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Negeri 5 Menara

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Alif lahir di pinggir Danau Maninjau dan tidak pernah menginjak tanah di luar ranah Minangkabau. Masa kecilnya adalah berburu durian runtuh di rimba Bukit Barisan, bermain bola di sawah berlumpur dan tentu mandi berkecipak di air biru Danau Maninjau. Tiba-tiba saja dia harus naik bus tiga hari tiga malam melintasi punggung Sumatera dan Jawa menuju sebuah desa di pelosok Jaw Alif lahir di pinggir Danau Maninjau dan tidak pernah menginjak tanah di luar ranah Minangkabau. Masa kecilnya adalah berburu durian runtuh di rimba Bukit Barisan, bermain bola di sawah berlumpur dan tentu mandi berkecipak di air biru Danau Maninjau. Tiba-tiba saja dia harus naik bus tiga hari tiga malam melintasi punggung Sumatera dan Jawa menuju sebuah desa di pelosok Jawa Timur. Ibunya ingin dia menjadi Buya Hamka walau Alif ingin menjadi Habibie. Dengan setengah hati dia mengikuti perintah Ibunya: belajar di pondok. Di kelas hari pertamanya di Pondok Madani (PM), Alif terkesima dengan “mantera” sakti man jadda wajada. Siapa yang bersungguh-sungguh pasti sukses. Dia terheran-heran mendengar komentator sepakbola berbahasa Arab, anak menggigau dalam bahasa Inggris, merinding mendengar ribuan orang melagukan Syair Abu Nawas dan terkesan melihat pondoknya setiap pagi seperti melayang di udara. Dipersatukan oleh hukuman jewer berantai, Alif berteman dekat dengan Raja dari Medan, Said dari Surabaya, Dulmajid dari Sumenep, Atang dari Bandung dan Baso dari Gowa. Di bawah menara masjid yang menjulang, mereka berenam kerap menunggu maghrib sambil menatap awan lembayung yang berarak pulang ke ufuk. Di mata belia mereka, awan-awan itu menjelma menjadi negara dan benua impian masing-masing. Kemana impian jiwa muda ini membawa mereka? Mereka tidak tahu. Yang mereka tahu adalah: Jangan pernah remehkan impian, walau setinggi apa pun. Tuhan sungguh Maha Mendengar. Bagaimana perjalanan mereka ke ujung dunia ini dimulai? Siapa horor nomor satu mereka? Apa pengalaman mendebarkan di tengah malam buta di sebelah sungai tempat jin buang anak? Bagaimana sampai ada yang kasak-kusuk menjadi mata-mata misterius? Siapa Princess of Madani yang mereka kejar-kejar? Kenapa mereka harus botak berkilat-kilat? Bagaimana sampai Icuk Sugiarto, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ibnu Rusyd, bahkan Maradona sampai akhirnya ikut campur? Ikuti perjalanan hidup yang inspiratif ini langsung dari mata para pelakunya. Negeri Lima Menara adalah buku pertama dari sebuah trilogi.


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Alif lahir di pinggir Danau Maninjau dan tidak pernah menginjak tanah di luar ranah Minangkabau. Masa kecilnya adalah berburu durian runtuh di rimba Bukit Barisan, bermain bola di sawah berlumpur dan tentu mandi berkecipak di air biru Danau Maninjau. Tiba-tiba saja dia harus naik bus tiga hari tiga malam melintasi punggung Sumatera dan Jawa menuju sebuah desa di pelosok Jaw Alif lahir di pinggir Danau Maninjau dan tidak pernah menginjak tanah di luar ranah Minangkabau. Masa kecilnya adalah berburu durian runtuh di rimba Bukit Barisan, bermain bola di sawah berlumpur dan tentu mandi berkecipak di air biru Danau Maninjau. Tiba-tiba saja dia harus naik bus tiga hari tiga malam melintasi punggung Sumatera dan Jawa menuju sebuah desa di pelosok Jawa Timur. Ibunya ingin dia menjadi Buya Hamka walau Alif ingin menjadi Habibie. Dengan setengah hati dia mengikuti perintah Ibunya: belajar di pondok. Di kelas hari pertamanya di Pondok Madani (PM), Alif terkesima dengan “mantera” sakti man jadda wajada. Siapa yang bersungguh-sungguh pasti sukses. Dia terheran-heran mendengar komentator sepakbola berbahasa Arab, anak menggigau dalam bahasa Inggris, merinding mendengar ribuan orang melagukan Syair Abu Nawas dan terkesan melihat pondoknya setiap pagi seperti melayang di udara. Dipersatukan oleh hukuman jewer berantai, Alif berteman dekat dengan Raja dari Medan, Said dari Surabaya, Dulmajid dari Sumenep, Atang dari Bandung dan Baso dari Gowa. Di bawah menara masjid yang menjulang, mereka berenam kerap menunggu maghrib sambil menatap awan lembayung yang berarak pulang ke ufuk. Di mata belia mereka, awan-awan itu menjelma menjadi negara dan benua impian masing-masing. Kemana impian jiwa muda ini membawa mereka? Mereka tidak tahu. Yang mereka tahu adalah: Jangan pernah remehkan impian, walau setinggi apa pun. Tuhan sungguh Maha Mendengar. Bagaimana perjalanan mereka ke ujung dunia ini dimulai? Siapa horor nomor satu mereka? Apa pengalaman mendebarkan di tengah malam buta di sebelah sungai tempat jin buang anak? Bagaimana sampai ada yang kasak-kusuk menjadi mata-mata misterius? Siapa Princess of Madani yang mereka kejar-kejar? Kenapa mereka harus botak berkilat-kilat? Bagaimana sampai Icuk Sugiarto, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ibnu Rusyd, bahkan Maradona sampai akhirnya ikut campur? Ikuti perjalanan hidup yang inspiratif ini langsung dari mata para pelakunya. Negeri Lima Menara adalah buku pertama dari sebuah trilogi.

