Dogeatersby Jessica Hagedorn
Welcome to Manila in the turbulent period of the Philippines’ late dictator. It is a world in which American pop culture and local Filipino tradition mix flamboyantly, and gossip, storytelling, and extravagant/i>
“As sharp and fast as a street boy’s razor . . . a rich small feast of a book.”—The New York Times Book Review
Welcome to Manila in the turbulent period of the Philippines’ late dictator. It is a world in which American pop culture and local Filipino tradition mix flamboyantly, and gossip, storytelling, and extravagant behavior thrive.
A wildly disparate group of characters—from movie stars to waiters, from a young junkie to the richest man in the Philippines—becomes caught up in a spiral of events culminating in a beauty pageant, a film festival, and an assassination. In the center of this maelstrom is Rio, a feisty schoolgirl who will grow up to live in America and look back with longing on the land of her youth.
“Entertaining and compelling. . . . At the end, you emerge from its intense, dreamlike world feeling as if you’ve been to the Philippines.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Hagedorn transcends social strata, gender, culture, and politics in this exuberant, witty, and telling portrait of Philippine society.”—The San Diego Union
Meet the Author
Jessica Hagedorn is the author of the novels Dogeaters and The Gangster of Love, Dream Jungle, and a collection of poetry and short fiction, Danger and Beauty.
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This book used too many tagalog phrases that I couldn't even decipher from the context. I read one quarter of the book and decided that it wasn't worth my time.
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. 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.
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!
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!!!