There are two worlds described in Running Dogs. Both are Jakarta. The first is Jakarta in 1997 and has three young children, Petra, Isaak and Paul, whose father is a corrupt businessman. This world is in turmoil with revolution and fear, an absent father and a mentally absent mother, and three children with only each other to rely on. The second world is many years later. The children have grown and are now the rich elite of the country. This world is seen through the eyes of a friend, Diana that Petra made when studying in Australia. Diana has come to Jakarta as an aid worker but quickly falls into the dreamlike life of Petra and her siblings.
I found this a difficult book to follow, I think mostly because both of these worlds are so foreign to me, and even with the descriptions provided, I didn’t feel I could come to grips with the setting. In addition to this, for whatever reason, the characters (in particular the three siblings) were very unlikable and I didn’t care how they came to be this way, which is such a key part of the story.
And now to totally contradict myself. I couldn’t put the book down. I had no idea where the story was going from one part to the next, and so (despite no really caring how it changed the characters) I needed to know where it was going.
Is it worth reading? Definitely. I think…