Wicked Wicked Wicked

June 13, 2007

Book 2

Filed under: Reviews — Antz @ 1:34 pm

Shala di ba.. nakatapos na agad ako ng isa pang book? Actually, siguro ito eh one week or two weeks after I finished yung A Thousand Splendid Suns. This time, I got the previous Oprah’s Book Club choice, ang The Road.

Ang masasabi ko lang ay fabulous! Kung gaano ka-thick and saucy and melodramatic ang plot nung Suns, eh sya namang hmmm… what’s the word.. spartan netong The Road.

Basically, it’s a father and son’s story of survival. I think nasa USA sila, kasi nag-e-English sila. Hahaha! And I think it’s been years after ni-nuclear attack ang buong mundo. Di naman sinabing may nuclear attack, pero everything is destroyed, burned, gray, and puro ash, as in ash ketchup of pokemon fame. At first, mejo hirap i-absorb ng lola mo. I just can’t sink my teeth into it, kasi mega-description ever ng all the grayness and sadness and foolishness ever of the place. And napaka-austere ng usapan ng mag-ama. Alam mo lang na gutom sila, they’re trying to go somewhere, and umiiwas sila from bad people, kasi madami nang cannibals, dahil wala nang resources. Pero as I went on, absorbing itekla! Talagang the author pounds you with all the grayness and ashes and darkness and winter, and slowly, nararamdaman mo na, and you appreciate what they are going through. It’s such a dark and dangerous place, bingo talaga pag nakakita sila ng konting makakain. And one time na they stumbled upon something that’s almost too good to be true, literally sinara ko ang libro to take a breath. Natakot atashi baka biglang may masamang mangyari sa kanila, like may makakita sa kanilang group of cannibals just when they had some good fortune. Anyway, in the end, kahit with all the sadness around, it’s beautiful. It’s nothing grandiose, pero sweeping ever ang story. It’s such a personal story, hindi na kailangan ng maaksyong labanan ever. You just feel for the characters.

At kakaiba ang style of writing. Walang quote-unquote for dialogues. Wala mang names ang character, save for one stranger. Ely ang pangalan ng lolo. At I think 4 or 5 pages lang sya umappear. All other else, waek talagang names. And sa totoo lang, in that scenario, who needs names? They just need food, clothing, warmth.

The Road is one of the more memorable books I have ever read. It may be dark all through out, pero di va, kung walang darkness, di mo ma-appreciate ang light. It’s about survival, strength, trust, but ultimately, love. And in the end, that’s all that matters most. Kaya ugly man ang setting, ultimately it is a beautiful story.

5 out of 5.

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Book 1

Filed under: Reviews — Antz @ 1:16 pm

O di ba.. feeling intellectual na akez. Mag-a-attempt ang lola mo na mag-review ng book. Yes, mama, book worm ako. Nagsimula sa Nancy Drew habang naka-squat sa … ay basta, enough nang malaman nyong nagsimula sa Nancy Drew ang aking pagbabasa. Ewan ko ba na bakit kahit semi-dukha kami nung aking kabataan, madami laging libro sa bahay. Wag ka, binasa ko ang poems ni Robert Frost at ni Edgar Allan Poe, at! huwag ka mama, nage-getlaks ko! I actually read the Edgar Allan Poe book multiple times, parang the big-O, multiples! Hahaha!

Anyway, recently I finished reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. Natapos ko ata in three nights! Ugali ko kasi eh magbasa before matulog, kasi bizi ako pag may araw. Eh kaso, usually kung ano yung mga huling eksena before ako matulog, yun napapanaginipan ko. Kaya siguro mabilis ko natapos. Naman kase noh! Subukan mo kayang mapanaginipan ang Afghanistan! Ngarag ever di ba?

Anyway, I loved Hosseini’s Kite Runner, that’s why I bought this one. And as with anything that’s second, it will always be compared to the first. Although feeling ko unfair yun, sobrang pressure sa writer. Anyway, I thought hindi naman sya big time pumalya. I dunno.. Feeling ko mejo soap operatic yung Kite Runner, tapos tumodo pa lalo dito sa bagong book.

Summary kasi, etong si Mariam, eh anak ng isang mayamang Afghan sa isa nyang longkatuts. Eh to save face and stuff (apparently, big deal ang saving face sa mga Afghans), pinalayas sila nung iba pang tunay na wives ni luluki. Pero binigyan naman sila ng bahay. Kubo, sa totoo lang, and talagang iniluklok sila sa pinaka-baryong lugar ng baryo. Davah, shades of pinoy soap opera? In furrnez, mega-visit naman ang pudra ni Mariam, pero galit si mudra kay pudra, hinahayaan lang na bumisita si pudra kasi likeable sya ni Mariam. Mayaman si pudraks, may-ari ng sinehan, pero when Mariam asks kung pwede sya manood, witchelles pumayag ang pudra, kasi afraid syang ma-sightsung ng ibang utawbelles si Mariam, and alam ng mga utaws na anakis sya on the outside. Anyway hi-way by the way, nung malaki (as in 17?) na si Mariam, birthday nya, lakas-loob na mega-sugod si ate sa bahay ni pudra sa syudad, kasehodang mega-appeals ever si mudra. Pagdating sa syudad, witchelles sya pinapasok ng guard, kahit pa overmegadrama sya sa gates, and kahit na-sightsung nya si pudra panandalian sa windows na nakita sya. Heartbroken si ate, kaya umuwi, pagdating nya, naka-hang as in bigti ever si mudra.

Ay teka ano ba, ikuwento daw ba.. Basahin nyo kaya? Basta, what happened is pinakasal sya sa isang tanderakang balasubas na pinagsuot sya ng burqa at ginawang palipasan ng aliw. Kaso, nung witchelles sya magkaanak, hayun, ginawang longka. Fast forward, at may kapitbahay silang bata na si Laila. May BF si Laila, si Tariq. Kasagsagan ata nun ng labanan ng war lords ng Afghanistan, at nag-migrate ever si Tariq. Lungkot si lola, kaso ayaw umalis ng mudra. In the long run, amidst all the fabulous bombings, gora na daw sila. Eh kaso, ganda ng lola, nung nag-e-empake na sila, nabomba ang bahay nila. In short, witchelles syang mga kamag-anak na natira, so off to the rescue na naman si tanderaka, at pinakasalan si Laila. War ang dalawang gerlash, Mariam vs. Laila. Pero in the end, BFF na sila, as in best friends for life.

Madami pang plot details ha, di ko na lang mega-explore. Mejo hayun nga, melodramatic ang plot, pero mahusay magsulat ang author! Mararamdaman mo ang details, and vivid ang pagkaka-describe nya sa Afghanistan, and malalaman mo ang history about why ganun ang kalagayan nila ngayon, from the Russian occupation to the Talibans and everything in between. Nag-enjoy ako, kaya nga natapos ko agad eh. And ma-a-appreciate mo how lucky you are, and in furrnezz, I think medyo totoo yung pagkaka-describe nya ng plight ng Afghan women, so whenever may konting problema, just think about them, gagaan ang loob mo, as in you’ll be thankful.

4 stars out of 5. Signing off!

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