Growing Up in Terengganu
By Awang Goneng
Monsoon books Sept 2007
Paperback 336pp + 44 photos
Price: S$23.50 RM 39.90
This created a lot of excitement when it came out because it was one of the first local blooks (blog turned book) in Malaysia. The first edition of 3000 copies sold well and it is very nicely produced.
Awang Goneng (Malay for "naughty boy") is the pen name for Wan Hulaimi, a Malaysian journalist living in the UK. His intro is sparkling, funny and engaging, and I thought I'd love this book. However, I just couldn't get into it.
Wan Hulaimi writes about going to the mosque, about the call to prayer, about the fasting month, how his mum cooked various local dishes, about his local dialect, about various people he met, and other local scenes.
If you're interested in researching life in Terengganu 30 years ago then I can see it would be very useful. The writer is a pro, so the writing is fine. However, I was disappointed that the great personality that comes through so clearly in the intro isn't visible in the stories.
It's not my cup of tea but please see for yourself if you like it by reading the first few chapters for free here. Wan Hulaimi also blogs at http://kecek-kecek.blogspot.com.