Title: AUNG SAN SUU KYI: FREEDOM FIGHTER AND DEMOCRACY ICON OR ACCIDENTAL HERO AND WESTERN PUPPET? (The Assassination Book 1)
Author: PETER (Hein) SIMMEN
Year of Publication: 2015
Genre: Historical fiction
Length: 111 pages
First Line: “Wake up, brother!”
Summary: After five long decades of tyranny under a series of military governments, the people of Myanmar (formerly Burma) still live in fear as their new “civilian government” continues to be controlled by former military dictators.
Aung San Suu Kyi (Suu Kyi) is one of the world’s most prominent political prisoners and was sentenced under house arrest in Burma for almost 15 of 21 years, which is why she is known as “Burma’s Nelson Mandela.” Suu Kyi now has a chance to change the fate of her beloved country in the general election in November 2015.
The world renowned freedom fighter and Nobel Peace Prize winner is campaigning to lead her nation to freedom. With her strong leadership skills, Suu Kyi is winning the hearts and minds of the people and gaining political power. However, many citizens of Burma question her authenticity and view her as a western puppet due to her British family ties and promotion of democracy.
The hidden and brutal forces that still control Burma plan to keep the masses oppressed for the next century and will do anything to execute their plan, such as ballot rigging as they have done in the previous general election in 2010.
Aung San Suu Kyl is truly the last hope to liberate Burma, but is she only there for personal and western gain? She has many enemies within this current military-backed quasi-civilian government.
For this reason, I ask the question: “what would happen if Aung San Suu Kyi were assassinated prior to this election?” Would China or the West get involved?
What events would lead to a tragedy of this proportion, and how would the country heal itself in the aftermath?
This book may be considered too controversial because it explores all of these possibilities.
This heart-pumping fiction is based on some actual historical events.
[Please note that this book is written as if the narrator is in 2025, but is retelling significant events that happened in 1933, 1945, 1962, 1972, 1988, 2007, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2025.]
Review: If you know me or follow this blog, you may know that I’m a history buff. I have a bachelors in history and I am one of those weird people who in their spare time watch history documentaries on Youtube. However, I am more in tune with American history pre-20th century. Once things like zeppelins and vacuum cleaners come along, my knowledge becomes a bit scattered. You can guess I literally had no knowledge about Burma, except that it was a country. Okay, well, that isn’t fully true. As this book mentions, there was a very famous uprising that happened on August 8, 1988 that I kind of knew about (remember the uprising, forgot the country). The only reason I know about that is because is happened on the day I was born (go me showing my age and stuff).
I love the portrait on the cover a lot. It’s very beautiful and with the red background it pops. However, all the writing crowds the cover and drowns everything. Like, for example, I’m not sure why ‘Nobel Laureate from Burma’ is on the cover’. Was Aung San Suu Kyi a Nobel Laureate? Is the author? I think if the cover is redone and cleaned up a bit it would be outstanding.
The first couple chapters are purely fictional focusing on the assassination of Aung San Suu Kyi (she’s still alive if you’re confused) and the reaction of the corrupt Burmese government and its saddened and angered people. The writing was a bit stiff. The dialogue and narration was more like someone was trying to be constantly dramatic. I kept imaging William Shatner was speaking. The narrator, Hein, would over explain himself for the audience, telling us things that to him would be obvious day-to-day things. The author tended to also translate in English using parentheses if a character used a foreign word.
I enjoyed how I got to learn different subject matter. To me it’s all brand new material to absorb. I have never heard of any of these people in my life and it was incredibly fascinating to learn the in-depth history. The author even had a lot of citations and sources to back
A big turn-off for me was that there wasn’t much book. There’s a lot of front and back matter (mostly notes and the author explaining to the reader why he wanted to compose the story). The novel doesn’t kick off until you’re 9% in and ends abruptly at 86%.
I think the author wasn’t 100% clear on what they wanted to do with the story before they went ahead and hit publish. Both sides, if fleshed out, could be marvelous. But right now the book is a bit of a mess and confusing with a couple chapters being pure fiction and the rest basically the history of the Burma government.
Worst part: It could have been better.
Best part: I like learning new things!
Recommend For: Nerds like me who like learning new things or
Other Books by This Author: N/A