Max Havelaar by Multatuli – a review

Max Havelaar: Or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading CompanyMax Havelaar: Or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company by Multatuli

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I gave this book four stars because this is the book that had a great impact to my country,
it was written by a dutch “Multatuli” aka. Eduart Douwes Dekker.

why this book is very important ? because this is the one that describe the situation of Dutch colonization in Indonesia during 19th century through the eyes of a dutch, Multatuli, who worked as assistant governor.

without this book, there will be no Buru tetra-logy by Pramoedya, and Ernest Douwes Dekker – nephew of Eduart Dourwes Dekker, would never be the Indonesian freedom fighter.

Althought I must admit this book is not easy to read, at first I thought maybe because the translation is very bad, but then I knew it was because the author used many different layers, with hyper-informal tone, but I soon understood it, Eduart/Multatuli was actually not a writer, he actually just a clerk who worked for Dutch company, and so he used that style for his writing to add more drama, thus it added great impact in the end of this book.

and the most touching and dramatic part was the part of love story of “Saijah and Adinda”

I think this kind of epic love story that can be compare with Romeo and Julliet, this sad love story described how miserable the life of Indonesian people during the colonization of Dutch, many of Indonesian people starved to death while dutch gained great profit from this country and made dutch as one of the great country during that century.

There were many version fo Saijah and Adinda stories, one of them was the one that Saijah lead a struggle to fight for Dutch colonization, but all of them had the same sad and tragic ending, Saijah and Adinda were never be together because of the abuse of power during this colonization

Max Havelaar may not be the best book that I ever read, but this book had opened many eyes that there’s still something worth to fight for and it is the Humanity, and Freedom.

the english version of chapter of that love story can be found in this link :

and in bahasa :…

View all my reviews


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