Posts Tagged ‘Book Reviews’

Macarthur

Mayo 3, 2012

RATING: 3 out of 5

Sorry Bob.

Di ko masyadong natripan to.

Magaling pa rin as usual.

Mahusay ang pagkakasulat.
Mahusay ang paglalahad ng kwento.
Mahusay ang paglalarawan sa mga karakter.
Mahusay ang paglalagay ng puso sa mga katoto nating adik.

Mahusay naman.

Hindi ko lang nakita ang totoong pinupunto ng kwento.
Para saan ba talaga ito?

Hinanapan ko lang ng signature mong pangungunsensya-slash-sarcasm.

Hindi ko lang siguro masyadong nagustuhan dahil hindi na bago sa akin ang lahat ng ito.

Ganito ang set up sa mundong tinitirahan ko.
Hindi ako adik ah.
Pero araw-araw ko na silang nakikita.

Yun lang.

Alamat ng Gubat

Mayo 3, 2012

RATING: 4 out of 5

Sabi sa kin ng mga kaibigan ko noon na nakabasa na nito pangit raw ito.

Di man lang sinabing “hindi maganda”. Pangit talaga ang ginamit. Madali lang naman kaya mag-euphemize.

Abnoy pala sila eh. Sila ang pangit! Ganda kaya nito!

Hindi ko maalala kung saan ko napulot, pero narinig ko dating tinawag na jungle ang Pilipinas. Ewan ko kung literal o figurative. Pero pwede naman pareho.

Gubat ang setting kaya syempre, hayop ang mga tauhan.

Sa gubat na ito, marami ang umaastang hari. At maraming naghahangad na maging pinakamakapangyarihan.

Marami sa atin ang kagaya ng mga karakter. Kilala natin ang mga katulad nina Leon, Aso, Langgam, Tipaklong, Kuneho, Tong, at pati yung badtrip na langaw.

Sinasalamin ng gubat ang bayan, at ng mga karakter ang bawat isa sa atin depende kung ano ang mga paniniwalang pinanghahawakan natin.

Masasabi kong isa ang Alamat ng Gubat sa mga paborito kong likha ni master Bob Ong.

Kapitan Sino

Mayo 3, 2012

RATING: 5 out of 5

Ang tagal kong tinangkang basahin ang librong ito. Siguro mga nakakalimang buwan na mula nang ninenok hiniram ko at iniuwi ang librong ito mula sa kasamahan ko sa trabaho. Ilang beses kong sinimulan. Ilang beses kong sinubukan Ate Charo. Pero hindi umubra. Parang may pumipigil sa aking basahin ito.
Hanggang sa maisipan kong mag-marathon ng mga Filipino authors kahapon. Nagbasa ako ng Tatlong Bob Ong at isang Eros S. Atalia. Pangatlo ito sa mga nabasa ko, huling akda ni Bob Ong sa araw na iyon.

Anong naging reaksyon ko?

Pagkababa ko ng libro ay napahiga ako sa kama. May kung anong gustong kumawala sa akin. Gusto kong magtatalon. Gusto kong sumigaw sa bintana. Gusto kong manigaw ng kapitbahay. Gusto kong magkulong sa kwarto at umupo lang sa isang gilid habang yapus-yapos ang dalawang binti. Gusto kong manulak ng bata sa tulay. Gusto kong magmura. Gusto kong awayin lahat ng tao sa bahay. Gusto kong kumanta. Gusto kong magsulat. Gusto kong bumalik sa nakaraan. Gusto kong mag-aral ulet. Gusto kong mapirmi sa isang tabi pero di ko magawa. Gusto kong itigil ang mundo ng mga oras na iyon.

Oo, ang OA nito. Pero ganyan talaga ang naramdaman ko.

Gusto kong buhusan ng tubig ang kung ano mang apoy na meron sa loob ko.

Gusto kong mag-rebolusyon.

Gusto kong magsimula ng pagbabago.

