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Great Style and Structure, with a less than perfect Plot
Dogeaters is an excellent book, especially for those who like nonlinear narratives. It is a book that captures, in a very intriguing way, the taste and temperature of life in the Philippines.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Many of the chapters took place from the point of view of separate characters, leaving the reader to piece together subtle facts to form a picture of Filipino society. The few characters viewed in first person (Rio, Joey), were interesting. Their hopes and dreams worked to define contemporary Filipino society throughout several decades. Those chapters in third person were fascinating as well - adding a keen analysis of the gossip and rumors that pervaded the book. In addition, there were several chapters that consisted only of quotes and newspaper articles. Despite the disparity of these chapters, and the scattered and claustrophobic nature of the stories that each chapter told, Hagedorn does a fantastic job of integrating it all. Jessica Hagedorn proves her ability and gall as an author in creating and managing so many separate narratives, fusing them into a single, cohesive tale.
The ending does prove a problem, as Hagedorn provides sudden evidence that proves many of the facts presented in the novel as false. This left me with a sense of abandonment - I have just finished this book, but what for? I am normally a person who loves surprise or reverse endings but this seemed to much. For me, Hagedorn's choice of ending left the plot unresolved, and the stories of the individual characters unfinished. I am forced to consider that this was part of her plan - and that it provides an unsettling insight into Filipino culture - but there is part of me that fears that this isn't true. The ending was, for me, completely unsatisfying.
Dogeaters is worth a read for its tone and imagery, and for the emotions that it portrays. But not, in my opinion, for its plot.
Posted September 18, 2003
'AY, PRIMA! THE DOGEATERS ATE ME!'
Jessica Hagedorn's 'Dogeaters' is an attention-grabbing piece of work! It brings me to Manila, flashing back and left me in tranquility with my thoughts rousing. (-: It's a powerful novel, dominating me to keep on reading and visualize the story after story. It helps the modern day PINOY to look back on Manila's past, what it used to be and wonder if it is still like that. Somehow, I was absorbed by the Dogeaters. BASTA, it's attractive & unforgettable! Surprisingly, this book that I once thought I'm not interested on comprehending is the same book that I didn't know will inspire me to further my interest in writing!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 20, 2003
Attention to the previous critc: You just don't get it sweetie, this book isn't made for everyone
Hagedorn's skill is real cut throat and edgy. She takes you on a ride and before you think it's over, a turn lies around the corner. The deliberate and skillful combination of english and tagalog ( philippine dialect) better known as taglish is one that not many filipino-american authors can use with ease and let's face it, with spunk. One critic that I agree with poignantly states, ' Hagedorn's novels are as if she had finished writing the last page and throws the work up in the air putting the pages together in no particular order; albeit enough, by the end of the novel, everything comes together in a whirlwind of clarity and acidic nature... some people just don't get this...the previous critic who didn't finish the novel... too bad, you missed out on the ride and you're headed down the path of the 'lonely hearts road' but for those who do, write with me and give props where props is deserved!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.