The Interpreter From Java

Written by:
Alfred Birney
Narrated by:
Leighton Pugh

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
June 2020
17 hours 35 minutes
Alan Nolan discovers his father's memoirs and learns the truth about the violent man he despised.
In this unsparing family history, Alan distils his father's life in the Dutch East Indies into one furious utterance. He reads about his work as an interpreter during the war with Japan, his life as an assassin, and his decision to murder Indonesians in the service of the Dutch without any conscience. How he fled to the Netherlands to escape being executed as a traitor and met Alan's mother soon after. As he reads his father's story Alan begins to understand how war transformed his father into the monster he knew. Birney exposes a crucial chapter in Dutch and European history that was deliberately concealed behind the ideological facade of postwar optimism. Readers of this superb novel will find that it reverberates long afterwards in their memory.
Translation © David Doherty, 2020
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Jon C.

I rated this book as I did because of the nature of the story line. Very unusual back and forth narrative between son and his father’s manuscript. I believe the son completely but the father’s version is self serving. Having that all said, I couldn’t stop listening as a history buff. The Java story I was unaware of. The Holland portion didn’t surprise me. Over all not a book most could listen or read to the end. Not sorry I did.

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