30 review for Negeri 5 Menara

  1. 4 out of 5

    lita

    I moved this review to my blog

  2. 5 out of 5

    Avridita

    This novel is the first book written by A. Fuadi. Negeri 5 Menara is inspired by the true story of the writer when he lives in an Islamic boarding school located in East Java. It's published in 2009. The main character of this novel is Alif Fikri Chaniago. He is from Maninjau, West Sumatra, and he never goes far from his village. When he has finished his education in a Madrasah Tsanawiyah (an Islamic school which has the same level with Junior High School) his dream is to continue his education i This novel is the first book written by A. Fuadi. Negeri 5 Menara is inspired by the true story of the writer when he lives in an Islamic boarding school located in East Java. It's published in 2009. The main character of this novel is Alif Fikri Chaniago. He is from Maninjau, West Sumatra, and he never goes far from his village. When he has finished his education in a Madrasah Tsanawiyah (an Islamic school which has the same level with Junior High School) his dream is to continue his education in a Senior High School. On the day of his graduation he knows that his mother wants him to continue his study in a Madrasah Aliyah (an Islamic school which has the same level with Senior High School). She wants him to learn more about his religion, and be someone who has big efforts for Islam like Buya Hamka. Alif doesn't want to be Buya Hamka, but he wants to be more like Habibie. He chooses to leave his village and study in a Madrasah Aliyah called Pondok Madani (PM) that located miles and miles from his village. He wants it because he doesn't want to disappoint her mother, but at the same time he wants to show his dissappointment to her mother. At the first day in his new school he's dazzled by a saying "man jadda wa jada". It means "who is struggling will reach success". He meets a lot of students from every single corner of Indonesia, but there are some friends who are so special for him. They are Raja Lubis from Medan, Said Jufri from Surabaya, Dulmajid from Sumenep, Atang from Bandung, and Baso Salahuddin from Gowa. They brings their unique character from the place they come from, but they are united by the endless activities and the strict rules of Pondok Madani for six years. They are getting closer and call themself as Sahibul Menara. They paint their dreams by staring at the clouds together. They choose different path to pursue their dream, but they take the same place to start; Pondok Madani. This novel is truly inspiring. It burns our spirit. There are so much positive energy in every single word in this novel. We can experience how it feels to live in a dormitory, and find that many things that happen there are so interesting. This true story reminds us that religion is like an oxygen in everyone's life. We can't seperate it from every aspect of our life including education. It teaches us that we can reach success whatever our choice and our place to start might be. All you have to do is struggling.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Retno Ningsih

    for me, this book is boring. sorry, tapi emang kurang greget. didn't give me any surprise. for me, this book is boring. sorry, tapi emang kurang greget. didn't give me any surprise.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mr. Banks

