Month: April 2011

3 star - liked it

The Food of the Gods – H. G. Wells

The Food Of The Gods - H. G. Wells

The Food Of The Gods - H. G. Wells


I really don’t know what came to me. Maybe it was the series of heavy books that I read in a row. Orwell? Golding? All those -topia books. Anything that had to do with the society.

And Wells. It is indeed a good follow-up for such books like 1984 and Lord of the Flies. But this book is not one of his more popular ones. I think it is underrated. I think it is not as well-read as his other books. Well, what are his other books?

Oh, The War of the Worlds. I haven’t read that one yet. And I digress. So yes, what do I remember about The Food of the Gods?

The Rhapsody

Tada! I don’t remember much. Are you not surprised?

Seriously, I remember a feeling akin to displacement. But let’s go to the key events first. Some scientists achieved a breakthrough by creating a formula that would speed up the growth of a human being. I am not sure if it was a formula or if it was a food or if it was a formula that you can inject to your food or mix with milk, water, beer if you please, ad infinitum. From this point, I’ll refer to it as The Food.

So it was tested on babies. Yes, they grew to heights where they could be NBA all stars at the age of three. Or even less. And they didn’t stop growing. They became freakishly big. I wonder what happens when they fart or piss. Worse, take a dump. But that’s beside the point. I am not sure if they had an overdose of The Food or if they were continually fed with it. But this is what I am sure of. The smaller people were threatened.

The sheer size of these giants were enough for them to put power in their big hands. The smaller people drove them away, secluding them from their society. The giants were left to themselves, feeling desolate and consoling themselves with the other giants. You see, the strange thing is that these giants did not even take advantage of their huge masses to crush the smaller people. Gentle giants come into mind when I think of the conversations of these giants about their destinies and their place in the society.

How big were they anyway? They were big enough to step over a car. That’s what I imagine. Did the government provide them anything for their survival? I don’t really know. Heck, I don’t even remember a single character.

Perhaps that is a point. There is no focus on characters. The narrative just shows you what it’s like to have a giant sleeping on your garden, destroying the cabbage patch and all the rose bushes and all that. And the gall of the smaller people! They would always demand for an apology and shoo these giants away.

And they never flicked these smaller people. They could have picked them up one by one and broke their necks like pesky insects. And they didn’t. They knew better than that. And I think they left to build their own community. And that just broke my heart. So big yet so powerless.

We often relate power with something big. In this case, the amount of body mass. And ironically, it is inversely proportional in this science fiction. It is way too much that people got scared. They ganged up on the giants. What can they do? They may be big but they don’t fit in. That is both literal and metaphysical. And what does one do when one cannot fit in? Try. Or Die.

3 star - liked itFinal Notes

I am now looking at my office mate’s desk. There’s a bottle of iced tea and a bar of pastry. The label says Food of the Gods. He offered me one yesterday. He said that it’s really good. I declined his offer.

My office mate is huge. I think he weighs around 250 pounds. And he is nice. He is quiet, a little shy, doesn’t really talk and complain. Unlike me. I rant a lot and I’m not even half of his weight.

So what’s the point? I don’t think I have one. I am just saying. And I have an urge to eat his Food of the Gods.

Number9Dream – David Mitchell

Number9Dream - David Mitchell

Number9Dream - David Mitchell

Who bought it: Me.

What is it: It’s about this Japanese boy who is looking for his father. Okay, now I’m not so sure. I really didn’t read the blurb. I just went to the fiction section, looked for Mitchell, saw the book, pulled it out of the shelf, and marched to the counter.

When: April 25, 2011

Where: Fully Booked – SM Clark

Why: I buy books to mark certain occasions or events. And for this one, it’s my birthday. Hurrah! I was thinking of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, but the only copy available is hardbound. And I don’t like them, hardbounds.

How much: Php 399.00

Tropic Of Cancer – Henry Miller

Tropic Of Cancer - Henry Miller

Tropic Of Cancer - Henry Miller

Date Started: April 21, 2011. Around midnight.

This is already my third attempt at reading this novel. I hope I can finish it this time despite my wonderful reading of Cloud Atlas. Anyway, to entertain myself and to keep my going, I decided to count the number of times the author has used the word “cunt”.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Lord of the Flies – William Golding


This is the book that me and my friend call “The Book That Cannot Be Named.” It is currently in my Top Ten Books of All Time, although it is now standing on shaky grounds because my current read is impressing me big time.

