When i received the invitation to attend the launch of Rehman Rashid’s new book, “Small Town” i was a little bit surprised: it was only a few months ago that he published and launched to great success, “Peninsula“. The book before that, “The Malaysian Journey”, was published more than 20 years ago!
Happy for him, and excited at the prospect of it all, i marked it down on my calendar and looked forward to the day to arrive.
When it did, the drive down to KKB was pleasant. A beautiful Sunday morning, perfect weather for such an event. In his speech, Rehman thanked God for the weather, but added that even if it was pouring rain, it would be rain that you wouldn’t hesitate to bathe in, the air was so clean there. I believed him.
It was a packed gathering of friends, fans and the press. Rehman looked effervescent and happy. The crowd, supportive and attentive. It was perfect.
“Small Town” is a book about Kuala Kubu Baru. A small book, it can be finished in just under two hours. But it’s packed with great lines: provocative and powerful.
“Some people don’t care much for silence.”
A historical narrative on the surface, a more careful reading will reveal a deep seated love for this town that Rehman now calls home. It’s a passionate, and often, protective kind of love.
It’s a mesmerizing read. It will draw you in, and welcome you warmly. It might be a small book about a small town, but it’s got huge heart. Stay awhile.