I forced myself to finish this book. Eric Gamalinda pushed his story to extremes employing a jagged narrative and an attempt at dreamlike imagery that did not work. Instead of feeling like a deeply complex novel, it felt contrived and belabored. The existential philosophical thoughts espoused in its preliminary PR were lost within Gamalinda’s overworked meanderings. The title’s reference was far-fetched and overly emphasized. Like the rest of the novel it was a parade of excess.
So why did I give a three star rating for what sounds like a 1 or 2 star review? There is something in the author’s writing that speaks of knowledge, art and skill. He is overreaching with an apt hand. Therefore, I think there is reason to look at Gamalinda’s earlier novels, which were published in his native language, before making a final assessment about his work.