The Gangster of Love, by Jessica Hagedorn
I’m afraid I couldn’t finish this one. I didn’t hate it, but we just didn’t jive.
Anyway, this book concerns Rocky, who immigrates with her mother and brother Voltaire to America from the Philippines. Rocky wants to be a poet, a rock star. Even as she tries to reinvent herself as an American, as an adult, she’s glancing over her shoulder at her past. Rocky wants to be sexually open, wants to understand love, but she’s constantly bickering with her broody boyfriend Elvis Chang. Her friends include lecherous druggie drummer Sly and Keiko, a self-centered, mercurial diva. We hop with them through shitty dive bars, back alleys, shabby-grunge apartments, and drugged hazes. Rocky thinks her thoughts, and we read them.
Meanwhile, Rocky’s relatives negotiate past and present too. Voltaire falls prey to severe depression and befriends strays. Rocky’s mother starts a lumpia catering business, toys with the hearts of her male neighbors, and harps on memories. Rocky’s uncle, a retired actor, slowly grows old.
Everybody just kinda muddles around. Things change, but not in fundamental ways. And then the book was overdue at the library, and I’d renewed it too many times, and the fines were accumulating, and I realized, I’ve gotta free myself from the tyrannical need to finish books. So back it went.
The 215 in 2015 series chronicles every book I read in 2015. Each review contains exactly 215 words, because 2015 words is too long and 2015 characters is too dang short. And yes, this review is backlogged from 2015.
Want more of my book reviews? Click here!