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Blue Angel, White Shadow

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Twenty-five year old lounge singer Laurice Saldiaga is found dead in her room at the Blue Angel Cafe and Bar in Binondo, Manila's Chinatown. Inspector Cyrus Ledesma, a Chinese mestizo cop with a dark past is assigned to investigate the matter. The bar owner, Antonio Cobianco, is a known associate of Mayor Lagdameo Go-Lopez. Ledesma walks into a cauldron of intrigues, labyr ...more
Paperback, 229 pages
Published 2010 by University of Sto. Tomas Publishing House
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Jan 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Apokripos by: UST Publishing House
Crimes of Passion
(A Book Review of Charlson Ong’s Blue Angel, White Shadow)

Admittedly, I have had my meager share of crime fiction in my brief experience as a reader; however, this recent read feels like hitting two birds with one stone, not only by reintroducing me to the genre, but also a game changer that shuns the spate of literary of books posturing as social commentary that examines the human plight in lieu of a gripping whodunit written exceptionally by a Filipino author that’ll keep the
Nostalgia for a Manila slowly ebbing away lies at the heart of Blue Angel, White Shadow, the newest offering from one of the Philippines' most renowned novelists, Charlson Ong. With references to Marlene Dietrich, John Coltrane, Old Binondo, World War II, dogfights and summary executions, his foray into the mystery genre results in a symphony about the constant push and pull between the old and the new, the artful and the brutal.

The story begins with an iconic noir image: the beautiful woman in
Carljoe Javier
Mar 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
I had a really fun time with this book. Most readers will know Charlson Ong for his short fiction (I remember studying it extensively as an undergrad english major, before actually meeting Ong as a panelist and then as my professor) but this novel is both clearly Ong, with the rich Chinese background injected into his stories, and also something totally new for the writer, and Phil Lit in general. Sure the detective novel has been done before, and done very well. Look no further than Smaller and ...more
Jan 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Original post at One More Page

One of my favorite classes in college that wasn't my major was my Lit class, not only because I had an awesome professor, but because I just simply loved to read. I loved that I was required to pick up a novel for class, and write a report about it. The only lit class I had was Philippine literature so I was only required to read local fiction, some written by some professors in the university. While that wasn't what what I usually read then, I didn't mind -- I was
David Rosario
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thrilling and pacey read. A few typos, some plot developments that I think could have been crafted cleaner, but enjoyable overall. I would describe it as a 1930s crime novel, in the style of John Le Carre, except set in Manila during the 2000s. Not bad at all.
Skincare For Introverts
I just could not connect to the writing style - something about the way charcters are introduced, dialogue is written, and overall delivery of information feels stilted and distracted. Wish I liked this more.
Sep 07, 2014 rated it liked it
My girlfriend wanted me to decipher something about this book. It turns out to be its style and I want to save you time by telling you what it is.

This book contains nostalgic Manila stories and scenes and is also written in a similar vein. Thus, fans of old Pinoy action movies will like this book.

This is the first book that my girlfriend gave me. She is quite obsessed with Charlson Ong though she admits that this book is not one of his bests. Still, she wanted me to have it for some symbolical (
Oct 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book, and it almost kept me through the early morning - but there's something missing that's keeping me from giving it a 5-star. It's crazy good as a Mystery/Detective novel given that you wouldn't really know who killed the victim until second to the last chapter. You wouldn't really know what happened, and almost anyone who's in the book could've done it. Every character has a plausible theory. And that really kept me reading until the end. ...more
Paul French
Jun 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I met Charlson Ong at the 2012 Singapore Writers' Week and thought his book a brilliant Filipino noir set in the run down streets of Manila's Chinatown ...more
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Charlson L. Ong , resident fellow of the Institute of Creative Writing and fictionist/scriptwriter/singer extraordinaire, was born on July 6, 1960. He obtained an A.B. in Psychology from the University of the Philippines in 1977, and currently teaches literature and creative writing under UP's Department of English and Comparative Literature. He has joined several writers' workshops here and abro ...more

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