Ito ang unang beses na sobra akong naapektuhan ni Bob Ong. O baka nga ng kahit sino pang manunulat.Pasensya na kay Rizal pero hindi ganito katindi ang “intensity” ng naramdaman ko nang matapos ko ang Noli at Fili.

May nagising saking pagkamuhi, sa mga Pilipino at sa mga tao.

Bakit tayo oportunista?
Bakit tayo manggagamit?
Bakit tayo mayabang?
Bakit tayo makitid?
Bakit tayo walang utang na loob?
Bakit natin isinisisi ang lahat ng paghihirap sa iba?
Bakit tayo walang pakisama?
Bakit tayo nabubulagbulagan?
Bakit andali nating mauto ng pera?
Bakit masyado tayong makasarili?
Bakit hindi tayo tapat sa sarili at kapwa?
Bakit iniaasa natin sa kung sinong bathala o bayani ang kaginhawaan?
Bakit wala tayong pakialam sa iba?
Bakit wala tayong pakialam sa nakararami?
Bakit wala tayong pagpapahalaga sa dignidad natin bilang tao?
Bakit hindi tayo kumikilos?
Bakit hindi natin sinisimulang magbago?

Apektado talaga ako. Sobrang apektado.

Nakakabwisit na nakakaiyak na nakakasakit.

Kasi suspek rin ako. Aminado akong suspek din ako.

Pero ngayon,napagdesisyunan kong tatawid na ko sa kabilang kampo.
Gagawin ko ang lahat para mapatunayan ko sa sarili kong mabuti akong tao. Na kaya kong magpakatao.

Ligo na U, Lapit na Me

Mayo 3, 2012

RATING: 2 out of 5

Okay.

Bakit dos lang ang rating ko sa Ligo na U, Lapit na Me?

Kung ilalarawan ko ang akdang ito ni Prof. Eros S. Atalia, siguro ang gagamitin kong salita ay ALANGANIN.

Alanganin akong natawa sa mga tangka nya sa pagpapakwela.

Alanganin akong nadala sa mga dapat sanang umaatikabong eksena nina Jen at Intoy.

Alanganin akong nakumbinse sa mga ideolohiyang tinangkang ipasok ni Atalia sa bawat pahina.

Alanganin akong nakidalamhati kay Intoy sa ginawa nyang paglimot kay Jen.

Alanganin akong naniwala na si Eros Atalia ay kaliga ni Bob Ong pagdating sa paglikha ng mga kontemporaryong panitikan na ganito ang genre.

Nabasa ko na rin ang Peksman. Four out of five ang rating ko dito. Pero hindi nagkakalayo ang naramdaman ko nang basahin ko ang librong ito (Ligo na U) ni Eros. Ang katwiran ko noon, ibase natin sa susunod na gawa. Baka mas magustuhan ko yung sunod.Kaso wala naman akong nakitang kaibahan. At ang totoo, mas na-enjoy ko ang mga dagling idinagdag ni Eros dun sa una nyang libro. Iyon ang maituturing na hindi alanganin. Hindi bitin ang pakwela. Hindi bitin ang lalim. Hindi pilit. Natural.

Maikli lang naman ang librong ito kung tutuusin. Pero ang totoo, nahirapan akong tapusin. Hindi ko mapalampas na hindi mapansin ang ilang mga typo errors, grammar slips, at misspelling. Hindi naman ako grammar nazi o kung ano man. Naghahanap lang ako ng tama lalo’t nababasa ito ng madla. Seryosong tanong, anong ginawa ng editor? (o meron nga ba itong editor? Hindi ko rin alam.)

Maging ang intensyon ni Atalia na ipasok ang paniniwala nya at mga ideolohiya pagdating sa mga usaping pambansa, hindi ako masyadong nakumbinse. Hindi kagaya ni Ong (pasensya na sa pagkukumpara)na “seamless” ang pagkonekta sa istorya (kunsabagay, ito mismo kasi ang paksa ng istorya), hindi naging natural sa akin ang naging atake ni Atalia. Walang kaisahan sa eksena, tipong ninais lang lamnan ng ganitong ideya ang bawat pahina.

