Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $6.50 shipping
Ilustrado: A Novel Hardcover – April 27, 2010
|New from||Used from|
This month's Book With Buzz: "Stranger in the House" by Shari Lapena
In this neighborhood, danger lies close to home. A thriller packed full of secrets and a twisty story that never stops - from the bestselling author of "The Couple Next Door." See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
From Publishers Weekly
Syjuco's novel investigating the mysterious death of a beloved writer is crammed full of quotations, letters, found documents, and all sorts of devices and flotsam that translates better on the page, where it can be read or skimmed, than in audio, where everything must be given equal attention. William Dufris does his best with this material, but he cannot prevent the addenda from bogging down the flow of the narrative. Dufris gamely tries to navigate his way through the thickets of Syjuco's prose, but the constant interruptions and stylistic embroidery does not lend itself to fruitful listening. A Farrar, Straus, and Giroux hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 1).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Praise for Ilustrado
“Winner of the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize while still in manuscript form, Ilustrado is a hip and secure first novel about the urgency of art and regret. Confident and quirky, with passages that recall early Phillip Roth and a structure not unlike the best M. Night Shyamalan films, the book actively seeks to provoke its audience with bathroom humor and sexist stabs at superficial melodrama. Such scenes are bookended by passages of profundity that somehow manage to always say something about life as well as literature.” —Roberto Ontiveros, The Dallas Morning News
“Ambitious . . . In a daring literary performance, Syjuco weaves the invented with the factual . . . Ilustrado is being presented as a tracing of 150 years of Philippine history, but it’s considerably more than that . . . Spiced with surprises and leavened with uproariously funny moments, it is punctuated with serious philosophical musings.” —Raymond Bonner, The New York Times Book Review
“A dazzling and virtuosic adventure in reading . . . The narrative is organised with immense confidence and skill . . . The author’s post-modernist bag of tricks also contains a whip-crack narrative skill that’s as reminiscent of Dickens as it is of Roberto Bolaño . . . There’s a capaciousness that makes the book richly attractive to wander into . . . [This] novel . . . fizzes with the effervescence a large book can have when its author is in total control of the material. This isn’t a story; it’s the unfolding of an entire world, a mirror-land that seems familiar but is always ineffably strange . . . Syjuco is a writer already touched by greatness . . . This is a remarkably impressive and utterly persuasive novel. Its author . . . may one day succeed with the Nobel committee.”—Joseph O’Connor, The Guardian
“An exuberant, complex, and fascinating ride through 150 years of Philippine history . . . Syjuco’s writing is playful, smart, and confident . . . An inventive and exciting debut.” —Grace Talusan, Rumpus
“An extraordinary debut, at once flashy and substantial, brightly charming and quietly resistant to its own wattage . . . Syjuco’s gifts for pastiche, his protean narrative energy, are in particular evidence in these pitch-perfect fictions of the fictions of his fictional author . . . An exuberant, funny novel that neither takes its grand ambitions too seriously, nor pretends to be measuring itself by any less a scale of intent. How Syjuco . . . has done this is foremost a testament to his prodigious gifts . . . With his dazzling first foray, Syjuco suggest how his new Asia, his new identity, must ‘look’ on the page and between the covers. That look is unexpected and fresh, quite unlike anything that has been seen before.” —Charles Foran, The Globe and Mail
“Wildly entertaining . . . Engaging . . . Absolutely assured in its tone, literary sophistication and satirical humor . . . Syjuco is only on his mid-30s, and he already possesses the wand of the enchanter.” —Michael Dirda, The Washington Post
“Ilustrado will provoke audible oohs and ahhs from readers . . . The writing is gorgeous. Plus, there's an O. Henry twist in the epilogue. This is a great book. Read it.” —Luis Clemens, Senior Editor, Tell Me More
“Syjuco’s exceptional novel exceeds its heightened expectations, serving notice that a brilliant new talent has arrived, somehow fully formed.” —Jared Bland, The Walrus
“Dazzling . . . It is a virtuoso display of imagination and wisdom, particularly remarkable from a 31-year-old author; a literary landmark for the Philippines and beyond.” —Michele Leber, Booklist (starred review)
“This imaginative first novel shows considerable ingenuity in binding its divergent threads into a satisfying, meaningful story.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Through his vivid use of language, Syjuco has crafted a beautiful work of historical fiction that's part mystery and part sociopolitical commentary. Readers who enjoyed Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao will enjoy this literary gem.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“An ambitious debut novel, winner of the Man Asian Literary Prize, introduces an author of limitless promise . . . It dazzles as brightly as Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything Is Illuminated . . . First novels rarely show such reach and depth.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Miguel Syjuco’s dizzyingly energetic and inventive novel views his native Philippines with a merciless yet loving eye, its many voices a chorus illuminating the various facets of this chaotic, complicated country. An ambitious and admirable debut.” —Janice Y. K. Lee, author of The Piano Teacher
“Vulnerable and mischievous, sophisticated and naïve, Ilustrado explores the paradoxes that come with the search for identity and throws readers into the fragile space between self-pursuit and self-destruction. A novel about country and self, youth and experience, it is elegiac, thoughtful, and original.” —Colin McAdam, author of Fall and Some Great Thing
“From the ruckus of rumors, blogs, ambitions, overweening grandparents, indifferent history, and personal crimes, Miguel Syjuco has innovatively reimagined that most wonderfully old-fashioned consolation: literature. Ilustrado is a great novel.” —Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances
“Brilliantly conceived, and stylishly executed, [Ilustrado] covers a large and tumultuous historical period with seemingly effortless skill. It is also ceaselessly entertaining, frequently raunchy, and effervescent with humour.” —2008 Man Asian Literary Prize Panel of Judges
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
forgive the silliness of what i've said; all i am trying to convey is that syjuco's book, while very much a first novel in its ever so often tentative flow, is at the same time a sterling example of a lyrical, biting, surreal, and most importantly, ambitious and daring piece of work. 'ambitious' and 'daring' are much bandied about, but the shoe fits. amidst page after page of despairing humanity, that the author can prescribe such a convincing and deceptively simple redemption as the expat artist coming back home goes beyond weepy sentimentalism and could in fact serve as a very real battle cry for a talented diaspora.
moving beyond the trauma inflicted by the colonial past and the ruined martial law generation, syjuco attempts to define the new setting of philippine culture (high or low) as it flowers--that is, anywhere in the world there's a job to do or paycheck to collect--and for the most part succeeds. portrait of an artist as a filipino abroad would perhaps be button-holing it, but it's a good place to start with this sprawling, sometimes fuzzy, but always provocative novel. i enjoyed it thoroughly and look forward to his next book.
I suspect that people familiar with Filipino history and culture will like this book quite a bit, but that for those of us who are largely ignorant of these things, the book just doesn't resonate. So much seems to depend on understanding those contexts.
It's a well-crafted work, and for that, I give it four stars. But the only people I imagine recommending it to are my Filipino friends.
Already, Syjuco has been compared to writers like Salman Rushdie & David Mitchell and it is easy to see why; he challenges our concept of what a novel can be. As another review has stated, this is a difficult book to review. Using disparate sources (jokes, traditional linear narratives, interviews, diary entries and book excerpts), Syjuco fashions a tale of a young writer's search to find the missing manuscript of his mentor and friend, Crispin Salvador, and to uncover the truth behind the death of the Philippines' greatest writer. Along the way, we learn much about our protagonist (Miguel Syjuco), his mentor (Salvador) and the tumultuous history of the Philippines.
This is not a quick (or easy) read, but the rewards are well worth the investment. Like all great books, Ilustrado asks as many questions as it answers, and it leaves you wanting/needing to reread it immediately. Luckily, thanks to Syjuco's beautiful prose, that is sheer pleasure!
one narrative to another end up being exhaustive. Story telling seems contrived or tedious at time. This is a great talent that loves literal pyrotechnics but ultimately fails to engage the reader in a meaningful and sustained manner