KAMPONG by Ronald Hardy
Kirkus Star

KAMPONG

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A kampong is a Javanese village, and while this is ostensibly a story of a U.N. medical team, sent there to combat yaws, the bitter, prolonged hostility between the Dutch and the Indonesians is self-contained and the disease of nationalism is an even uglier threat in this ravaged part of the world. The head of the team is a Dr. Lynd, a man of conscience and of heart, but with him is a Dr. Kiek, a symbol, a saint, and something of a patriot- who has given many years of selfless service in the kampongs but who has also supported the Dutch guerrilla movement. Kiek, broken in health and to an extent beaten in spirit, wants only to die in peace but is arrested to extort a damaging confession. A second victim will be an Englishwoman he had once known, who had survived the deaths of her husband and child to sink into a wretched existence as a prostitute. An outbreak of cholera intensifies the drama here which reaches its sordid, bitter conclusion as Kiek sullies and then destroys the legend of his dedication in a useless sacrifice.... An often powerful book, the unrelenting personal and political conflict is not without its spiritual significance and makes a certain identification with the works of Graham Greene. This does not mean that it will be easy to place.

Publisher: Doubleday