    This book was given to me by a patron in a coffee shop in Indonesia. It was during my first week of my travels to Asia, and my first stop was in Bali, Indonesia. During this week, I had become a regular at a coffee shop down the street from me. Everyday, I would go grab my morning coffee and speak to the Indonesian coffee owners about life in Indonesia, travelling, and, obviously, the beauty of coffee. The coffee shop was named Bahasa, a term in Indonesian that means language or dialect. This sh This book was given to me by a patron in a coffee shop in Indonesia. It was during my first week of my travels to Asia, and my first stop was in Bali, Indonesia. During this week, I had become a regular at a coffee shop down the street from me. Everyday, I would go grab my morning coffee and speak to the Indonesian coffee owners about life in Indonesia, travelling, and, obviously, the beauty of coffee. The coffee shop was named Bahasa, a term in Indonesian that means language or dialect. This shop was aptly named, as it served as the meeting area for expats and locals from around the world. One day, I was the asking the barista questions about his hometown. I knew that he was from the west of Java, the big island beside Bali, but I was interested in the culture of his island, the food of Indonesia, and the difference between Bali and Java. A major difference, he relayed, was the religions between the two islands. While Bali’s largest religion was Hinduism, the rest of Indonesia, Java included, it was Islam. Listening into our conversation, another one of the regulars joined in and offered if I would like to read a firsthand account of Islam in Java. He mentioned that this book might be interesting to me, and that he would bring it to the shop the following day. This book came to me at a timely manner, as I was already in a period of reflection about travel, morals, knowledge, and the journey of the past to the present. Each of these themes are addressed within the pages of the book. The story begins with Alif, a young village boy from West Sumatra – also our lively narrator – who makes a half-hearted decision to join a regimented religious boarding school (MP). It relates the journey of his intensive learning, Islamic revelations, and own personal development, all while fueled by a sense of self-doubt lingering from his abrupt decision to leave home. This sets the tone for a book detailing the teaching of the Al-Quran’s tenants through motivational and captivating stories of Alif’s time in MP. The themes are brilliantly captured by Alif’s personal trials and tribulations as a student in this strict penasaran (Islamic boarding school). His personal story is mixed in with characters of the Fellowship of Manara, five other schoolboys who become the close friends with our protagonist. Each member of the Fellowship is gifted with their own personality, traits, and strengths providing another lens to view the hardships they endure together. It’s a brotherhood formed by congealed bond of strong solidarity required to push on in face of the hardships of exams, strict rules, and constant studying; each needing a strong perseverance to succeed in this pressurized environment. The words man jadda wajada, he who gives his all will surely succeed, are shouted by the students in their first class, and are constantly echoed throughout the book. Each passage of the book ties back to the premise of hard work, and Alif’s personal development growth is built on the backbone of these words. The experience of Alif and his fellow schoolmates revived memories of my own experience in university. The Ustads (teachers) whom the students looked up to as the carriers of knowledge, were the same people they also feared, as they were also the ones to dole out punishment if they did not abide by the rules. It’s this sense of fear and respect combined that gave each of the Ustads a revered place in the students’ mind. This fits nicely with professors in a university who are the gatekeepers to knowledge. They have spent their entire career engrossed in their specific discipline, and are the ones who dole out grades; mimicking the punishment of not following the rules of the class, and the knowledge of the doctrine. Outside of the teachers, I personally connected with the stories of Alif and his friends while they studied together in preparation for the famously difficult exams of MP. There was the concept of sahirul lail, an arabic term that roughly describes staying up late to study into the early morning hours of the night; the attempt to squeeze out any last bits of knowledge. These huddled students, using only the light of a friend’s lantern as they studied, reminded me of the deep work sessions my friends and I would endure while edging closer and closer to an approaching sunrise. Those late night sessions enacted a certain bond felt between each member of the session, one which I believe Alif accurately captures in this book. The story was not without its faults, however. The description of each passing character was superficial, describing their features (“clear-skinned”), rather than the humanity behind them. The language was easy to follow, but there was no captivating style (perhaps due to the translation), and the meaning behind each important teaching was beaten over the reader’s head. These teachings were overly referenced by Alif’s passages of overcoming any mental or physical challenge. This easy reading required no analysis for the reader’s part, making it a superficial version of moral lessons. However, my biggest gripe of the story was near the end of the book. There was a passage that seemingly summed up the stringent rules of the MP. It was at a point in the story where the boys were celebrating a well done final event they had put on. But, its success was due to breaking a small, ridiculous rule, when gathering supplies for their show. Three boys, Alif included, were taken to the security center, and their heads were shaved as punishment for breaking this rule. It was somehow related to a teaching in the Al-Quran, but I was not convinced by the goodwill of the punishment. This strict adherence to law closely resembled a form of deontological ethics that the students were forced to follow, and this caused me to reevaluate some of the book’s teachings. Looking back through the book’s passages, I was able to draw out an underlying tone that cut deep into the heart of the book’s message. The tone of fear of breaking the rules, the impossible moral requirements of the students, and the strict enforcement of the Islamic law paraded itself in plain view once you took note of it. This tone was also reinforced by the concept of jasus, student spies, a punishment put onto a student when they broke the rules. These spies would then watch for any fault made by their fellow students. These faults were things like not speaking the two official languages of English or Arabic, unkept sarongs, or cutting the bathroom lines. The jasus would have to record exactly two students convicted of these infractions, and hand them into the the security office, where the convicted students would themselves be forced to become the new jasus. If they did not succeed in recording exactly two names, they were more severely punished. This creepy feeling of surveillance, harsh punishments for infractions, and underlying sense of fear may have helped keep order in the school, but it must have also hampered free thought and expression. Even though the mission of the school was to inspire scholars – ones who would seek out knowledge throughout the world – it was forced through the lens of Islamic thought. So, while I do agree with many of the teachings, passages, and morals of the story, it was hard for me to know whether these were Alif’s true belief. The book preached sincerity as the main driver for the students’ actions, but this unquestioning of the rules, and fear of breaking them, made this sincerity a difficult motivator to accept. The book ends with a happy message, though. We encounter three brothers of the Fellowship reunited in London. This meeting takes place 11 years after their upper-level final exams, where they last hugged each other before going back to their various homes across Indonesia. It’s in this last part of the book where we are once again treated to the beauty of the book’s themes. It’s the benefits of travel for the soul, the happiness of keeping a long lasting brotherhood, and that while we may still carry a sense of self-doubt whether we took the correct path in life, the journey is what really matters.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Riska Purnama

