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Dying for a Book

In third-world countries... bribery was a way of life. If you wanted to do business in Mexico, it was grease that got you through the doors. You could play the same game in the Philippines, as long as you played by the Filipino rule book.
Booked to Die and The Bookman's Wake are the first two books in John Dunning's series of Cliff Janeway novels. The quote above is from The Bookman's Wake (New York: Pocket Star, 1996), p. 350. It's possible that some Filipinos will be offended by the quote, but on the same day that I finished The Bookman's Wake, the person who sold me the computer that I'm using now gave me an overview of how some Internet cafes bribe their way to profitability, so I'd say that Dunning is pretty much right. Oh, and yes, I'll be blogging more regularly now =)

Back to the books. I bought both of them for a total of 227 pesos at Books for Less on Roces Avenue. The books are so good that I finished them in less than three days. These mysteries, however, are not for everyone. Aside from the murders, there are, of course, lots of book collecting trivia and literary allusions, not to mention a character driven to a killing spree because of a spelling error! And I thought I had a bad case of editor-itis.

By the way, please let me know if you have a copy of "the Filipino rule book" that Dunning refers to in the quote above. Let's make copies for all the bewildered foreigners and law-abiding Filipinos who can't understand how business should be done in the Philippines. I'm sure many are dying to get their hands on such a book.

Category: Books and Movies

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