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Considered one of the most important works in Filipino literature, Cave and Shadows is a mystery thriller that weaves together a host of contrasting elements good evil, Catholic pagan, colonial native, male female, etc around the story of the mysterious death of Nenita Coogan Nenita is already dead when the novel begins very much like Laura Palmer and I can t help wondering if Mark Frost and David Lynch didn t use this book when creating Twin Peaks, including some its high strangeness but that doesn t prevent her from being one of the most interesting characters in the story, along with another female long since dead, the Beata, who is the motivation behind so many acts As a matter of fact, I think I tend to agree with the many who call this a feminist story as almost all of the female characters in the story tend to steal the show and seem to control and carry the plot even though the protagonist Jack and his associates are all male.The writer that I know and love from his various short stories is almost unrecognizable here in his second and last novel Almost The folklore and mythology that he mixes into actual history in telling the background of the story is transporting, and is the real meat for me I thought the story itself was not so interesting and I found the dialogue to be especially rambling and numb I was surprised to find parts of it even sophomoric, something I didn t think Joaquin had in him Each time the story played out in the present early 1970 s and pre martial law I found myself pining to get back to the mythology behind it It s very possible that Joaquin himself felt the same way It seemed to me that all of the characters in the novel in some way represented the author and he used each one of them to work out aloud what he himself was trying to work out in private his feelings about Filipino nationalism and what would be the soul of it in the future, Catholic or pagan I m not sure if the obvious romantic portrayal of the Philippine s early pagan roots is exactly telling However, his real life invocation to Mariang Makiling, a mythical mountain maiden during a ceremony attended by Imelda Marcos, might be it got him banned from further public functions.5 for the mythos 3 for the detective story, and it doesn t quite add up to a satisfying 4.3.5 stars. After a teenage girl is found dead inside a locked cave, her estranged father, Jack Henson, comes to Manila to investigate Together with his old friends Pocholo Gatmaitan, who is now the mayor, and Alex Manzano, who is a supporter and financer of student activists, he drifts through Manila searching for clues that might unlock the mystery that wraps his daughter s demise Along the way he finds himself socializing with politicians, activists, paganists, a prostitute, and a wealthy old man who after a childhood spent in hate of the Church converts into it, to the criticism of his own family and old supporters Joaquin s novel reveals all the sides of Manila life enshrouded in blind faith and political strife, chaotic, and seedy.I bought the novel by mistake I was at the bookstore, looking over Joaquin s books, getting disappointed at how thin his short story collections are All they had in the store were always only had three stories, at P250, at the price of much thicker books Then I saw this one It was thick The back had no blurb or synopsis typical to the backs of paperback novels Absolutely nothing on the cover that hinted at what it contained so I assumed it was a short story collection On the jeepney, however, when I finally removed it from the plastic packaging, I realized it was a novel Since I can only seriously read two books at a time one novel and one short story collection and I was already reading another novel Ilustrado , I set this one aside Then a lot of other things came up We went to Subic I had exams I met up with a lot of interesting people I never found the time to start this one until two weeks ago And now I m writing about it.Joaquin s writing is powerful In fact what sets it apart from other English writing by Filipinos is its constant mixing of American slang and Spanish and Filipino words It s Filispanglish than pure English, and it makes for a jumpy, caffeinated beat to the narrative But it s with history that Joaquin s writing truly achieves For about a quarter of the novel, spread throughout, Joaquin explores the history of Manila from Pre Hispanic times, building up on the history of the titular cave, the Lakan Bato, along with dissertations on paganism and the early revolts against the Spanish rule.What I love most about the novel is seamy feel it gives to Manila Absolutely no exocitizing or romanticizing involved Joaquin casts also a light on the seedy backstreets of Manila, where prostitutes are involved in the businesses of high ranking politicians, where random people are killed in drive bys by political henchmen, where people pay to watch a live show for a Bomba film being shot In Cave and Shadows Manila is a dirty, dirty city This is reminiscient of James Joyce s portrayal of Dublin in his short story collection, Dubliners And as Joyce makes clear in Dubliners no dirty city is unworthy of love. At first, I thought this is a horror novel Because of a dead girl who randomly show herself.This is about unearthing the inexplicable death of Nenita Coogan I ve a suspect in my mind, but honestly, I blamed the wrong one. I really really loved it It started quite slow for me, it did not connect instantly However, the book got into the good, juicy part It was a really good political and religious mystery novel You think you ll know what will happen next but everything turned out differently Nick Joaquin is always one step ahead of you It also has a bit of history which make it interesting It really got me interested in Filipino paganism not in converting but in knowing about it If you re not a conservative Christian and is a Filipino at heart then you must read this It has a bit of everything for everyone yes, even romance, but only a hint of and its a message heavy book It will really satisfy your thirst for knowledge and entertainment. Strange, surreal, and idiosyncratic dark humor at the expense of zealous nationalism and Filipino nativism The characters motivations are just too ridiculous, one is inclined to believe Joaquin is pulling a long, elaborate joke a joke that most people are sure to react to with the utmost and unwelcome reverence and solemnity. this is real food on a splendid platter now feel like am fangirling over villa, nope, nick joaquin delicious time to finish this delicious novel on a storm battered early weekend when big glows were needed felt a little ashamed for making ra ras about balzac and james joyce and angela carter when there was, THERE IS, nick joaquin standing while sweating while writing for philippine literature once delicious novel.Another thing this made me interested in philippine paganism, sabi ni Cholo sa nobela since the true Filipino is the pagan Filipino, no Christian can be Filipino at all Page 253 yun Also this is a mystery novel that surpasses sherlock homes even though andre manzano himself made this comparison in the novel by a planet and a universe very intricate plot, i CERTAINLY guess as elaborately conceptualized also notable are the several historical and archival details, irregardless of their authenticity outside the novel.isa pa i AM this will mellow down, for sure a fangirl of this novel, and how do fangirls usually express their immeasurable devotion to utter fanaticism unmistakable idolatry of the objects subjects of their fangirl ness parang ganito i love you, cave and shadows My favorite Filipino book Started a bit slow reading the first few chapters, but once you ve reached the middle part, I bet you re never gonna be able to stop Love it &Book ☜ Cave and Shadows ⇹ A Classic From National Artist For Literature, Nick Joaquin, Cave And Shadows Was First Published In , And This Literary Whodunit Is Still Considered A Must Read By Students Of Philippine Literature The Novel Is Set In Motion By A Mysterious Death, And Thrust Onwards By The Search For Truth And The Solution Of The Crime Joaquin Expertly Weaves Multi Layered Meanings By Interspersing Philippine Historical Fact With Fiction In The End, Readers Discover Faith, Truth, And Human Nature Maybe something was lost in translation the typos did not help But it grates on my nerves when an investigator asks questions of a reluctant subject, and that subject opens up with paragraphs and paragraphs of expository dialogue Stopped reading after 2 3. rihkjmnhyrtk lyn