With the current trend of Pinoys (from sports to entertainment and now, literature) making their name in the international scene, I'm very sure that there will be hundreds of book reviews written about this Palanca and MALP winning novel so I want to make one straight to the point.

PhotobucketPlus Points. The book's good points come from the author's honest depiction of Filipino society coming from eyes of the middle class. Another plus is the author's (and his editors') usage of experimental and postmodern techniques in writing. Young readers will surely like it. Another good point is the criticism on the bourgeois class straight from the fiery lips of Crispin Salvador. Reading this book also taught me new words I thought never existed but for some readers this may be a minus point because any author can sometimes appear too pedantic when using those special words. But this is probably what Pinoy expats love about the book.

Middle Points. I feel neutral for Syjuco's usage of political jokes that are actually outdated and less relevant. This is the danger of making a political joke. Five or more years from now the younger readers wont see it funny or they wont see them as a joke at all. 

Minus Points. Personally I did not like Syjuco's usage of the word tradpol. It sounded close to tadpole though I know it's just a contraction of the term traditional politician. The apt word is still the classic trapo as we all Pinoys know it since 1994. The word trapo was popularized in a song by the southern punk band Yano. Trapo in the Visayas meant rags which in turn meant basahan in Tagalog. That meaning in the Southern tongue is actually intentional. Another minus point is the two characters of different background (and representation) using the same slang or expression. It destroys the uniqueness of both characters. 

All in all reading this book reminded me about a classic Einstein Mantra: "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." This may be a good reminder when one attempts to write a good novel. But still, I tip my hat for Miguel Syjuco for finally publishing his manuscript about the most sarcastic race on the planet, us Pinoys. 

Genre: Postmodern Fiction
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 pederastic hotsipatootsies! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please share your comments here!