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Cave and Shadows

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  404 ratings  ·  33 reviews
A classic from National Artist for Literature, Nick Joaquin, Cave and Shadows was first published in 1983, 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 ...more
272 pages
Published 1983
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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K.D. Absolutely
Aklat #16: CAVE AND SHADOWS by National Artist of the Philippines for Literature Nick Joaquin
(Anvil Publishing, 1983)

Nicomedes Márquez Joaquín (1917-2004) is said to be one of the most important Filipino writers in English, and the third most important overall, after José Rizal and Claro M. Recto. "Cave and Shadows" is his second and last novel. It was first published in 1982, 22 years after his first, "The Woman Who Had Two Navels." I liked this book better because of the
May 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: lit-fiction
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 ...more
Gersie Santillana
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Krizia Anna
Feb 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nick-joaquin
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 more interesting. It really got me interested in Filipino paganism (not in converting but in knowing more about it). If you're not a ...more
Maria Ella
Apr 12, 2021 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Maria Ella by: Victor Anastacio
Adding this to bookshelf, narinig ko sa isang episode ng podcast in Spotify~ ...more
Dominic Dayta
May 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: local, asian, loved-it
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 a ...more
Ivan Labayne
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 more: delicious novel.

Another thing: this made me interested in philippine paganism, sabi ni C
Oct 11, 2013 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Jul 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
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! ...more
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
I had high hopes for this book, but it took me foreverrrr to finish. More than 6 months.

I thought that the "seedy, Manila" backdrop was pretty cool. The issues the book dealt with were also interesting—questions about Filipino identity, the history and influence of Catholicism and colonialism, and erasure of paganism and traditional practices. There was interesting commentary on the grab for power, political family dynasties, and the reliance on "old monuments" to inform the present. It's a sham
Mar 01, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Maria Concha
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Marked it as to-read
Nestor Ilao
Feb 08, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chesca Palaganas
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Jan 11, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a good read about a murdered girl and the messed up politics in the Philippines
Dec 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dec-2010
A satisfying blend of history and detective story, Cave and Shadows investigates the death of a young woman found in a cave. There was no sign of foul play. She was found naked, and as if sleeping. There's an inner cave within cave, secret passages, neo-paganism, ritual sacrifices, cults and activists, converts and sinners. I think it has a lot to offer the readers of mystery and mysticism.

Full review at the following link:
Jan 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: filipino-authors
I've only read Joaquin's short stories and have gotten a feel for how he melds Philippines folklore with history. This novel explores both, surprisingly within a political and religious whodunit.. Full review on my blog Guiltless Reading!

First read: Dec 2014.
Reread: March 2015.
Feb 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
its good
Aira Ramos
Jul 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
`jack flew back to davao, a lonely man` ...more
Ralphy Uy
i want to read this because my friend shared this story to me <3 <3
Look See
Aug 28, 2015 marked it as to-read
Honey Tapucol
I want to read this but i can not open it
Christopher James
Sep 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Jul 27, 2013 added it
Oct 23, 2015 added it
Ivy Catherine
Jun 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
glob! poor Jack just lost everything... deym!!!

anyways... if you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes and tragedy... you'lll love this book!
Patrick Hermoso
Jul 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
this site is BULLSHIT!
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Nicomedes Márquez Joaquín (May 4, 1917–April 29, 2004) was a Filipino writer, historian and journalist, best known for his short stories and novels in the English language. He also wrote using the pen name Quijano de Manila. Joaquin was conferred the rank and title of National Artist of the Philippines for Literature.

After Jose Rizal and Claro M. Recto, both writers in spanish language, he is cons

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“The young look up to me as their feeder," said Alex. "Well, they can go look for another trough. I'm through with this hogwash."

"Are liberal ideas hogwash?"

"All ideas are hogwash, Jack."

"Don't you believe in anything anymore?"

"Sure. I believe in God the Father of Nonsense, creator of Crap and Nonsense, is now and ever shall be Crap without end. Oh, oh, Jack, how we break our hearts trying to make sense of a world that's pure and utter crap. But if you ever come to where I am now, you'll be surprised and delighted to find out how little anything matters."

"You've begun to sound Christian," said Pocholo.”
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