Biased naman talaga ang review kong ito dahil nga Bobongpinoyism ang relihiyon ko. Umaasa lang akong makakatagpo pa ako ng ibang mga kontemporaryong manunulat na hindi naman nasa kalibre ni Ong ay hindi naman nalalayo.

The Book Thief

Abril 17, 2012


It was one of those ordinary afternoons when I accidentally found myself in a book store that I grabbed a copy of this book. I really had no intentions of buying one that day, I was just looking around and doing a little scouting of book titles that I can possibly purchase the next time I come for a visit. I reached the shelf for Teens and that was where I found The Book Thief. It was an unplanned encounter, but I am definitely grateful that it happened. Otherwise, I would have missed out on an excellently written book.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is set in Germany during the Second World War. It relates the story of a young girl named Liesel whose life has been tremendously affected by the war happening around her. It narrates how she earned the title The Book Thief and the important role that her stolen books played during bombing raids and in shaping her view of human relationships. It also talks about the bonds she forms with her foster parents, her neighbors, and a Jewish man who hides in their basement during the height of the Second World War. Interestingly, the book is told as perceived by Death, described in the book as a sympathetic entity with a penchant for describing death scenes with colors.

The Things I Like About This Book

  • The book’s theme. I have always been fascinated by war stories and knowing that the story took place during the war years in Germany, it instantly caught my attention. Finishing the book however, one would realize it is so much more than that. It is a story about human relationships, and how it sometimes appears as though only a minority of us truly understand the concept of friendship and love. War and Death are merely backdrop to this wonderful story of human nature.
  • The story’s narrator. Death serves as storyteller in the book. Usually, one views death in the same light as war – bloody, inhuman, savage, merciless. But the author did an excellent job in repackaging Death as the complete opposite. Death to me, even came off as peace-loving, condoling, commiserating –  far from the scythe-wielding hooded figure I had always imagined him to be.
  • Death as omniscient.  During war, death happens everywhere. Hence,  he is in more than one place at the same time. He witnessed how each soul departs from the body, and knows every single person who dies. And each death is told in the book before it happens. Death will tell you the fate that each character has beforehand. But does it change anything? Personally, I believe it doesn’t. Death is still death, regardless whether you know it is bound to happen soon.
  • Zusak’s artistry with words. Before reading a rather thick book (for me “thick” is anything that goes beyond 500 pages), I do a lot  of self-motivation. When I am beginning to find the story a little boring, I convince myself that the good stuff are yet to happen in the next 20 or 30 pages.  I would put it down, read other books or do other things, and return to it only when I finally feel compelled to finish it. But none of these happened in the course of my reading The Book Thief. And I attribute it to Zusak’s natural poetry. Zusak is truly a genius of a writer. He speaks in simple terms, uses simple words, but the effect that his words create to the reader is anything but simple. You will be drawn to read every line, to fully comprehend each. They appear very simple yet the message they deliver are so profound. Characters are vividly described, each one created as real as possible. Only writers with a natural talent with words can string all of these elements together without compromising the general feel of the story.
  • The war as seen by the supposed bad guys. Majority of the main characters in the book are German. In fact, all the main characters except for one, are German. It happened in one German neighborhood and their lives are no different from those of  most Germans during that time. And as what most accounts from the second world war and the holocaust would have us believe, the Germans here are the bad guys. Hitler is German, and it was in their hands that innocent Jews were killed.  That’s exactly what this story tried to defy. This book offers a different perspective. It presents how ordinary Germans that time were in as much risk of being killed as their Jewish counterparts. War never favors anyone.
  • Liesel, Hans, Max, Rosa and Rudy. Each character is different but each one is sure to touch your heart. While reading, I am reminded of those cartoons I used to watch when I was young, the likes of Romeo’s Blue Skies, (Mga Munting Pangarap ni Romeo), and Remi, Nobody’s Girl.


To sum it up, this is definitely one book I would recommend others to read. It is one of my favorite reads to date and I am hoping that other readers out there would enjoy reading The Book Thief the same way I did.

