Book Review: Ang mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan By Bob Ong

Ang Mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan is the eight book written by the Filipino author Bob Ong. I’ve read his previous works and I found it entertaining, fun and radical in some ways. Bob Ong is known for his exemplary and hard-to-forget quotable quotes. His writings are very appealing to mass readers.

However, Bob Ong’s latest book entitled “Ang mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan” has a different genre. It is a horror flick written in a journal format. Reading the book is just like reading a journal of a teenage guy named Galo Manansala. The shifting of the story is brilliant, from love story to drama story and finally, to the horrifying experience that none of us would even wish to experience. The first 30 pages of the book for me are some kind of boring. It’s a usual journal of a teenage guy telling story about his failed relationship with a girlfriend and family problems. But the story really started when Galo decided to go back to the province to take care of his ill grandmother.

I don’t want to tell more about the story as this may spoil you. I just want to point out some strong points of this book that could be enough reason why you should read it.

1. It’s not a book, it’s a journal

For me, Bob Ong has risked his credibility on his book. We’ve known him for his good stories and content rich books. In this book, Bob Ong would like us to see his different style of writing. He is mischievous in this book because he knew that people would like to intervene the life of other people. If he will write it in a journal format, readers would somehow engross with the content as they will become curious about what is happening to the life of the one who wrote it.

2. All in One Genre

This book is “All in one” book. There’s drama, there’s fiction, there’s reality, there’s horror, there’s romance, there’s comedy, there’s fantasy. Think of a genre and you can find it in this book. This is I think a brilliant idea to tell a story.

3. Ordinary Experience in an Extraordinary story

Broken Family
Difficulties in study
Underdog story
Financial problems
Love problem

I believe you could relate to at least one aspect I’ve mentioned above? Bob Ong was able to organize ordinary experiences so that readers could relate and could somehow become interested to the character in the story. He was able to play on these ordinary experiences to make extraordinary story.

“Ang mga kaibigan ni Mama Susan” may not qualify to be somebody's favourite Bob Ong’s book, but story wise, it is something worth reading.