On 12 October 2002, a suicide bomb attack devastated the heart of the beach resort of Kuta, Bali, claiming 202 victims and injuring hundreds of more. Though the attack was over in seconds, the effects reverberated for months as the local economy collapsed, and the Balinese struggled to understand why such an appalling tragedy had befallen their peaceful island.
Bali Blues chronicles the heart-rending, harrowing, and ultimately inspiring events that occurred during the year following the Bali Bomb. These stories are told through the eyes those most affected by the crime: the people of Kuta, such as the Balinese hotel manager who attempts to balance the demands of his community obligations with his professional responsibilities to his Jakarta-based superior. This brings him into conflict with a neighborhood leader who strives to prevent his community\'s character and traditions from being overwhelmed by the onslaught of economic migrants, which in turn contributes to the discrimination a bar girl faces as she struggles to support her impoverished family in rural Java. These stories, and others, provide an intriguing glimpse into an Indonesian community that, in a generation, has grown from an impoverished seaside village into a cosmopolitan tourist resort.
Bali Blues also examines the background of the attack itself, the growth of a fanatical form of Islam that gave birth to the terrorists, and the open, tolerant Balinese society that allowed the perpetrators to operate undetected in their midst: culminating in a riveting, minute-by-minute reconstruction of the planning, execution, and aftermath of the Bali Bomb.