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Ilustrado (2008)

by Miguel Syjuco(Favorite Author)
3.4 of 5 Votes: 5
0374174784 (ISBN13: 9780374174781)
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
review 1: Interesting book, really a 3 1/2 more than a 4. Interesting to see the ratings of other readers tend to be 4 or 5 - or 1 or 2, not a lot in between. This book takes place in the Philippines and NYC; there are many narrative voices including some "typical" Philippino jokes, the author of a biography of the author of "part" of the book, Crispin Salvador, Crispin's writing at various times of his life. It takes a while to figure out where this is going, but the book always kept my interest. Certainly an unusual attempt to explore Philippino life, history, socio-economic realities, politics, families - everything and more. But it pretty much works as literature and information about the country.
review 2: My book club did not like this book, yet it won the Asi
... morean Man prize two years before it was published and there was talk of a Nobel nomination for this young author’s first novel. It is a difficult, fragmented pomo book, consisting of seemingly random arrangement of the fiction, essays, autobiography, jokes and biography of a made-up Filipino author living in NYC, teaching at Columbia. His biography is being researched by another Filipino writer-in-exile, also from a well-connected Manila family who shares the name with the actual author of Ilustrado, Miguel Syjuco. In our world, reviewers raved, and there is much for the heavy reader: wry literary references to Proust, Borges, Delillo, Bellow, etc. The author is skewing both academic literary culture while pasting a fast-paced picture of the history and political cultures of the Philippines. Is this a send up of angst diaspora literature by showing us that national lit has no truth, no center? A masterpiece; but why bother reading it? less
Reviews (see all)
The longest, most verbose poetry I read.
I gave up after 20 pages. Boring
Ugh! What a mess!
Not for me....
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