Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I must admit I don't normally read love stories/romance novels. But for Ricky Lee's first novel, I made an exception.
Like any Pinoy romance novel, Para kay B (O paano dinevastate ng Pag-ibig ang 4 out of 5 sa atin) is immediately accessible to ordinary readers with its use of Taglish and terms found in Pinoy conversations. But unlike the former, Para Kay B challenges readers to think while at the same time entertains. The novel consists of the love stories of five women; one of whom is supposed to have a happy ending as the subtitle suggests.
There are numerous witty (like how the protagonist Lucas named the 5 female characters - Erica, Irene, Sandra, Bessie, Ester - based on the name of the love of his life), laugh-out-loud moments (witness the mini People Power move of the 5 women against Lucas in challenging his thesis that 4 out 5 are devastated by love) in the book. There are also several times when readers proceed with caution, holding their breaths, at what happens next.
Para kay B is also a very visual novel, replete with full fleshing out of the 5 female characters and descriptive passages that lend color, smell, taste to the world these 5 women move in. It would easily translate to film, but I wonder if Pinoy moviegoers can understand certain episodes of it (like the magic realism of Erica's love story).
Para kay B is more than a satisfying read; it is a provocative one making readers wish that it could go on and on. With such a remarkably memorable first novel, readers have time to savor it again and again until Ricky Lee's second one lands in the shelves of bookstores (a political satire/novel about a female impersonator who becomes a manananggal). This upcoming novel can go the way of Neil Gaiman's works: as a novel and a graphic novel. Hmmm...
Now available in National Bookstore branches nationwide.