Sid Harta Publishers
The Tim Tim Man is a political thriller set around Australian/Indonesian relations
from the early 1960s to the present day. Presumably reflecting the author’s
own experience of living and working in Indonesia, the story includes fascinating
description of Indonesia in the 1960s and the tumultuous events of 1965. Conversely,
the depiction of Australia is less impressive. Many historical events are telescoped
together, re-ordered and there is sheer invention; But it is a novel after all.
However, some well-known events are presented in peculiar fashion and the portrayal
of Indonesia as representing a threat to Australia panders to popular misconceptions.
The story postulates that many of the momentous events in modern Indonesian history had been fermented by a renegade military officer, who eventual becomes Indonesia’s intelligence chief no less. This character contrives to seek independence for his former homeland, East Timor, abbreviated as ‘Tim-Tim,’ hence the title. The story-line is intricate, and at times contorted (frequently flashing back and forth). The various twists and tales create an expectation that the plot will eventually come together; which is does in fashion, but the purpose remains elusive.
That said, the writing is excellent and story engaging. It has a fascinating setting. The machinations of the principal character never seem to quite come together, or even thought out. Twists of fate take their toll on his scheming, which gives the story the feeling of tragedy as much as a thriller. Well worth a read. Finally, the print quality is superb.
Originally published in Defender, Spring 1996
Kerry B. Collison's first book now in 2nd edition is second in the trilogy. Tension between Australia and Indonesia, the world's largest Moslem nation, brings the two countries to the brink of war. Read more about “The Timor Man”