At worst, it leaves the reader empty-- that is, until the last page. The result is a rich and dramatic family saga of four generations, tracing one hundred and fifty years of Philippine history forged under the Spanish, the Americans, and the Filipinos themselves. ~ Too many pop culture references. Earlier in the book, the protagonist mentions of an ersatz Oyster Perpetual that he wears, virtually indistinguishable from a genuine Rolex watch. Exuberant and wise, wildly funny and deeply moving, Ilustrado explores the hidden truths that haunt every family. Read his Acknowledgement at the end of the book, you will see that there are many people who helped him put up this book and most of them belong to the rich and famous in the Philippine, particularly the Fil-Am, literary world.
But ultimately getting through it all is kind of tiring. Non-linear storyline The main story is more or less linear, but timelines and settings jump. The story is clever, enlightening and entertaining, and illustrates different aspects of Filipino life and emigration, even though it suffers somewhat from lack of focus. But I am making a guess here. And it turned out to be such a disappoint. It was a nice book, unfortunately, for me it was like another Filipino book that serves to criticize what a Filipino is. Psychologist might answer that as part of social acts, there are terms that we usually used but we usually interpret it in a wrong way.
Oh well, even if it was the tiniest of font, I would surely have found a light bright enough to read it, if only it was able to hold me, but it didn't. Nonetheless it is all held tightly together, focused on the returning son's difficulties with his family and his efforts to acclimatize. Still, especially if you are interested in the Philippines or Fil-Am literature, this is worthwhile, good for some laughs, often thought-provoking, and a fun read. The book opened to the shocking death of the mentor, drowned in the Hudson River. This was not an easy book that may be simply read in one sitting; there was no straight-forward narrative. But their lives were also full of drama, and nothing less. The book has a main plot, and a lot of sub-plots that were presented as excerpts from the books authored by either Crispim or Miguel, further interspersed with Filipino jokes or funny stories.
Perhaps, the worst condemnation of literary fiction there is. I want to defend the book to myself, in order to understand why it won so much acclaim. We don't need Syjuco and his 7-dollar book to tell us those. This treasure is collected and presented for us by the writer Miguel Syjuco who returns to the Philippines following Salvador's untimely death in order to uncover truths about the man who'd been bo Ilustrado is a term for the new, young Filipinos alive with promise. It is much more that just a well written novel and invites the reader to learn more, not just about the themes of politics, relationships, the Philippines or Salvador Crispins writings but about people and life itself. It is a novel not just for the general reader but also for the inquiring mind. I like books saturated in culture but I found this one to be too convoluted.
It casted a spell on me the whole time I was reading it. They are skilled and they can write and they are hell bent on proving these facts by using every special effect in their writing arsenal. . Her request was granted after all. Finally, after 300 pages, I now know the point of the novel.
To write a biography of his teacher and mentor, then, was the best way to start in finding where the manuscript is. This is a satire, and the story was interesting enough, with an ending that kinda surprised me. Miguel, his student and only remaining friend, sets out for Manila to investigate. Many of us complain that there are no books about the Philippines and written by a Filipino worthy of reading. The book had a few problems ~ Stylistically flat. For somebody like me who have been in this country for 46 years, the parts of this mosaic do not necessarily fit well.
Ilustrado the novel is about one such individual, the writer Crispin Salvador, whose story is told in a long ribbon of poems, memoirs, interviews, and fragments of novels and essays. The result is literary fiction that will keep you up all night thrilled, laughing, enthralled and amazed. It dazzles as brightly as Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything Is Illuminated. A book that attempts to squeeze 150+ years of Philippine history into 300+ pages. I want to end this so I did, congrats to me and to my reading buddies. It required a good amount of persistence. Our industriousness, our inexpensiveness, two sides of our great national image.
More than half of our people are under poverty line. Miguel is searching for the lost manuscript of Salvador, which is supposed to be the latter's magnum opus, and he is compelled to come back to the Philippines to search and to investigate. Yes, this book is definitely a find that challenges the brain see my blog title description. Ilustrado makes you want to find out his answers as much as he does. Reading it was like a crash course on post-modernist literature as it uses nearly every technique in the post-modernist arsenal. Syjuco has talent and style to burn--he's a dynamic and funny writer who uses every tool at his disposal to create a narrative. Too bad that the book was printed in New York so the minimum-wage employees in our publishing companies did not earn anything from this.
To cleanse off all that hating: some passages were very poetic! An outlandish concept to me and part of the genius this book offers. In literary fiction there is an expectation of eloquence. The ending was clever, though very sad, but explained why there were so many parallels between Miguel and Salvador, but in ending it that way, it rather robbed everything that came before of its significance. I save my Tagalog words for the proper time, to surprise them with what we share. Honestly, I didn't understand the story very much.