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The Year of Living Dangerously

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The Year of Living Dangerously

Christopher Koch

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Jakarta, 1965. Waiting for explosions, the city smells of frangipani, kretek cigarettes, and fear. It is THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY. the charismatic god-king Sukarno has brought Indonesia to the edge of chaos – to an abortive revolution that will leave half a million dead. For the Western correspondents here, this gathering apocalypse is their story and their drug, while the sufferings of the Indonesian people are scarcely real: a shadow play. Working at the eye of the storm are television correspondent Guy Hamilton and his eccentric dwarf cameraman Billy Kwan. In Kwan’s secret fantasy life, both Sukarno and Hamilton are heroes. But his heroes betray him, and Billy is driven to desperate action. As the Indonesian shadow play erupts into terrible reality, a complex personal tragedy of love, obsession and betrayal comes to its climax. ‘A profound and beautiful book’ – Les Murray, the Sydney Morning Herald ‘A richly and fully realised work of fiction, well conceived and beautifully executed.’ – Larry McMurtry ‘Intelligent, compassionate, flavoursome, convincing … In Billy Kwan, Mr Koch has created one of the most memorable characters of recent fiction. this book is to be prized.’ – the times Literary Supplement

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