    . . "Man jadda wajada, he who gives his all will surely succeed", is the powerful phrase that appears in the first page of Ahmad Fuadi's book. The book that has 'Negeri 5 Menara' as the Indonesian title focussed on the experience of six persons from six different cities in Indonesia (Alif, Baso, Raja, Dulumajid, Atang, and Said) which study in Madani Pesantren Gontor in East Java. The punishment that they accept at the very first day in MP make them united and become close friends and called their . . "Man jadda wajada, he who gives his all will surely succeed", is the powerful phrase that appears in the first page of Ahmad Fuadi's book. The book that has 'Negeri 5 Menara' as the Indonesian title focussed on the experience of six persons from six different cities in Indonesia (Alif, Baso, Raja, Dulumajid, Atang, and Said) which study in Madani Pesantren Gontor in East Java. The punishment that they accept at the very first day in MP make them united and become close friends and called their group as the Fellowship of Manara. This name according to the place that they usually gather (beneath the minaret of MP's mosque), the place where the six of them reveal their goals and dreams. For them, it's hard studying in Pesantren at first. Everything must in line. Strict rules such as the using of Arab and English as their daily languages, the spooky security, and uncommon subjects that they have not known before. Moreover, the hard exams that they must do twice in a year. Alif and the others must fight to deal with those problems which later build their pesonality and make them become great person. Re-read this book makes me throwback to the senior high school, 4 years ago, when I first find this book at the school's library. It also leads me to get to know who Ahmad Fuadi is. But reading this book for the second time and in different language has give me a new experience. There are many values, quotes, and islam poetry that I even didn't realize if it were there when reading the Indonesian version. I myself really love the quotations inside, especially if it comes from Kiai Rais, one of the wise characters in this book. It's so inspiring and lifted my spirit just as Alif feels. Not to mention, for me who is rarely read Indo-English translation's book, Angie Kilbane as the translator smoothly and neatly translates Fuadi's magical words into beautiful yet easy english words. Thanks for her I can read it-almost fluently (some of words, still needed to look in dictionary). Later I know that Angie Kilbane also does translate of Andrea Hirata's Laskar Pelangi (really want to read it!!).

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kamila Muyasarah

    Quite surprised! this book tells a lot of things that i don't know about "Pesantren Modern". And turned out, i really knew nothing about what and how life in pesantren is, hehe. This book not only opens my mind, but also have made me fall in love with Pesantren's life, it's system and the people there. Two things that i love the most about the book are the way Fuadi described Anak Pesantren's mundane schedules in detail (it makes me feel like i'm doing what Alif was doing) and also the words he Quite surprised! this book tells a lot of things that i don't know about "Pesantren Modern". And turned out, i really knew nothing about what and how life in pesantren is, hehe. This book not only opens my mind, but also have made me fall in love with Pesantren's life, it's system and the people there. Two things that i love the most about the book are the way Fuadi described Anak Pesantren's mundane schedules in detail (it makes me feel like i'm doing what Alif was doing) and also the words he picked to describe the whole story are all really GOOD (it's like i'm reading a poem in a story). SAdly, i was busy doing others thing and finally finish this book in 1 month. Can't wait to read the next serial book! #AkhirnyaAdaSerialyangTidakMengecewakan

