Heard about Bob Ong’s new work few weeks ago through my fellow Rusher/blogger and tweetmate Bebephase, and being the fan that I am I instantly had the urge to buy it even though it’s getting mixed reviews. I didn’t wait for our Christmas parties to include it in my holiday wish list. I knew right then and there that I have to get a hold of the copy. And what a book it was.
I’m not really a fan of Pinoy horror-themed books, in fact I have never (completely) read one. The ones my brothers have read are crappy. But “Ang Mga Kaibigan Ni Mama Susan” will be worth the read, trust me. The first half, I have to admit, is a bit boring. Although I find Galo’s (the main character) everyday musings pretty interesting. The second half, I have to admit again, seriously crept the hell out of me. And for a Filipino author to do that, it’s pretty impressive I must say. I am now an even bigger fan of Bob Ong, especially after reading this interview (read it here).
The approach made in writing and in relaying its story is different this time, but it worked, especially because it is inspired by true events. This novel can actually pass for a movie version, well at least basing on how I imagined the scenes to be. Needles to say, the technique used is very effective. And just like his other books, I know there are hidden messages for our government, about our society and even about one’s individuality. But for me, one thing is certain, I loved this new book of his.
I instinctively throw the book away from me after reading it. The ending sent chills down my spine, and it crept me out for several minutes. But it actually gave me this “bitin” feeling and wished for more of those creepy parts. It was just a short book, but it felt like I’ve read Harry Potter’s fifth book, and it felt like I’ve known Galo a long time already.
Buy it. Read it. And be ready to meet Mama Susan and her friends.