Moondogs: Book summary and reviews of Moondogs by Alexander Yates

Moondogs

A Novel

by Alexander Yates

Moondogs by Alexander Yates
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2011
    352 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A singularly effervescent novel pivoting around the disappearance of an American businessman in the Philippines and the long-suffering son, jilted lover, slick police commissioner, misguided villain, and supernatural saviors who all want a piece of him.

Mourning the recent loss of his mother, twenty-some­thing Benicio - aka Benny - travels to Manila to reconnect with his estranged father, Howard. But when he arrives his father is nowhere to be found - leaving an irri­tated son to conclude that Howard has let him down for the umpteenth time. However, his father has actually been kid­napped by a meth-addled cabdriver, with grand plans to sell him to local terrorists as bait in the country's never-ending power struggle between insurgents, separatists, and "demo­cratic" muscle.

Benicio's search for Howard reveals more about his father’s womanizing ways and suspicious business deals, reopening the old hurts that he'd hoped to mend. Interspersed with the son's inquiry and the father's calamitous life in captivity are the high-octane interconnecting narratives of Reynato Ocampo, the local celebrity-hero policeman charged with rescuing Howard; Ocampo's ragtag team of wizardry-infused soldiers; and Monique, a novice officer at the American embassy whose family still feels feverishly unmoored in the Philippines.

With blistering forward momentum, crackling dialogue, wonderfully bizarre turns, and glimpses into both Filipino and expat culture, the novel marches toward a stunning cli­max, which ultimately challenges our conventional ideas of family and identity and introduces Yates as a powerful new voice in contemporary literature.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The explosive array of personalities and coincidences moves at a breakneck pace, but the massive cast and jumble of (sometimes brutally violent) plots threaten to smother the heart of this unruly adventure: a surprisingly touching story of a son and his parents." - Publishers Weekly

"The vibrant and convincing setting coupled with the well-drawn major characters make for a competent crime story. Genre fans will find much to enjoy here; recommended." - Library Journal

"Starred Review. Yates handles the multiple points of view and fragmented narrative flawlessly...masterfully modulating the comic and violent effects. There's unexpected depth of emotion in the relationships and in the characters' connection to the land..." - Kirkus Reviews

"Yates is the real thing; a unique literary voice and natural storyteller with indelible characters, thrill-ride geopolitics and narrative mastery." - Arthur Flowers, author of Another Good Loving Blues

"Moondogs is the thrilla’ in Manila, a rollicking mash-up of magic and mayhem that grabs you by the collar and won't let go. Alexander Yates sizzles." - Keith Donohue, author of The Stolen Child and Angels of Destruction

"An electric and fierce debut novel where strangers share a world with the estranged, and their hidden secrets and open hostilities are equally combustible. Yates writes with a sense of color and heat that crackles in the voices of his star-crossed characters and adds a vivid glow to the streets of Manila and waters of the Philippines. Moondogs beckons, drawing readers onward with a vibrant intensity that is both lyrical and thrilling." - Ravi Howard, author of Like Trees, Walking

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More Information

Alexander Yates grew up in Haiti, Mexico, Bolivia, and the Philippines. He holds an MFA from Syracuse University, and his short story "Everything, Clearly" will appear in the 2010 American Fiction: Best Short Stories by Emerging Writers.

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