Review: Si (Bob Ong)

It took me a while before I got my hands on a copy of Bob Ong’s latest book, Si.

Here are my thoughts on the book:

  • I would dare say that this is my most favorite Bob Ong book so far.
  • The narration was done in reverse. It opened to a narration of a very old man, and finished with an unborn child. Instead of some particular events, this book tackled a whole life. 70+ years spanning from pre-WWII to the new millennium. It’s freaking beautiful, I want to cry. It’s like the first time we met River Song, and it was the episode she died, and nearing her last appearance was the story of her birth.
  • You actually ask the question “what happened” instead of “what will happen?”, and this style of story telling is VERY effective in telling sad stories.
  • I now believe in soulmates, btw. JK, i don’t #embittered
  • I ABSOLUTELY LOVED how his writing style matured in this novel.
  • I SUPER ABSOLUTELY LOVED how the versatility of the Bob Ong’s writing was displayed in this novel. We start with a modern-age language, which transitions to romantic era, then the POV of a young kid. As the character grew younger, the voice of BO’s writing changes too. It’s actually a spectacular sight to behold.
  • I am a BIG Bob Ong fan, I think he had a big influence on me as a writer because when I read his first book was when I decided that I want to write forever. This was in highschool. I somehow detached myself to his writing style as a grew older. ABNKKBSNPLAko was my bible, so was Stainless Longganisa. His more recent novels, Ang Mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan was a pretty cool book, but I thought it was trying too hard. I found Lumayo Ka Nga Sa Akin unbearable.
  • But Si? Si is a beauty. I can’t even describe it. It’s not pretty or cool or just ok. Si is utterly breathtaking.
  • This is the kind of book that you’d read over and over again, because I’m sure you’ll see something new everytime.
  • Si is a very intimate novel. Because of its style, the life of a character is literally laid in front of you.
  • And then the ending. OMG, The ending changed everything. What a freaking unpredictable move, BO.

I’ve been trying to find a copy of this book since it was first published. And ladies and gentlemen, it is worth the effort and wait.

Five of five stars!

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September 1, 2015