Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash

Book / Novel


by Eka Kurniawan
Author: Annie Tucker

Format: Paperback, English
160 page(s)
ISBN/ISBN13: /978-0811225649
Published Aug 01, 2017 by New Directions

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Also see Seperti Dendam, Rindu Harus Dibayar Tuntas

Vivid, bawdy, comic, and arresting, the exciting new novel by the Indonesian phenomenon, Eka Kurniawan

Told in short, cinematic bursts, Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash is gloriously pulpy. Ajo Kawir, a lower-class Javanese teenage boy excited about sex, likes to spy on fellow villagers in flagrante, but one night he ends up witnessing the savage rape of a beautiful crazy woman by two policemen. Deeply traumatized, he becomes impotent. His efforts to get his virility back all fail, and Ajo Kawir turns to fighting as a way to vent his frustrations. He gets such a fearsome reputation as a brawler that he is hired to kill a thug named The Tiger, but instead Ajo Kawir falls in love with Iteung, a gorgeous female bodyguard who works for the local mafia. Alas, the course of true love never did run smooth… Fast-forward a decade. Now a truck driver, Ajo Kawir has reached a new equanimity, thinking that his penis may be trying to teach him a lesson and even consulting it in many situations as if it were his guru―love may yet triumph.

Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash shows Eka Kurniawan in a gritty, comic, pungent mode that fans of Quentin Tarantino will appreciate. But even with its liberal peppering of fights, high-speed car chases, and ladies heaving with desire, the novel continues to explore Kurniawan’s familiar themes of female agency in a violent male world dominated by petty criminals and a corrupt police state.



Whether or not a political fable is intended, the squelch of blood and the crack of breaking bones tends to muffle any deeper message.
Suzi Feay in Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash by Eka Kurniawan — street fighter (Financial Times, Aug 18, 2017)
Vengeance Is Mine has many brilliant moments. But up against the achievements of his first two translated novels, this one feels a little, well, flaccid.
Bradley Babendir in Impotent Rage: Eka Kurniawan’s “Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash” (Los Angeles Review of Books, Aug 16, 2017)
Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash can be a charming novel, even big-hearted, despite some very dark events.
CR in Eka Kurniawan: Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash (The Saturday Paper, Aug 05, 2017)
At just 208 pages, Vengeance Is Mine proffers a sly, sideways glance at Indonesian society and packs an audaci­ous punch all of its own.
Bron Sibree in Eka Kurniawan’s brutal novel on Indonesian masculinity is not for the faint-hearted (South China Morning Post, Jul 19, 2017)
EKA KURNIAWAN’S hugely inventive fiction is a potent blend of grounded realism and flighty fantasy.
Riding high: The secrets of Indonesia’s finest novelist (The Economist, Jul 13, 2017)