American Son has ratings and 45 reviews. Rachelle said: Realistic and edgy portrayal. I know exactly what the two brother, Tomas and Gabe feel, and h. American Son is a novel that was written by American author Brian Ascalon Roley and published by W. W. Norton & Company Publishing in paperback format in. Tomas is the son who helps pay the mortgage by selling attack dogs to rich people .. Excerpted from American Son by Brian Ascalon Roley.

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When Gabe runs away, he brings shame and unforeseen a,erican to the family. Without a doubt shocking and emotionally wrenching account of the brutal life experience of a young working class Fil-Am mestizo and his broken family in Los Angeles. This story was very real for me growing up in Los Angeles and the author’s descriptions are true, from the spindly rat infested palm trees to the smudgy plastic stackables from the smogthe hazy thick Marine layer, the thin strip of beach were the airplanes take off over, and the pavement filled with tar in the cracks rather than fixed.

Tomas, the older of the two, has been kicked out of their Catholic high school in Los Angeles, dresses like a Latino gang member, and breeds and trains attack dogs to sell to nervous celebrities. While I’m not sure that I’d use the book in its entirety, there are some excerpts that would certainly be thought-provoking.

The first section focuses on Tomas, his dogs, and the multiple ways in which he embarrasses and abuses Gabe and their mother. My family had moved to America before I was born and because of this novel I think about the struggles they have gone through for the sake achieving the American dream. It is the profoundly sad story of two Filipino-American teenage brothers; their mother is Filipino, their absent father Anglo-American.


To ask awcalon readers questions about American Sonvrian sign up. Published inthe story centers around a struggling Filipino immigrant family in California.

Does that make us sick? Realistic and edgy portrayal.

I will admit though that the story didn’t quite work for americqn as a whole. He’s writing about these particular Filipinos, characters with a specific backstory that causes them to act in certain ways–three-dimensional ways. The ameriacn itself was poorly written and the characters that Roley creates are absolutely flat. Sep 28, Derek rated it really liked it. I did get this story and enjoyed it. Despite rare lulls in the plot and an occasional glitch in the novel’s overall strong structure, this is a powerhouse story of vulnerable strangers in a brutal, alien land told with stylish restraint, bare-knuckled realism and tender yet tough clarity.

Novel Conversations: American Son, by Brian Ascalon Roley

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Ivy, who is very timid and insecure about her thick Filipino accent, relies on Gabe, the younger son, to help her communicate and get American Son by Brian Ascalon Roley captures an interesting immigrant experience of a family that moves from the Philippines to California.

I thought it was a fun foray into Filipino-American literature. Mar 23, Erwin Magbanua rated it liked it. No detail is wasted, no chance for drama ignored. The novel follows the perspective of Gabe who is just a teenage boy. In my “Manliness in American Literature” class, we were all a little disappointed that this book didn’t delve into homosexual rape or road trip philandering. I read this as apart of my Spanish class at Notre Dame University.

At the same time, I think the intention of the ambiguous ending was not for something overly dramatic to happen but for the reader to root for Gabe to do something more dramatic than what was expected of him before, without going OOC. In the second section, Gabe has sold one of Tomas’s dogs, stolen his car, and taken off driving north; when the car breaks down, he ends up riding for hours with a tow truck driver whose bigoted commentary plays into Gabe’s myriad insecurities.


Hard-hitting and brash, this debut novel takes a cold, clear-eyed look at the American immigrant experience.

Everything else seemed to work, especially the characterizations. My mother had a parking lot incident where a woman accused her of denting her car with a shopping cart, even though my mother was returning the cart to the holder and wasn’t near her car.

I enjoyed getting a view into Won culture and their American experience, a view I was previously lacking.

American Son

When Tomas decides they need to take revenge on a woman who is hounding their mother about paying for minor damages to her Land Rover, Gabe’s descent into Tomas’s world seems complete. Feb 12, Natalie rated it really liked it. One of her boys, Tomas, has assumed the persona of a young Mexican street thug and is helping her make ends meet by raising and selling guard dogs to rich clients. Sometimes, they’re deeply emotional and self-imposed, becoming a part of one’s psychic landscape, which in turn shapes future behavior, for good or for ill.

Their mother, who moved to America to escape the caste system of Manila and is now rokey from their American father, struggles to keep her sons in line while working two dead-end jobs. The author failed to skillfully develop or expose any of the tensions that lay beneath the surface of the tenuous relationships between Tomas, Gabe, and his mother.

At any rate, this was pretty good. American Son was a great, fast read. Cart Support Osn in as: