ilustrado, miguel syjuco.

Monday 20 February 2012

I hope you all enjoyed my holiday happy snaps through the Philippines. I also hope I've encouraged you to make it a future travel destination.

Before I revert back to regular posting, I wanted to mention a fantastic book I read while I was away, "Ilustrado," by Filipino author Miguel Syjuco. Through the story of a student writing a biography about his late mentor, the book paints the cultural and political landscape of the Philippines. Syjuco casts a pretty wide net. It's content is ambitious and the book's structure uses literary gymnastics that aren't so easy on the ol' brain (particularly hard when trying to relax on a beach). However, each sentence is so delightfully written that you can enjoy each page as it comes without having to entirely decode the book's structural trickery. Yes, it's no easy read but the ending makes it so rewarding. It's the kind of book that keeps you up late and that you'll think about for days after finishing.

If you want to know more about this little country that many know little about, or if you simply want to read something cleverly and beautifully written, I can't recommend it enough. Oh, and it also comes in a variety of mighty handsome front covers, which always helps.


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