  7. 4 out of 5

    Aldo Fajar

    A great book to read. I thought it was going to feel like "Laskar Pelangi" kind of nuance, but it reminded me more of the Harry Potter series. Pondok Madani is Hogwarts, Alif is Potter, and Kiai Rais is Dumbledore. Only there is definitely no villain here. Everyone is a good person. The story would inspire readers about importance of education, sincerity, and strong will. Hard works will pay off. The story also flows very naturally, inpiring without judging, joking without insulting. There is st A great book to read. I thought it was going to feel like "Laskar Pelangi" kind of nuance, but it reminded me more of the Harry Potter series. Pondok Madani is Hogwarts, Alif is Potter, and Kiai Rais is Dumbledore. Only there is definitely no villain here. Everyone is a good person. The story would inspire readers about importance of education, sincerity, and strong will. Hard works will pay off. The story also flows very naturally, inpiring without judging, joking without insulting. There is strong Islamic dimension to the content, but definitely non-Muslims including myself would easily relate to and enjoy this book as much.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rizal Budi

    TUGAS

  9. 4 out of 5

    Indah

    This is a great story! It tells us about the life of santri in one of religion boarding schools in East Java. Such islamic boarding school is called 'Pesantren' and the students are called 'santri'. Girls and boys go to different schools and they cannot study together. Mostly they learn religion and its practice. They are expected to become religion teachers once they are graduated. People often think that these schools are of 'second quality' in compare to the public schools, let alone the priva This is a great story! It tells us about the life of santri in one of religion boarding schools in East Java. Such islamic boarding school is called 'Pesantren' and the students are called 'santri'. Girls and boys go to different schools and they cannot study together. Mostly they learn religion and its practice. They are expected to become religion teachers once they are graduated. People often think that these schools are of 'second quality' in compare to the public schools, let alone the private schools. Parents who send their children to these schools are (usually but not always) those who either have a weak economy to finance their children's education, whose children have grades so bad they cannot enroll to public schools, or whose children have behavioral problems they needed to be 'fixed', even combination of these factors. If you have read Three Cups of Tea, it is described that terorrist and extremist organizations alike, funded by Arabic countries, build this kind of school in Pakistan to produce their 'worker bees' in multiplication. They teach their students for Jihad. These schools are shut to the world outside and people who don't have any relation or importance to these schools aren't allowed to come close. Pesantrens in Indonesia are rarely open to the public and stories or personal experience of studying in such schools are not so often to be published. After 9/11 people are getting more curious with these schools. This book gives an answer to that curiosity. Life in Pesantren 'Pondok Madani' is certainly not lavished with pricey comfort, but it highly values knowledge alongside moral and religious values. From the first day of the school, the teachers teach one key principle to their students: Man Jadda Wajadda, an arabic words which means "one who does one's utmost will succeed". They are the magic words to pump up your energy and motivation in chasing your dreams. The school educate its pupils with super high discipline. Students are not only taught religion and doctrines of duties, but also general knowledge, math, history, and Arabic and English. Indonesian and provincial language are strictly prohibited within the school, students are only allowed to speak in either Arabic or English. Those who don't obey this rule will get punishment. It is not known whether they study science such as physics and chemistry or not, but the school certainly encourages its pupils to develop themselves in other fields of interest, such as art, sport, debates, and even journalism. Teachers inspire students with their earnestness to share their knowledge with their pupils without wage (their lives are fully supported by the school but they don't get any salary). Sometimes they inspire students by sharing the biography of well-known figures or by giving their ears to children's problems and give motivation to straighten their backs. This school also has a unique way to perceive exam week: as a celebration of knowledge, it is time to catch the knowledge they've been pursuing all along and bind them so that they'll stay forever. Weeks prior the exam, students will wake up at 2am and study together until 4am - the time to morning prayer which also marks the start of the day and the activities, and continue to study until 10 pm - the time for students to sleep. For the seniors, they are even allowed to study until midnight. Teachers will also stay up until late at night and go around from group to group so that each group has the opportunity to ask about things even chapter they haven't fully grabbed yet. What a way to celebrate knowledge! This creates huge drive to study among the students, which makes them love studying. This is the kind of Jihad the school is teaching to the students, to serve God with their whole life, and strength, and knowledge. The main character, a smart graduate from junior high religious school, wanted to enroll in public school and chase his dream to study at the best technical university of Indonesia, Institut Teknologi Bandung, to follow the path of Habibie, our ex-president. His final scores in national exam was among the highest 10 (people) in the entire area of Agam, West Sumatra. A gem indeed. But his mother wanted him to study in Pesantren. She was concerned with the quality of Pesantrens and was dismayed by the quality of religious teacher they might produce, while the moslem municipalities are getting brighter and smarter in each generation. Therefore she wanted her son to join Pesantren, so that in the future he will be a qualified teacher to lead the moslem people. After a while, he finally agreed to go to a Pesantren in Java. From there begins the story of the pursue of knowledge, struggles, and friendship among 6 santris, each coming from different cities and backgrounds. Each share their dreams of going to Mecca, Asia, Africa, America, or staying in Indonesia, and pursue their destiny. But they all know in their deepest heart that, in time, they'll be back and stay in Indonesia to share the knowledge they've got and serve the people. This story is based on the experience of the writer himself. The writer, a recipient of 8 schollarships including Fulbright and Chevening, is a journalist of the long time prominent magazine in Indonesia. He throws a very inspiring story for everyone. Eventhough I'm a christian, I enjoy this book a lot and I know that everyone can gain something for their lives from this book. In addition to that, this book is also filled with Indonesian's cultural insights. In short, I love it. And I hope that other pesantrens, even public schools, will follow the lead of this special school in its earnestness of knowledge dissemination. Man jadda wajadda! :)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Al

