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Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco
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Ilustrado (2010)

by Miguel Syjuco, Miguel Syjuco

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Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
It was a very modern piece about the political mess called the Philippines and the fictional life of the author and his mentor. It has a really nice twist at the end that I did not expect and Syjuco did a great job. He was very strategic to the point that you just stop predicting what will happen next. However, when reading "Ilustrado" make sure you have a dictionary and an alarm clock ready. It was full of hifalutin words and is really dragging. The story really started slow for me and if you're expecting for an action-packed novel you'll be disappointed. If you're also expecting a Sherlock Holmes-y story, you'll also be disappointed. It's more of biographical kind of story, also full of political satire that is both funny and real at the same time. A must-read for Pinoys. ( )
  krizia_lazaro | Mar 6, 2014 |
I tried reading this book but it was too confusing. The story kept switching around from one thing to another, and although a lot of books have this sort of format, this book didn't have a smooth transition. The story switched around too many topics, and I would have to read a section and then try to guess what it was talking about. I would have to see if what I was reading was about: Miguel's present, or his past, or his biography on Crispin, or one of Crispin's interview, or another of Crispin's interview, or about a character/story that Crispin wrote, etc. It was a hassle having to start reading a section and then trying to understand who/what I was reading about and then being able to finish reading the section. This made the book take so long to read.

I didn't like how the character of Miguel held the character of Crispin in such a high standard. I got tired of having to read so much about Crispin because I felt inundated by so much information about him. I couldn't bear anymore at one point to read about the character of Crispin...I just didn't care anymore what had happened to him. Also, the story dragged on and never seemed to be going anywhere.

I did like how the story talked about where Miguel was from. It was interesting to read about a different culture and way of living. That part of the story did catch my interest.
  bookwormconfidential | Dec 27, 2013 |
It is hard to understand different societies, even though we consider ourselves pluralistic. We meet and greet people from all around the world everyday but what do we know of their home country? Their home society? Miguel Syjuco gives us an enlightening glimpse into Philippine society in his novel Ilustrado.

Page 3 - Prologue

When the author's life of literature and exile reached its unscheduled terminus that anonymous February morning, he was close to completing the controversial book we'd all been waiting for.
His body, floating in the Hudson, had been hooked by a Chinese fisherman. His arms, battered, open to a virginal dawn: Christ-like, one blog back home reported sarcastically. Ratty-banded briefs and Ermenegildo Zegna trousers were pulled around his ankles. Both shoes lost. A crown of blood embellished the high forehead smashed by a crowbar or dock pile or chunk of frozen river.
That afternoon, as if in a dream, I stood in the brittle cold, outside the yellow police tape surrounding the entrance of my dead mentor's West Village apartment. the rumours were already milling: the NYPD had found the home in disarray; plainclothes detectives filled many evidence bags with strange items; neighbors reported hearing shouts into the night; the old lady next door said her cat had refused to come out from under the bed. The cat, she emphasized, was a black one.

The plot deals with the life and death of Crispin Salvador, a noted Philippine author and scholar. His student, Miguel, sets out to investigate his mentor's death by looking at his life's work. His motivation of an unpublished work that promises to expose the corruption behind the rich families that have ruled the Philippines for generations, Miguel is able to compare and contrast his life with that of Crispin's and explore the history of the Philippines.

Link to my complete review
  steven.buechler | Sep 12, 2013 |
I tried. I really tried to like this. I am supposed to like this. The critics rave, this book is brilliant they say. Well, his brilliance must be blinding coz I can't see it. There are good bits of writing, some nice phrasing etc, but it doesn't hang together. He is so busy listening to his own voice(s) that the stories stutter, bereft of reason.
( )
  BCbookjunky | Mar 31, 2013 |
It Begins with a body.On a clear day in winter, the battered corpse of Crispin Salvador is pulled from the Hudson River—taken from the world is the controversial lion of Philippine literature. Missing, too, is the only manuscript of his final book. Enter Miguel, his student and only remaining friend, who makes it his mission to find out what happened to his friend and mentor, Miguel attempts to sort through the weft of Salvador's life, charting his trajectory through his poetry, interviews, novels, polemics, and memoirs, these literary fragments interlock to become stories, tales, become epic generational sagas linked like so many pieces from some large Jigsaw puzzle. As we follow Miguel’s journey home in search of more information, we come to realise that this book is as much about him, as it is about Salvador.

This story is told via rumour and jokes, via Blogs, text messages, through Miguel, through the works and interviews of Crispin Salvador and through the musings of seemingly omniscient narrator, it builds up layer upon layer resulting in a fascinating and dramatic family saga covering four generations, and 150 years of Philippine history, forged by blood and politics under the Spanish, the Americans, and the Filipinos themselves.

Constantly blurring our perception of what’s real, Illustrado becomes part metaphysical detective novel enthralled to Jorge Luis Borges, part satire on Philippine society (or at least the part of it the author has intimate knowledge of).

This is a wonderful fantastical debut novel, whether it’s the parts written as Crispin Salvador, or as Miguel Syjuco, it conjures up magical hallucinatory images interwoven with the day to day reality - until past, present and future are all one tense, all one story.

“And with this fiction of possibilities, entwined with the possibilities of fiction, I've woven in my own unlived life.”

http://parrishlantern.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/miguel-syjuco.html ( )
  parrishlantern | Jun 29, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
... Och någonstans där kommer det att bli uppenbart för dig att ”Ilustrado” inte bara är rolig och smart. Smärtpunkten kommer att dyka upp, den kommer att vända upp och ned på allt, du kommer att köpa det.
 

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Miguel Syjucoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Syjuco, Miguelmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374174784, Hardcover)

Garnering international prizes and acclaim before its publication, Ilustrado has been called “brilliantly conceived and stylishly executed . . .It is also ceaselessly entertaining, frequently raunchy, and effervescent with humor” (2008 Man Asian Literary Prize panel of judges).

It begins with a body. On a clear day in winter, the battered corpse of Crispin Salvador is pulled from the Hudson River—taken from the world is the controversial lion of Philippine literature. Gone, too, is the only manuscript of his final book, a work meant to rescue him from obscurity by exposing the crimes of the Filipino ruling families. Miguel, his student and only remaining friend, sets out for Manila to investigate.

To understand the death, Miguel scours the life, piecing together Salvador’s story through his poetry, interviews, novels, polemics, and memoirs. The result is a rich and dramatic family saga of four generations, tracing 150 years of Philippine history forged under the Spanish, the Americans, and the Filipinos themselves. Finally, we are surprised to learn that this story belongs to young Miguel as much as to his lost mentor, and we are treated to an unhindered view of a society caught between reckless decay and hopeful progress.

Exuberant and wise, wildly funny and deeply moving, Ilustrado explores the hidden truths that haunt every family. It is a daring and inventive debut by a new writer of astonishing talent.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:05 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When an esteemed author is murdered, protégé Miguel seeks both answers and the whereabouts of a missing manuscript written to expose corruption among the Philippines' wealthy ruling families, an effort for which Miguel examines his mentor's life and writings.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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