American Son. A Novel. Brian Ascalon Roley (Author) to mind Cormac McCarthy and Denis Johnson, American Son is the story of two Filipino brothers adrift in. 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. Brian Ascalon Roley. American Son. Plot overview and analysis written by an experienced literary critic. Full study guide for this title currently under development.

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I’m not sure I would read it again, myself, but it was certainly enjoyable the first go around and I’d recommend anyone interested in Asian American studies, Asian American familial relationships, and Asian Americans in the 90’s all of these specifically in relation to Filipinos check this title out.

The story is punctuated amerifan the other’s brother in the Philippines who writes to her offering to have the boys “back home where they would learn respect and be zon properly”.

Through the more vulnerable Gabe, alone in a whiter world of small-town California, we can understand why his older, angrier brother might have started stealing stereos and flaunting full-body tattoos. American Son is a good story and an easy read, what more can one ask for? While some portions of it resonated roleyy with me, as a second generation Filipino living in LA myself, that was definitely not enough to save this book.

This woman hounded my mother and followed her home haranguing her to just pay up. My mother had a parking lot incident where a woman accused her of denting her car with a shopping cart, even though my mother was returning the cart to the holder and wasn’t near her car.

American Son by Brian Ascalon Roley captures an interesting immigrant experience of a family that moves from the Philippines to California. The cultural landscape is also real, at least for people over thirty.

A very sad rad and a case of intelligent youth just wasting their lives through some sort of anger and resentment against society.

The book’s ending is a cliffhanger. Their mother, who moved to America to escape the caste system of Manila and is now divorced from their American father, struggles to keep her sons in line while working two dead-end jobs.


We were the foreign ones with the weird clothes and our mother was very much like Tomas and Gabe’s mother. Ads are currently disabled. Paperbackpages. Does that make us sick? To ask other readers questions about American Sonplease sign up. No detail is wasted, no chance for drama ignored. 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. A Tale for the Time Being: Would you like to tell us about a lower price?

The younger son there is more hope for but he is pulled in all directions – big brother is horrible and controlling, other ineffective and struggling but he tries to help her, and other relatives who also put in their two penneth. At the same time, I think the intention of the ambiguous ending was not for something overly dramatic to happen but for the reader to root for Gabe to do something more dramatic than what was expected of him before, without going OOC.

When Tomas decides they need to take revenge on a woman who is hounding their mother about paying for minor damages to her Land Rover, Gabe’s descent into Tomas’s world seems complete.

The way she [Gabe’s mother] looked at that moment–it haunts me–and I go over it in my head, trying to figure out what she was feeling.

Brian Roley is actually a professor at my university and we got to meet him. Gabe, the younger son and narrator, is “the son who is quiet and no trouble”; but Gabe is struggling–he feels out of place with at school and in the neighborhood, he’s afraid of his own brother, and he loves but is ashamed of his mother.

American Son: A Novel: Brian Ascalon Roley: : Books

At the beginning of each of the novel’s three sections, a letter from Betino, the boys’ prominent uncle still living in the Philippines, details a shinier, easier life there, far away from Mexican hoodlums and the Los Angeles ghettos. Dec 24, Timothy rated it really liked it. A powerful novel about ethnically fluid California, and the corrosive relationship between two Filipino brothers.

The first section focuses on Tomas, his dogs, and the multiple ways in which he embarrasses and abuses Gabe and their mother. Refresh and try again. There are not unexpected happy endings for this family. We were the foreign ones with the weird clothes and our mother was very much like Tomas and Gabe’s mother.


The extent that he goes to hide the fact that he is part Asian gets you to think of what you would do if you were in his position. He’s writing about these particular Filipinos, characters with a specific backstory This gets a three out of five, mostly because what Roley did with the narrative structure didn’t work for me.

Yes, I’ve heard the criticisms of Roley and other writers who “dare” to show Filipinos in a “bad light.

American Son

One may not particularly like the picture Roley paints of the Filpinos in the novel, but that’s the key. Open Preview See a Problem?

Yet it’s not always enough. 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. Although the book doesn’t end all neatly tied up in a little bundle, I think it reflects more accurately real life and it’s vagaries. This book highlights the difficult cultural experiences Filipinos and Filipino-Americans experience in the U. East Dane Designer Men’s Fashion. Oct 10, Ridgewalker rated it liked it. I actually regret reading this book.

I’m grateful that I know I have come a long way from that, but I still have room to grow. Want to Read saving…. Maybe now, younger Filipinos have more pride and nationalism, but I have friends who have Filipino mothers, but are half white and they have green eyes and light skin. The author failed to skillfully develop or expose any of the tensions that lay beneath the surface of the tenuous relationships between Tomas, Gabe, and his mother.

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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Amazon Rapids Fun stories for kids on the go. I will admit though that the story didn’t quite work for me as a whole.