Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash

Eka Kurniawan

The physicality of his prose and his story is invigorating.

The Paris Review

The vivid, bawdy, and comic new novel about a boy who can’t get it up, by the Indonesian superstar

Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash

Fiction by Eka Kurniawan

Translated from Indonesian by Annie Tucker

Vivid and bawdy, here is the new novel by the Indonesian superstar Eka Kurniawan (Beauty is a Wound). Told in short, cinematic bursts, Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash is gloriously pulpy. Ajo Kawir, a lower-class Javanese teenage boy excited about sex, likes to spy on fellow villagers in flagrante, but when he witnesses a savage rape, he is deeply traumatized and becomes impotent. His efforts to get his virility back all fail, and Ajo Kawir turns to fighting as a way to vent his frustrations. He is hired to kill a thug named The Tiger, but instead Ajo Kawir falls in love with Iteung, a gorgeous female bodyguard who works for the local mafia. Alas, the course of true love never did run smooth…. Fast-forward a decade. Now a truck driver, Ajo Kawir has reached a new equanimity, thinking that his penis may be trying to teach him a lesson: he even consults it in many situations as if it were his guru—and love may triumph yet.

Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash shows Eka Kurniawan in a gritty, comic, pungent mode that fans of Quentin Tarantino will appreciate. But even with its liberal peppering of fights, high-speed car chases, and ladies heaving with desire, the novel continues to explore Kurniawan’s familiar themes of the perils of love and of the struggles of women in a violent and corrupt male world.

Buy Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash

Paperback(published Aug, 01 2017)

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Ebook(published Aug, 01 2017)

Portrait of Eka Kurniawan

Eka Kurniawan

Indonesian writer

The physicality of his prose and his story is invigorating.

The Paris Review

Kurniawan writes with an urgency and flair that holds the reader in a vice-like grip.

The Wire

The best action-packed crime comedy about murder for hire and male impotence you’ll read this year!

Keaton Patterson, Brazos Bookstore

Dark, sexually charged and subversive comedy…

Huffington Post

Political and profound, even though it uses language drawn from pulp fiction and popular movies. Kurniawan tells a story about injustice, the limits of revenge and the redemptive power of love.


Kurniawan tells the ribald, noir-inflected, and oddly epic story of a man’s quest to regain his sexual virility…This is an almost unbelievably fun and weird novel.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

A potent blend of grounded realism and flighty fantasy… a pulpy, visceral tale of sex, violence and comeuppance

The Economist

A tragicomedy Indonesian thriller… By turns a soft porn flick, a manic road thriller and a martial arts movie… A blast of a book.

Financial Times