    An absolutely brilliant narration of a childhood with cultural and religious references. Man jadda wajada keeps recurring throughout the book. Cannot wait for the translation of the second and third parts.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Adrian

    I loved the book in Indonesian and I think the author has done very well on translating it into English, not losing any of the points and impacts of the original script. I can't wait for the 2 sequels to also be translated so it can be more accessible for my friends to read. I loved the book in Indonesian and I think the author has done very well on translating it into English, not losing any of the points and impacts of the original script. I can't wait for the 2 sequels to also be translated so it can be more accessible for my friends to read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Abdullah Shams

    Nice introduction to Indonesian culture. Really seattle on on introducing across the country, regions, local culture, food and motivations. Really like it, its a really relax read, goes without saying the writer has a taste for some drama :P

  13. 4 out of 5

    Arsenio Wicaksono

    AF. I never thinking about it. But suddenly I realize it was like a subject replacement for Ahmad Fuadi. Inspiring story. Great delivery. 4 stars for this book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Setyawan Akhtar

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This novel is very good because it tells the struggle in life that comes from the real story of the writer himself while in the boarding school

  15. 4 out of 5

    Muhammad Nuzulul Ilham

    After reading this book, you'll be Motivate to dream big and do something big. Man Shobaro Dzofiro. Man Jadda Wajada!! After reading this book, you'll be Motivate to dream big and do something big. Man Shobaro Dzofiro. Man Jadda Wajada!!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Anita Sinaga

    really good books

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rafi Jauhar

    Nice

  18. 4 out of 5

    Demetria

    The book had change my mind

  19. 4 out of 5

    Puspita

    Already fell in love with this book since the first page💛

  20. 4 out of 5

    Eka Rahmiati

    The land of five towers, talk to me about the reality and hope and dream. I found my self in the history. Thats really good books to read

  21. 5 out of 5

    M. R. Royan

    A lot of inspiration

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jeramy

    I really enjoyed reading this, as it gave me some insight into my fellow GWU grad student who wrote it. Thanks Fuadi!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rais Haris

    Need to reread

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jani

    Inspirational book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Aurelion

    I personally think this book is quite entertaining and inspiring. However, I prefer reading nonfiction book as this book is fiction, sadly.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Muhamad Prakoso

    I've red this book when getting to islamic boarding school. how author illustrate his experience is really make me miss my school. wanna cry I've red this book when getting to islamic boarding school. how author illustrate his experience is really make me miss my school. wanna cry

  27. 4 out of 5

    Fanila

    Meaningful book, a lot of motivate quotes.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Titie

