Bitter Gourd Monologues is so Me

It’s been uncounted number of years since the time I last finished reading a book written in my native language, Filipino.  This long streak of non-sense convention is finally over.  And I am glad to announce that the Filipino-language book I finished is sooo me.  Its entitled Ampalaya Monologues written by “spoken word” genius, Mark Ghosn.

Ampalaya Monologues is so me!  Ampalaya for those who don’t know is Bitter Gourd in the Filipino language or metaphorically defined as “bitter”.  There are 27 characters in the book that features varying idiosyncrasies of heartaches, heartbreaks, eccentric longing, quirky hopes, emotional struggles and of course romanticized bitterness.

This I guess would be the very first book written in Filipino that made me cry and laugh out loud at the same time.  I literally was laughing at a lot of lines and thoughts in this book for I am so bitter, I can totally relate. Here’s the top six monologues I loved and totally enjoyed!   

 

I haven’t see or talked to the writer yet Ampalaya Monologues seem to have entered into my realm.  It was as if Mark Ghosn has entered my cranium and cerebral cortex and wrote what he has seen inside.

According to some write ups, Ampalaya Monologues (like The Vagina Monologues popularized in the past in the western side of the planet) are actually staged and performed by actors in front of big audiences.  But I guess reading the book would be a totally different experience.  It was as if the character was merely talking to the reader and no one else like in a big crowd.  Thus, reading the book I guess would be more intense and can definitely hit you right at your very core.

I love every piece of the chapters/monologues yet the last part was actually the most fitting for it makes you realize that for every tear, every heartache and bitterness a reader felt and experienced in the past, such sufferings will eventually make a person fervently mature and emotionally stronger.  I believe in the ultimate message of the book and that is for bitter people like us, there is still a chance to move on and some freaking flicker of hope is awaiting for all of us. 

Ang sabi nga sa libro, mas mabuting maging bitter kesa fake!

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House Rules by Jodi Picoult: A Worthy Story With Sloppy Ending

house rules by jodi picoultI am  glad that my first Jodi Picoult is the House Rules.  For one, there are only few novels I have that in which the story was written from the point of view of several characters including a boy with Asperger’s Syndrome, his brother, his mother, his lawyer and a detective.

The way the story ended for me was a bit of a disappointment.  It looks unfinished.  When I read the last page I thought there must be some page missing I even checked on the binding of the manuscript to see if some page were torn out.  Imagine after spending hundreds of pages learning and understanding the characters all of a sudden the author stopped and decided to abruptly end the story without patching up how an equally complicated scenario would be settled.

Nevertheless, the writing technique of Picoult is impressive.  Her switching into different characters after each chapter and her portrayals of these personalities in the novel were impeccable.  I particularly liked the character of Theo.  I liked him because he is the most human being in the story.  If Picoult would write a novel that concentrates more on this young man’s life, I would definitely read it.

Also, full credit should be given to Picoult for the superior research she has done on the topics the story tackled – asperger’s syndrome, autism, psychiatry, forensic science, law, litigation procedures, etc.  And the way she presented the details of these striking topics were also very impressive.  She was like peeling off the skins of an onion meticulously layer by layer.

Though with such a sloppy ending, House Rules nailed it in terms of being informative, entertaining and insightful.  I definitely was entertained because I would just toss it away (when my Asperger’s syndrome attacks) and would not finish reading it if I did not enjoyed it.

Nakakareleyt ako dun sa bida! Hahaha!

Looking For Alaska Is Inspiring

looking for alaskaThis is the second John Green book that I read this month.  Though it’s not as strong and powerful as The Fault In Our Stars, Looking for Alaska nevertheless is an inspiring work about life and death, about loyalty and friendship, and about the choices we must inevitably make during the tender ages of our life.

I like this book because of its uniqueness of not having a villain or bad person in the story.  Though this book is generally introspective, brooding and contemplative, the story is interspersed with fun hilarious episodes and laughable conversations among characters.

Aside from having normal human beings as characters, the compelling forces that made this novel very meaningful are the literary allusions.  John Green definitely was right in the money for every mention of dead yet admired and/or significant individuals’ last spoken words being mixed through the storyline.

Two connotations referenced in the book that truly stirred me were Francois Rabelais’ “The Great Perhaps” and Simon Bolivar’s “How will I ever get out of this labyrinth?”  Readers at the end will definitely be left with something to think about regarding these two rousing allusions.  I won’t explain further for I don’t want this write-up to be some silly spoiler.

Overall, this book is excellent and is well worth my time.

Eksayting nga naman malaman kung ano “Ang Dakilang Marahil”

Defending Jacob Is Splendidly Exhausting

defending jacobDefending Jacob written by William Landay is such a compulsive read.  The great story telling technique of the writer will make you bone-tired and muscle sore yet you would still wish to continue reading because it is so compelling it will leave you guessing right ‘till the end.  You would think that the story has concluded and the author was just wrapping up but at the last few pages even more exhausting bombshell revelations would crop up.

Defending Jacob is much more than a superb mystery crime novel.  It is also about family battling and striving to hold things together for the sake of an accused child. It will compel you to question yourself on how far would you go to protect your child or what would you do if it happened to your family or how are you going to handle it. You will definitely ponder your capacity for objectivity as a parent while you read this novel.  Furthermore, the style of writing is so effective it will make you feel how devastating and haunting it would be like if you would be faced with such horrific circumstances.  These poignant thoughts that percolated in my brain add up to the exhaustion that I felt while I read this novel.

Defending Jacob may be quite a disturbing story but it is indeed an insightful, informative and enlightening novel as well.  Bravo! It was one terrific read, it definitely kept my attention!

Kanerbyos!!!