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The Umbrella Country
Bino A. Realuyo
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The Umbrella Country

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  78 ratings  ·  12 reviews
"Certain things are better kept than said. . . .
But certain things you have to find out now. . . ."

On the tumultuous streets of Manila, where the earth is as brown as a tamarind leaf and the pungent smells of vinegar and mashed peppers fill the air, where seasons shift between scorching sun and torrential rain, eleven-year-old Gringo strives to make sense of his family and
ebook, 320 pages
Published February 23rd 2011 by Ballantine Books (first published 1999)
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K.D. Absolutely
I saw a copy of this yesterday in the Manila International Book Fair. I remembered that I read this a many years back prior to joining Goodreads in 2008.

This is about an 11-year old boy who grew up in slums of Manila during the 70s then migrated to the US. It is a poignant coming-of-age novel that reminded me of Kite Runner. The only differences are: that there are no kite flying scenes here, the boy here is a homo and there is no real war in Manila except the opressions of the lower class due t
I would always remember that this book actually made me cry while I was riding the LRT.

This book has been written perhaps haphazardly because of its weak presentation of events and underdeveloped characters. The story itself is fine, but it is the writing that actually digresses the plot. But nonetheless, this would stay as one of those books I would always remember and reread.

This book tends to be "canonized" as gay literature but I would like to argue it is more fitting to be "young adult" fo
What sticks out most in my mind about Bino Realuyo's The Umbrella Country is that somewhere towards the end of the book, after page 200, there is this incredible "boy cabal." It was like a scene out of William S. Burroughs' The Wild Boys. The bloody murder that followed shortly after made it even more Burroughsesque.

However, the book is far from Burroughsesque. Where Burroughs adopts a persona of observer/agent/reporter, Bino is much more lyrical(?)/dreamy. What stuck for me about Bino's book is
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
WOW! I know life in many parts of Philippines was tough and difficult to accept it exists. This book shows a boy's life in a very tough part of the country and living through its harshness is absolutely intense!

Boring with underdeveloped characters and plot. Very disappointing. -- esv, 10/30/07

it was similar to the kite runner I think but was good
Rachel Davis
I didn't like the way this book was written :(

read this
Jan 09, 2008 Jaba rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Filipino Youth
Recommended to Jaba by: Myself
Taps into Filipino Culture.
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