book into a movie or TV drama series. Happy reading!


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2 comments:

Sweetiepie said...

hey!If i know you ealier I would probably understand more about mask.:)In real life we have to wear a mask to protect ourself because there are lots of nasty people trying to cheat us and want to take advantage of us if they know we are a weak person.Happy easter day!This is a good book.How i wish i could read this book.

Anonymous said...

Hey there,

Happy Easter Sunday!!

Ya..Mask is a way in protecting oneself.

hmmm...maybe can order though Amazon.com.

Nightwing.