*******************************************************************

Here are some lines from the book which prove Zusak’s poetry.

“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.” 

“The only thing worse than a boy who hates you: a boy that loves you.” 

“So many humans. So many colours. They keep triggering inside me. They harass my memory. I see them tall in their heaps, all mounted on top of each other. There is air like plastic, a horizon like setting glue. There are skies manufactured by people, punctured and leaking, and there are soft, coal-coloured clouds, beating, like black hearts. And then. There is death. Making his way through all of it. On the surface: unflappable, unwavering. Below: unnerved, untied, and undone.”

“It’s probably fair to say that in all the years of Hitler’s reign, no person was able to serve the Fuhrer as loyally as me. A human doesn’t have a heart like mine. The human heart is a line, whereas my own is a circle, and I have the endless ability to be in the right place at the right time. The consequence of this is that I’m always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both. Still, they have one thing I envy. Humans, if nothing else, have the good sense to die.”

“I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race – that rarely do I even simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant…I AM HAUNTED BY HUMANS.”

Anansi Boys

Abril 5, 2012

Anansi Boys is the first Neil Gaiman book I have ever read. I picked it up from the library Monday morning of my last week at work when I realized (more like convinced myself) I had nothing else to do and I was done with all my requirements that I can do all the reading and “pagpepetiks” and “noynoying” that I want. (I ‘m lying. That time, I wasn’t done with everything yet. I still had my clearance to accomplish but I could not find the interest inspiration to finish it. Also, I have to take out all the things from my locker and my table, transfer all the contents into boxes and place them in the designated classroom as the Faculty room will be cleaned. Imagine taking out my bundles of unchecked papers and projects! Hehehe. I’m joking. None of these. Other than that, I am a free man! At least I think I am!).

I heard it was a fun book to read so yeah! Besides, there was an instant connection the moment Neil Gaiman tweeted about this (Self-talk: “Shepaks, Dude, what’s wrong with you? Typical Pinoy affected by the It’s More Fun in the Philippines Syndrome? Oh well. Sabagay.”-konyo pala pagkausap ang sarili?):

Anansi Boys was cute. I don’t know. I have no other adjective in mind to describe this but cute. Probably funny. Because it was extremely hilarious at times. No, most of the time. If you’re looking for those books that will leave you with an urge to cry uncontrollably, or will touch you, or will serve as a turning point in your life, this is NOT it. But if what you’re looking for is something to help you go through boring afternoons at work (hihihi), this COULD BE it.  Funny story, funny characters, funny incidents – in short, something that would pass as the plot of a comedy film. Oh yeah. Apart from thinking about the cute storyline, I also imagined seeing it in the movies, thinking about how the scenes and its brand of humor would be perfect for film.

Plot? Well, it’s about the adventures of Fat Charlie Nancy, son of the god Anansi (from American Gods, another Gaiman book, which I haven’t read yet. I do have a copy though. Will read it soon. Not really soon. Eventually.) who couldn’t care less about his father whom he feels has “tortured” him emotionally growing up; and how his unenthusiastic life took a complete 360-degree turn the moment  his father died while doing karaoke. He learns his father is a god, he meets a twin brother who inherited all their father’s magic powers, he breaks off his engagement with his girlfriend (or is it the other way around?), he tries to kill his twin brother but tries to save him in the end, he travels to a different world where animals are gods, he escapes from his murderous employer , he finds his own voice, and he marries the police officer he met on a one night stand.

Moral: Find your own voice. Don’t blame other people for how you turned out to be.

Fun read!

Marami Akong Lag

Abril 1, 2012

Andami ko nang lag.

Andami nang nangyari nitong nakaraang linggo,

Nakatapos na ko ng 2 libro at 3 pelikula pero di pa ko nakakasulat ng bago.

Hahaha.

Sipag ko lang.

Na-miss ata ng likod kong matulog ng mahaba.

Takte andaming sense nitong sinasabi ko.

Pampam amputek.