An intricate series of events about of a kid growing up in a rural village. His innocence clashes with a world of adult idiocy and tragedy normally found in tales of filipino urban life. Hopefully he does not turn into the horrid personae exemplified throughout. The story is rich, the protagonist not a pathetic anti-hero, but the writing shows its straight-ahead translation. (taken from my Listmania description)
I understand that the writer is Japanese and that this was translated to English. But it was done too exactly. It could be either the translator or the writer at fault. But take Haruki Murakami -- his translated novels are very deep and emotional with intricate storylines.
Some words such as common phrases could have been written in tagalog or other filipino languages, with an explanation included in the character's voice. This would give the novel some character and perhaps authenticity. As for the voice of this book, I could see that it portrays some of the character's young age by being so simple and methodical, but this book is almost all plot. Or perhaps the kid is often having a deer in the headlights response -- in which case he is rather pathetic. There's hardly anything in depth about his thoughts and feelings. Or rather an exploration of it. This is akin to a shallow action movie that's all plot and no depth.