Ilustrado

A Novel
Narrated by: William Dufris
Length: 12 hrs and 39 mins
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary
2.5 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Ilustrado opens with Crispin Salvador, lion of Philippine letters, dead in the Hudson River. His young acolyte, Miguel, sets out to investigate the author's suspicious death and the strange disappearance of an unfinished manuscript - a work that had been planned not just to return the once-great author to fame but to expose the corruption behind the rich families who have ruled the Philippines for generations.

To understand the death, Miguel scours the life, charting Salvador's trajectory via his poetry, interviews, novels, polemics, and memoirs. The literary fragments become patterns become stories become epic: a 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.

In the shifting terrain of this remarkably ambitious and daring first novel, Miguel Syjuco explores fatherhood, regret, revolution, and the mysteries of lives lived and abandoned.

©2010 Miguel Syjuco (P)2010 Tantor

Critic Reviews

“Dizzying and ambitious.... A satisfying, meaningful story.” (Publishers Weekly)

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Challenging but interesting listen

My in-laws are Filipino, so I was looking forward to some insights on the history and culture of the Phillipines. The shifting narrative mode of the book makes the translation to audio difficult at times: a joke, a passage from a pulp novel, excerpts from a message board complete with email addresses. I ultimately enjoyed it, but it may not be for everyone.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Not what I expected but a great listen

I thought I was getting another mystery story, instead I was rewarded with a history of the Philippines and a look at a culture most Americans never study. As for the reader I listened to his reading of Cryptonomicon and find his accents interesting.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

don't...

oh my god...long, painful, uninteresting, lifeless, soporific. really; don't do it. save your credit. save yourself.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Painful

My mind kept wandering off as I listened to the boring storyline that took forever to get off the ground. And the narrator - horrible! He over-enunciates words and speaks with a nasally voice that is very irritating and distracting. Don't waste your time (or your credits) on this flop.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Could not continue

This book assumes an interest in all-things Filipino. I had thought it was more of a mystery story but found it hadn't started over half way through the first reel. The author feels the need to explain in great detail why the Philippeans is not Latin America.

1 person found this helpful