Anyway, why is it that we gave it that name? A better book title? No. It’s for the simple reason that my friend hates it to the bone. He can’t believe that I love this book. He thinks it’s an utter waste of time, lacking any literary aspiration at all. He even wonders what is wrong with the Nobel for making the author a laureate.

So we always fight about the merits and demerits of the book. And we fight with such ardor. Thus, it is indeed the book that cannot be named lest our friendship goes kaput.

The Rhapsody

I always tell my friend that the beauty of this book lies in the inspection of the society through a group of marooned boys. He would say that yes, yes, I already know that, and he would go on saying that it seems improper to do a social satire on this premise.

Huh? Where’s the sense in that? If you are with me, there is none, really. But that’s just his own taste. Nothing can be really argued about that. Degustibus non est disputandum.

So I haven’t really answered the question. Why do I love it?

First are the symbols embodied in the major players. There is our charismatic hero Ralph, the smart sidekick Piggy, the anti-hero Jack, the real villain Roger, and the poet Simon. The casting is perfect. Including the other boys who represent the masses, this is what our society is made of.

Ralph is chosen the leader of the group because of that conch. Well, he was able to blow it like a horn, so it is something which made him earn the respect of the boys. He is an ideal leader with good intentions. He often seeks out the help of his friend Piggy who acts like an economic, political, financial, whatever adviser. Together, they could lead the group of boys to safety and survival.

However, there is Jack, who is also a leader in his own rights. It is just that he represents that other side of the sphere. He emerges with his own group and crashes against Ralph, along with his cohorts, particularly Roger the sadist. So the leadership is taken away from Ralph and he is thrown into the outskirts of the group, with Piggy, of course.

And why should there be a poet? What is the importance of Simon in this group? As the poet, he will bring sense and truth to them. But he is mocked. He is killed. And like a true poet, he has predicted this death.

Riot after riot. Piggy dies too, his skull crushed on the sea rocks with his brains splattered out. And Ralph could have died too had it not been for the arrival of a naval ship. The boys are rescued. Right. But the portentous last words tells us that it might not be so. There is a bigger war going on a larger scale, nothing close to their little game in that deserted island.

5 star - it was amazingFinal Notes

When the audition dates for Survivor: Philippines were announced, I resolved to give it a try. First round was a group interview of five. You only have around two or three statements to make it or break it. Each group is lucky enough to have one applicant advance to the next round. There were a lot of groups who got eliminated, and my estimate is that only less than 10% of those applicants got through.

Second round was still an interview. This time, there’s a camera and only 30 seconds to impress the guys behind the cameras. Again, it was batched, this time by 20. In our batch, I was the first one. I didn’t have time to formulate my words. I was all nerves. And what does this have to do with the book?

I already said that this book is an inspection of the society. It tries to unearth the root causes of the evils that are pervading in it. You throw out a number of people in an island, and they are forced to work together. Thus, the foundation of a society.

This is what the author did. The evils are unearthed in the society that the group of boys formed. The evils lie in our deepest desires residing in our souls. Are these evils caused by the will to survive? Yes. Is it human nature? Most likely. So what can one do to purge these evils?

That’s what I want to know for myself. In my audition, I was asked why should they pick me as a castaway. I said that I am a huge Survivor fan, and after watching season after season of the US series, I can say that this TV show is a social experiment. With the last two words, the guy who asked me the question looked at me with interest. I continued by saying that the show, in a way, scrutinizes the flaws of a society’s foundation and exposes how dark the human soul can go for power and survival. I wanted so much to be a part of this experiment not so much for the money as for the realizations that I can reach.

Good answer? I don’t think so. That guy, who must be the casting director, shook his head when I made mention of the money. He didn’t believe that I would go hungry, filthy, paranoid, and exposed to the raw elements not because of money. So in our batch of 20, only one guy made it to the next level.

And what do you know? This guy put on a good show, screaming that he will prove that he is a worthy Survivor by jumping off a helicopter. Huh?

Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell

Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

Date Started: April 21, 2010. 2:30 AM.

I know I already seem like a rabid fan, posting this book under three different categories, namely Wish List, Book Shelf, and Currently Reading. So it can be assumed that I have high expectations, and I am glad to announce that these expectations were rightly met. And after just one chapter, I am thinking of buying all his books. Hopefully, I could find one over the weekend.