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ninja chipmunks united

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( "He was an American; he wanted to be supreme but ordinary, a tycoon and a regular guy, an author and a reader."

- Suspects, by David Thomson )

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09/11/2013 14:06:41


Press materials state that Trash is set “In an unnamed Third World country, in the not-so-distant future.” Yet while reading, all the details of character names, typhoons, pesos, and places like Green Hills shouted “Philippines” to me. My suspicion was confirmed with the mention of the Tagalog/Pilipino honorific “po.” Generations of families living in trash heaps like Smokey Mountain is not a near-future concept in the Philippines. Mulligan states in the afterword that he based much of the novel upon his experiences in the country and has one character “fall in love” with Philippine people, culture, and natural beauty. The upcoming UK-produced film adaptation, however moves the action to Brazil, where they are filming in Rio de Janeiro. The Philippines and Brazil may have a similar colonial past and corruption-filled present, but one wonders what production decisions led to trading one “third-world” country for another. Then again, while the movie could have pumped money into a Philippine region, there’s a question brought up by the novel (and by comparisons to Slumdog Millionaire): who would really benefit?

click-through for my review of the younger readers’ novel Trash.

Press materials state that Trash is set “In an unnamed Third World country, in the not-so-distant future.” Yet while reading, all the details of character names, typhoons, pesos, and places like Green Hills shouted “Philippines” to me. My suspicion was confirmed with the mention of the Tagalog/Pilipino honorific “po.” Generations of families living in trash heaps like Smokey Mountain is not a near-future concept in the Philippines. Mulligan states in the afterword that he based much of the novel upon his experiences in the country and has one character “fall in love” with Philippine people, culture, and natural beauty. The upcoming UK-produced film adaptation, however moves the action to Brazil, where they are filming in Rio de Janeiro. The Philippines and Brazil may have a similar colonial past and corruption-filled present, but one wonders what production decisions led to trading one “third-world” country for another. Then again, while the movie could have pumped money into a Philippine region, there’s a question brought up by the novel (and by comparisons to Slumdog Millionaire): who would really benefit?

click-through for my review of the younger readers’ novel Trash.

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