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Bookworm: Moammar Emka, a hopelessly romantic soul

Hans David Tampubolon

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Mon, April 3, 2017  /  11:07 am
Bookworm: Moammar Emka, a hopelessly romantic soul

Moammar Emka (JP/Jerry Adiguna)

Journalist and writer Moammar Emka made a name for himself pioneering real-life reports of Jakarta’s nightlife when such things were still considered taboo in the 1990s. Moammar then compiled his reports into the book Jakarta Undercover, which became a big hit and a cult icon. Following the success of Jakarta Undercover, many came to see Moammar, a graduate of an Islamic boarding school, as a symbol of raw edginess and pioneer of adultery reportage in Indonesia.

However, beneath Moammar’s reputation is a man who is hopelessly romantic when it comes to his taste in literature.

“I mostly read romance and I need to read romance books by going to the beach to fully enjoy them,” Moammar told The Jakarta Post.

Read also: Moammar Emka: A pioneer of adult lifestyle 'free report'

“I am not too keen on thrillers, crime novels and especially horror stories. Those are just not my taste.”

Moammar also loves to read martial arts books and novels because for him, they hone his skills in narrative and descriptive writing.

“I am amazed by how martial arts book writers are able to fully describe fighting scenes and choreography through their writing. I adapted their techniques into my own when I wrote about the nightlife of Jakarta,” he said.

Naga Bumi
by Seno Gumira Ajidarma

Naga Bumi (Earth’s Dragon) is one of Seno’s rare books that focus on martial arts and has a more serious tone. This story is very thick. It is about 2,000 pages thick and it is divided into two books. It is a martial arts story that features very detailed narratives and writing. I am surprised that Seno was able to write a book as thick as this.

Sepotong Senja Untuk Pacarku
by Seno Gumira Ajidarma

I really love Seno’s books and I often read them more than once, especially the romantic ones. This particular book,
Sepotong Senja Untuk Pacarku (A Piece of Dusk for My Love), showcases his exceptional writing skills because it is very romantic while not being too sugary sweet. It is straight and harsh and blatant but at the same time, you can truly feel the romance of the story.

Read also: Seno Gumira Ajidarma: No rest for the wicked

Asmaraman Kho Ping Hoo series
by Kho Ping Hoo

You will never find these books in big book stores these days. They are only available at small vendors but by far, these are the best books that you should read if you want to hone your descriptive writing skills. These books are not mainstream these days but they are very cool for me.