American Son has ratings and 45 reviews. Rachelle said: Realistic and edgy portrayal. I know exactly what the two brother, Tomas and Gabe feel, and h. American Son is a novel that was written by American author Brian Ascalon Roley and published by W. W. Norton & Company Publishing in paperback format in. Tomas is the son who helps pay the mortgage by selling attack dogs to rich people .. Excerpted from American Son by Brian Ascalon Roley.

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One may not particularly like the picture Roley paints of the Filpinos in the novel, but that’s the key. May 25, Caroline rated it did not like it Shelves: Mar 09, Joshua C. The narrator is A powerful novel about ethnically fluid California, and the corrosive relationship between two Filipino brothers. Jul 29, Camille rated it did not like it. He left the mother, Ivy, to raise her two sons on her own. Oct 21, Don rated it liked it Shelves: Really solid novel about first generation Filipinos in LA.

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This diasporic postcolonial immigrant tale is probably best read the second time around, when the various travails of the characters can be understood in hindsight. The racism that occurs in this novel effects how Gabe acts and identifies himself.

Jan 07, Keegan rated it it americzn ok. They feel they can pick on the older Asian woman who speaks broken English and scare her into paying. Mar 23, Erwin Magbanua rated it liked it. Formerly deemed a mama’s boy, Gabe runs away, stealing brina brother’s prized Oldsmobile and best dog, trying to escape his brother’s growing influence. Gabe and Tomas are teenagers being raised by their Filipino mother. I come from an entirely different world but I have some resonance with these characters.


Paperbackpages. At times she looks mad but at others she seems hurt, and I cannot tell which look asccalon my memory and which is my imagination. Ivy, rolsy is very timid and insecure about her thick Filipino accent, relies on Gabe, the younger son, to help her communicate and get regular errands done.


Briwn at the end, they stood up for her the only way they knew how, and even though the story had no real ending, it is realistic for literary fiction and I appreciate that the author did amedican foist an unrealistic sappy happy ending when life is not that way.

There are not unexpected happy endings for this family. Despite rare lulls in the plot and an occasional glitch in the novel’s overall strong structure, this is a powerhouse story of vulnerable strangers in a brutal, alien land told with stylish restraint, bare-knuckled realism and tender yet tough clarity.

No detail is wasted, no chance for drama ignored. Required reading for California Ethnic literature, Spring Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger.

Novel Conversations: American Son, by Brian Ascalon Roley

In the final section, Gabe is back home, forced into various criminal activities by Tomas to compensate for stealing his dog and car. American Son A Novel. In my “Manliness in American Literature” class, we were all a little disappointed that this book didn’t delve into homosexual rape or road trip philandering. Even though he is half Filipino and half white, he prefers to conceal the fact that he is part Filipino and present himself as just a white American in many events.

Altogether this was not a comfortable read though I did feel for the americxn and the younger son struggling to cope with Thomas and his controlling violent anti social behaviour.

Instead of highlighting the struggle of growing up mestizo on a first-hand basis, it really highlighted bian struggle of trying to fit in and identity, which would xscalon this book a great read for adolescents. While I appreciate how this text reveals sad truths about Filipino culture and gang violence.

Hard-hitting and brash, this debut novel takes a cold, clear-eyed look at the American immigrant experience. Trivia About American Son. Gabe, as the protagonist, is the most frustrating of the characters in his sheer listlessness, which is rendered all too well by Roley, almost to the point where I was often turned off by the depiction.


I completely understood the Fedco scene and later on the scene at the pharmacy when the salesgirl pointedly ignored their mother and acted like she was nonperson, the Asian mother who shies away from sales people and feels ignored and shunted aside, and people who look down on them with the broken English.

His betrayal of himself and his mother with the truck driver was enough to make me cringe; I almost had to put the book down. I enjoyed getting a view into Filipino culture and their American experience, a view I was previously lacking. I wasn’t sure what to make of Gabe–the young son and narrator–and Tomas, the kuya and gangster, but that was probably the point.

But Betino’s sister Ika, divorced from her American husband and living in the U. Posted by Laurel Singleton at 7: It, in fact, seems to be the only hope offered. Told with a hard-edged purity that brings to mind Cormac McCarthy and Denis Johnson, American Son is the story of two Filipino brothers adrift in contemporary California.

Or does that make the book disappointing? Tomas with gifts and Gabe by being there. The author creates a few piercing images, but, overall, the plotting is thin, leaving behind an impression rather than a fully realized story.

Available Our Retail Price: Sep 28, Derek rated it really liked americqn. Want to Read saving…. The themes out weighted the poor writing. Even as an exercise in first person narrators, this was terrible.

He’s writing about these particular Filipinos, characters with a specific backstory that causes them to act in certain ways–three-dimensional ways. Discover what to read next.