The Samsons by F. Sionil Jose
Two Novels The Pretenders and Mass (Modern Library)

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Synopsis

With these two passionate, vividly realistic novels, The Pretenders and Mass,
F. Sionil José concludes his epochal Rosales Saga. The five volumes span much of the turbulent modern history of the Philippines, a beautiful and embattled nation once occupied by the Spanish, overrun by the Japanese, and dominated by the United States. The portraits painted in The Samsons, and in the previously published Modern Library paperback editions of Dusk and Don Vicente (containing Tree and My Brother, My Executioner), are vivid renderings of one family from the village of Rosales who contend with the forces of oppression and human nature.

Antonio Samson of The Pretenders is ambitious, educated, and torn by conflicting ideas of revolution. He marries well, which leads to his eventual downfall. In Mass, Pepe Samson, the bastard son of Antonio, is also ambitious, but in different ways. He comes to Manila mainly to satisfy his appetites, and after adventures erotic and economic, finds his life taking a surprising turn. Together, these novels form a portrait of a village and a nation, and conclude one of the masterpieces of Southeast Asian literature.
 

About F. Sionil Jose

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As the owner of the prominent Solidaridad Bookstore, F. Sionil Jose's literary life extends beyond his prolific output of writings to an avid promotion of literature and books. He is the founder of the Philippine Center of International PEN and former editor-publisher of the influential literary magazine Solidarity. He has written, "I left my village in the Central Luzon province of Pangasinan when I was thirteen. My Ilokano forefathers, driven away from their homes in the late nineteenth century by land hunger and Spanish oppression, settled in this village, which they called Cabugawan after the town of Cabugaw in Ilokos Sur, where they came from. It is in this village where I grew up, knew the drudgery of village life, and at the same time learned those solid virtues of industry and thrift which the Ilokansos are noted for." Jose is best known for his historical epic of five novels that follow Rosales, a village in Luzon, through a century of Philippine life. In these and other novels, his characters underscore the seemingly endless search for Filipino identity, moral order, and social justice. In exploring the impact of urbanization, he often highlights individual integrity in the face of corruption and evil. In 1979 Jose won the Palanca Award and in 1980 the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature, and Communication Arts.
 
Published March 20, 2013 by Modern Library. 560 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Samsons

Kirkus Reviews

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The final volume in Filipino author José’s Rosales Saga (after Dusk, 1998, and Don Vicente, 1999) consists of two short novels bringing the action up to the period of the Marcos dictatorship.

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Publishers Weekly

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Don Manuel proves his point when he shows Tony a canceled check made out to a magazine journalist whom Tony regards as a man of integrity.

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