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November 8, 2021


#AusReadingMonth 2021 Christopher Koch

by N@ncy


  • Author: Christopher Koch (1932-2013)
  • Title: The Year of Living Dangerously
  • Published: 1978  (224 pg)
  • Trivia: This book helped Australia to shift its cultural focus from
  • Britain and Ireland toward its increasing engagement with Asia
  • ….and continuing into 21st C (nuclear powered submarines from USA)
  • Trivia: The banned film (1982) version directed by Australian Peter Weir
  • was shown for the first time in 2000 at Jakarta Film Festival.
  • Monthly planning
  • #AusReadingMonth2021   @bronasbooks


Quick Scan:

  1. C. J. Koch’s The Year of Living Dangerously takes its title
  2. from Sukarno’s term for 1965, the year in which the novel takes place.
  3. R. J. Cook, first-person narrator, recounts the events that occurred
  4. during that tumultuous, chaotic year.
  5. In 1965 Sukarno was overthrown (see book published 2020: The Jakarta Method)
  6. and Suharto, a right-wing officer, assumed control of the Indonesian government.
  7. Sukarno’s fate, however, is linked to the fates of the characters:
  8. Guy Hamilton – a correspondent for an Australian news network
  9. Trivia: loosely based on Mr. Koch’s younger brother, Philip.
  10. Billy Kwan – an Australian-Chinese dwarf who is a highly intelligent cameraman
  11. Jill Bryant –  the woman both men love.



  1. This was an amazing book…just stunning!
  2. I saw the movie version in 1980s and didn’t understand any of
  3. the politics in Indonesia and USA’s use of…
  4. The Jakarta Method.
  5. Now I do..and it isn’t a pretty picture for America’s foreign policy.
  6. Has anything changed?? (Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan….and now Taiwan?)
  7. Chris Koch is an excellent writer/journalist and several  intrigues
  8. were weaved seamlessly into the story.
  9. I could not stop reading…..
  10. Billy Kwan is the “spider in the web”
  11. …the Wayang shadow play puppet master!
  12. The ending of the book was genius.
  13. Please, don’t miss this #classic
  14. It is probably waiting for you on the library shelf
  15. …better yet, buy it and support your local bookstore.
  16. #MustRead.


1 Comment Post a comment
  1. Nov 8 2021

    I have not read this, but you’ve put a great case forward as to why I should – and soon!



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