Book Review: Dumot by Alan Navarra

Alan Navarra's Dumot is what happens when you get all your anger out and decided that they will do better with unfathomable graphics.

"I hate it. Like the last kiss from a scorned one-nighter. Like the walls of inch-thick dirt that have been there for 14 years. Redundant conversations in a basement that echo for months on end. A staircase with old, stinky wood. Prime time kabobohan. 4-day old socks. Reflective surfaces in moments of discomfort. Blood all the wrong places. A painful gut. And just like the pain of process-oriented frustration, I hate it." - Goodreads


Dumot introduces us the urban world of Michael Perez- whose existence we have to mourn about (because he himself mourns about it anyway). It follows his attempt to survive his hostile world of rude co-workers, misunderstood boss, disbanding musicians and other seemingly mundane stuff that got him grudging. There isn't much of a story in there actually; instead, we are brought to what can be the darkest cave in the world- an introvert's mind complete with all the possible kind of angst known to man. A series of scammers' texts, an unfinished resignation letter (which I actually expected to turn into a suicide note), confidential messages, random thought balloons, angry/ anger alphabets, slimy alien-kind of graphics, etc. If there is something Alan Navarra does not know, it is chronology.

In spite of its short length and the fact that it is mostly made up of graphics, Dumot is not an easy read. It isn't something that you can spare for your bus rides, or well truth be told, when you're emancipating yourself from your digestive toxins. It demands time and mental preparation. Sooner or later, you will find yourself re-reading a line or even an entire page, or actually, even a series of pages in an attempt to understand even a single thing that is happening. The thing about Dumot is that it seems so profound and monumental, but really, it is nothing but a concoction of life's shits and how they make us feel alive. For a moment, you will be forced to understand what is happening, as if your mind is consciously pushing itself to create at least an image of a brisk storyline. However, as the words get more and more complicated and so are the bizarre graphics, you will eventually find yourself just swallowing everything. You will read the rest of the book as if it is your own words, it will immerse to your deepest thoughts. There aren’t many books in the world that have the ability to penetrate its readers, no matter how ambiguous that sounds, but nevertheless, Dumot is one of them.

Perhaps it is because of the fact that it discussed such a wide and encompassing topic (life's shits, okay), that all the readers will be able to find a little of themselves somewhere in between the perplexing life of the major character, whose characterization becomes more and more diluted as the story becomes more and more obfuscating (I told you we have to mourn about him). Let us face it, every workers in the world no matter how perfect their jobs can be have complained about their bosses in one way or another; or perhaps something more general, not a single soul in this world remained stoic and unemotional when Eraserheads and Oasis disbanded.

It is as if Alan Navarra is in fact a chronicler of all of us, whose main goal is to record all the bad stuff happening to us, and Michael Perez is just unfortunate enough to be the product. How nice is that.

"Go ahead. You can line me up with the fuck nuts, The kind of people who, as of yet cannot be fathomed, dismantled, defined, helped and cured by society and science. People who are used to finger-pointing, but cannot really be placed a finger on. Can't put a digit on them, can't really contain them. So the world adjusts to these blurs in their own minds, these day creepers and night stalkers who tread the line between creativity, creator and creation: living through sleepless nights, wallowing disappointment of being awake during hours meant for sleeping." - Dumot, Alan Navarra

"Your face is an awkward moment." - Dumot, Alan Navarra

"Dagadagan pa natin ang pagkukulang mo sa pansin at paligo. Dahil kahit dapat walang iwanan basta't ikaw kasama ko aalis na 'ko. Mag-isa ka na dyan." - Dumot, Alan Navarra

* Dumot is available at Lazada Philippines. Cash on delivery and free shipping nationwide! Check out their website for more promo and discounts. You may also follow their twitter account @LazadaPH and like their Facebook page Lazada Philippines.

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