    This review may or may not contain spoilers. Read at your own risk. “We used to sell mold, now we sell gold. We used to be ignored and now we are hunted.” “We were equipped with three old typewriters, two small tap recorders, one camera and bursting enthusiasm.” I would like to start by saying that I am a huge fan of fantasy and not very fond of other genres, such as contemporary, sci-fi and romance. I do read them though just not as often. I would also like to say that I was very surprised by how This review may or may not contain spoilers. Read at your own risk. “We used to sell mold, now we sell gold. We used to be ignored and now we are hunted.” “We were equipped with three old typewriters, two small tap recorders, one camera and bursting enthusiasm.” I would like to start by saying that I am a huge fan of fantasy and not very fond of other genres, such as contemporary, sci-fi and romance. I do read them though just not as often. I would also like to say that I was very surprised by how much I actually enjoyed this book. I was a little skeptical initially because like I said, this kind of genre is usually not my cup of tea, so it was rather difficult to impress me. Also, all the hypes surrounding this book were very overwhelming that it made me even more nervous getting into this book. This book was about friendship and living life. It told the story of Alif Fikri, a small boy from a small village in Padang. Alif had this dream to continue his study in public school that his parents disagreed with. In return, they ‘forced’ him to go to religious school or pesantren instead. Being a teenage boy that he was, Alif refused at first and put on some “I don’t want to eat or go out of my room until you say yes to what I have proposed” act. Fast forward, he agreed and went off to Madani Pesantren in Java, which was one of the most well-known religious schools during the period. And that was how everything started. I had a bit of an odd experience when I was reading this book. The first half was actually rather boring for me that I actually felt like I wanted to finish the book right away, not because I was curious of the ending or where the story might carry on, but because I was already bored. To be completely honest, I was tempted to put it down for good several times halfway reading. Good thing I didn’t. The story really did pick up after one hundred pages and boy was it good! I found myself completely immersed in the plot because it suddenly got very engrossing that I just couldn’t and didn’t want to stop reading. I even read it past my bedtime, which wasn’t something I did often. Also, I thought about it every time I had to put it down due to reality. This book was so rich of Minangnese cultures and moral values. Perhaps because the main storyline focused on Alif and his friends trying to live their lives in a religious school which caused the religion aspect played a crucial role throughout the plot, which in this case was Islam. We also got to know a lot of things about both the culture and the religion, although I did feel like sometimes the author could have strategically delivered the information in another ways rather than just threw a bunch of them at me at the same time because it was overwhelming. I adored all the characters. They were all truly fantastic and so diverse from one another that I could easily differentiate them. My favorite character out of the six persons from The Fellowship of Manara was Said. Said was a wonderful guy and he was incredibly optimistic that he could only see silver linings on the cloud. I also loved how he never bragged about his financial capability. In fact, he was the most down-to-earth person ever! I noticed how when he proposed he wanted to treat his friends, the word just came out so easily that it made him sound sincere. He was so funny and very laid back as well, all thanks to his positive vibes. I wish the author had constructed the characters with more personal background stories for each one because I felt like I didn’t know all of them well enough, which I wish I did. The fact that they had distinct backgrounds because they came from different places made me wish I could explore more about each characteristic through their problems, experiences, and cultures. The potential was already there but unfortunately I didn't see it came to life. Overall, I think this book was really good. I thoroughly enjoyed most of the things the author presented on my plate. It may not be perfect but it is a solid start to a trilogy. There were a few flaws but they didn't outshine the fine points and strengths of this book. For some reason, the ending didn't make me crave for book two right away. I may pick it up someday in the future but I don't know. Personal note: I read the english version of this book. For everyone who understands Bahasa, I would recommend them to read this book in its original language. That way, you will have more insights of Ahmad Fuadi's writing style. Besides, the translation is rather weird if you ask me.

