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About the book
  • Published: 2 January 2013
  • ISBN: 9781742758589
  • Imprint: Vintage Australia
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $32.99
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The Rainbow Troops




The Indonesian record-breaking bestseller, in the tradition of Slumdog Millionaire and Shantaram.

The Indonesian record-breaking bestseller, in the tradition of Slumdog Millionaire and Shantaram.

Ikal is a student at Muhammadiyah Elementary, on the Indonesian island of Belitong, where graduating from sixth grade is considered a major achievement. His school is under constant threat of closure. In fact, Ikal and his friends - a group called the Rainbow Troops - face threats from every angle: pessimistic, corrupt government officials; greedy corporations hardly distinguishable from the colonialism they've replaced; deepening poverty and crumbling infrastructure; and their own faltering self-confidence. But in the form of two extraordinary teachers, they also have hope, and Ikal's education is an uplifting one, in and out of the classroom.

You will cheer for Ikal and his friends as they defy the town's powerful tin miners. Meet his first love - a hand with half-moon fingernails that passes him the chalk his teacher sent him to buy. You will roar in support of Lintang, the class's barefoot maths genius, as he bests the rich company children in an academic challenge.

First published in Indonesia, The Rainbow Troops went on to sell over 5 million copies. Now it is set to captivate readers across the globe. This is classic story-telling: an engrossing depiction of a world not often encountered, bursting with charm and verve.

  • Pub date: 2 January 2013
  • ISBN: 9781742758589
  • Imprint: Vintage Australia
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $32.99

About the Author

Andrea Hirata

Andrea Hirata was born in Gantong, Belitong, East Sumatra, Indonesia. He received a scholarship to study a masters degree at Sheffield Hallam University, UK, majoring in economic theory. He graduated with honours.

After finishing his studies, he returned to Indonesia and worked for Indonesia's biggest telecommunication company, TELKOM.

In 2004, he volunteered for tsunami disaster relief in Aceh. In so doing, he saw ruined schools that reminded him of his old promise to his elementary school teacher, Muslimah. Back then, when he was in the 5th grade, he made a promise that one day he would write a book for his teacher. And thus he started writing his first novel.

The novel is called Laskar Pelangi: The Rainbow Troops and was never intended for mainstream publication. Now The Rainbow Troops is the biggest Indonesian novel ever, having sold millions of copies.

The novel has been adapted for a feature film, television series, and musical theatre.
Hirata has contributed significantly to the development of modern Indonesian literature.


Praise for The Rainbow Troops

“This totally disarming book is a delight and inspiration to read - wonderful prose and a beautiful story.”

Maryan Heffernan, Manly Daily


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