  29. 4 out of 5

    K. Levina

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Alif Fikri was born and raised in the lush greeneries land of Lake Maninjau. Throughout his life, he had never stepped out from Sumatra, until one day on his junior high school graduation, his mother told him to continue his education at an Islamic school. Contradicting with his choice to go to a public high school, Alif rebelled. But a letter to him came from his uncle Gindo from the middle east to convince him to go to a popular Islamic boarding school in East Java called Madani Pesantren (MP) Alif Fikri was born and raised in the lush greeneries land of Lake Maninjau. Throughout his life, he had never stepped out from Sumatra, until one day on his junior high school graduation, his mother told him to continue his education at an Islamic school. Contradicting with his choice to go to a public high school, Alif rebelled. But a letter to him came from his uncle Gindo from the middle east to convince him to go to a popular Islamic boarding school in East Java called Madani Pesantren (MP). Half- heartedly, Alif then enrolled to MP, making his very first step out of Sumatra. At MP, Alif met five other friends, Raja, Dulmajid, Atang, Said, and Baso, who all came from different area throughout the nation. Six of them bonded quickly after they were punished by the head security only at the very first day at MP. The six friends called themselves as the “Fellowship of Manara” as they made mosque’s minaret base as their unofficial hideout. This friendship is the main focus of LOFT’s story and plot. Life at MP is very strict and full of rules. Readers are told a lot about The Fellowship of Manara’s school life story; breaking the rules, getting caught by the Central Security officers, studying all night for exams, etc. And it is pretty much what this novel is about, Alif’s story about his life at MP. Which I find does not really have the climax. I really like the writing style, very detailed, readers can understand and feel how the life is as a student at MP. But that being said, the story does not have a very good climax in my honest opinions. All the conflicts in the story is very relatable, but it is quite common so it does not really contain a surprise elements and twists. I do enjoy the reading, I got a little bit emotional every time Alif felt jealous to his best friend Randai, who got to live the life Alif always dreamed of, going to public high school, and enrolling to universities, because I relate a lot to this section as a teenager. Also, I teared up a bit when Baso had to stop his studies to take care his sick grandma. Ahmad Fuadi’s detailed style of writing made me really absorbed to the story, the characters, and the relationships, so I really felt the sadness too like other Fellowship of Manara’s members. A lot of morale values is inside the story. I learned about discipline, friendship, sincerity, and hard work. Like the phrase Man Jadda Wajada, “He Who Gives His All Will Surely Succeed” that Alif learned in his first day at MP. I learned about Islamic cultures also in this novel, readers will find a lot of Arabic terms in this novel, and surely it is interesting! So this novel is surely does very inspiring in an easy-reading way. I recommend to all readers of LOFT to simply enjoy the story, and I think everyone will enjoy it easily because Ahmad Fuadi’s writing style is detailed enough for readers to picture the story. And also I personally think that readers should also follow up with the next two novels, Ranah 3 Warna, and Rantau 1 Muara, currently only available in Indonesian to really understand the trilogy as a whole.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Fakhriah Fitria

    This is the first novel written by Ahmad Fuadi and was published back in 2009. This novel is inspired by his own experience when he was studying at Pondok Modern Gontor, East Java. This book is about how Alif, who came from a small village in West Sumatra, have to left home after he finished middle school for his next education. His dream was to get into public school in West Sumatra so that he can go to one of the top university in Indonesia. On the other hand, his mother, who always dreamed th This is the first novel written by Ahmad Fuadi and was published back in 2009. This novel is inspired by his own experience when he was studying at Pondok Modern Gontor, East Java. This book is about how Alif, who came from a small village in West Sumatra, have to left home after he finished middle school for his next education. His dream was to get into public school in West Sumatra so that he can go to one of the top university in Indonesia. On the other hand, his mother, who always dreamed that her son will be a religious leader in the future, wanted him to go to islamic public school. He tried to convinced his parent to change their mind by not going out his room, and such. But his mother still wanted him to go to islamic boarding school. So, he decided that he will go to islamic boarding school, only if it is outside West Sumatra. This is also with the help of his uncle, who is in Egypt at that moment. He told Alif that a lot of graduates from Madani Islamic Boarding School in East Java are very smart, fluent in Arabic and English, and they were taught how to be discipline, and to speak in foreign language every single day. Seeing his uncle's letter, he decided he wants to go there instead going to islamic public school in West Sumatra, just like what his mother wants. Taking a bus with his father, he finally arrived at Madani boarding school. After he passes all the test, his journey there started. With boarding school life that is filled with studying, with it's strict rules, it took sometime for him to process everything, and he did process the boarding school life. But, the highlight of his journey there is meeting new people from different places. There, he met his five best friends who always on each other's side and always hang out at the tower of the school's mosque, even people called them "sohibul menara". This novel is really interesting because it combined a lot of aspects of life, like family, beliefs and friends. Also, it is unique because this novel motivates young people to never stop dreaming and to always fight for what you wanted in your life. Also, the author use a very descriptive words that can transport you to his life, as if you are really there. And then, it encourage you that even though your plan did not work out, you should never loses hope. You need to always believing, taking chances, and of course, to keep on dreaming. However, for some non-moslem people, it is going to be a little bit hard to understand some part of the novel, since the author uses a lot of arabic and moslem term, like "man jadda wa jadda" meaning "when there is a will, there is a way".So, for non-moslem reader, make sure that you noticed the noted arabic words, since the author make a note for that and it will not be repeated again. Overall, I really recommend this book since it is interesting, exciting, and unique. And also, it can increase our knowledge about for example language. Lastly, after you read this book, you will be inspired to become a better person, not only for everyone else, but to yourself

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