Book: After Eden

"After Eden" by Arnold ArreAfter Eden was written with the story of Adam and Eve, the world’s very first “love story”, in mind.

The story tackles serious relationship issues like trust, morals, and sexual intimacy, and also re-introduces the concept of friendship.

The character couplings depict the various ways in which society views relationships. Jon & Celine represent the romantics. Greg & Lea represent the cynical and jaded. Mike & Cathy represent the childlike.

The setting is intentionally vague. It has no nationality. Love after all is universal.

Ultimately, After Eden can be summed up in these words: “For every two people who fall in love, Adam and Eve are reborn.”

Thank you for your interest, and I hope you enjoy the book.

– Arnold Arre, September 2002

And that was taken from the After Eden microsite over at Mr. Arnold Arre’s website–because I couldn’t find a book description. Why am I explaining this? Well, just in case someone asks why I’m quoting the author instead of putting the book description there. . . . I just probably wasted your time with that explanation.

What won’t waste your time though, is picking up a copy of Arnold Arre’s After Eden. If you can still find one, that is. Chachic, of Chachic’s Book Nook, lent me her copy of the graphic novel after I lent her Isaac Marion’s Warm Bodies. And when I return this to her, it’s going to be my turn to lend her Arre’s Mythology Class. And I can’t believe I just went off-tangent again. I have to stop doing that. Anyway–

After Eden is the story of Jon and Celine. A love story. And it’s not typical graphic novel fare. Well, not typical for the graphic novels I’m exposed to anyway. Which is why I thought it was a nice concept. Well, not nice enough to buy my own copy almost ten years ago–but a nice concept nonetheless.

Okay, now that we’ve established how nice the concept is; let’s talk about the story:

It’s actually very simple. The graphic novel isn’t very thick, and since art tells as much of the story as the dialogue, you know going in that it’s not going to be a very long read. What I really like though is how the story doesn’t feel rushed. You see the characters change as they interact with each other, and with their change comes consequences that are dealt with in real time. Well, real time within their world anyway. If it was real time in our world, I think I’d still be reading After Eden today. And that would be like following a reality show, wouldn’t it?

If there is anything I’d say against After Eden, it’s just these two: One, character development for Mike and Cathy are almost nonexistent. Which is a shame, since I thought there could be more to mine with the two–especially during the climax of the story. Two, I don’t understand why the author chose to separate the characters from each other in the end. I mean, a friend of mine is married now, a couple are with child–and we still see each other. And we already had Friendstery in 2002, so it’s not like there wasn’t a social networking platform to reconnect them.

Other than that, I think After Eden is a fantastic piece of fiction that would melt reader’s hearts.

Thank you, Chachic, for lending your copy to me!

11 thoughts on “Book: After Eden

  1. Is it out of print already? I had no idea! Good thing someone gave me a copy of this for my 18th birthday then. Otherwise, I don’t think I would have read it. I’m glad you enjoyed reading it and that you posted a review. I really should read and reread more Filipino books so I can review them on the blog.

    • I think so. I haven’t been seeing a copy of it since… well, since I heard someone looking for Mythology Class. I got curious and I started looking for After Eden as well.

      And yay for reading more Filipino works!

  2. On gripe #2 (I don’t understand why the author chose to separate the characters from each other in the end.) – Lahat ng paghihiwalay ay kailangang buo/ganap. Kung alam mong magkikita naman pala kayo sa Facebook, hindi ka tataya para sa pag-ibig. Tinatanggal ng Facebook ang tunay na hiwaga at pighati ng paghihiwalay at pangungulila.

    • Ngunit sa aking pagkakaintindi sa akda, hindi naman mahalaga sa kuwento ang paghihiwalay ng mga tauhan sa pagtatapos nito. Ang aking wari ay nagnais lamang ang may akda na bigyan ng mas ma-“drama” na katapusan ang kanyang kuwento–kahit hindi naman kailangan.

      Bukod pa doon, aking napagtanto na parang nais lamang iwasan ng may akda ang kumprontasyon na magaganap sa muling pagkikita ng mga tauhan.

      Ang mga ito ay aking pakiwari lang naman. Maaaring mali lamang ang aking pagkakabasa sa pagtatapos ng kuwento. =)

      • Hindi naman sa sinasabi kong mali ang reading mo tungkol sa pagtatapos ng nobela. Siguro na off lang ako sa “reasoning” kung bakit hindi naging katanggap-tanggap para sa iyo ang pagtatapos ng nobela. Parang, inuulit ko lang ang salita na nabanggit mo na rin, tangential ang lohika (ie. hindi kailangang maghiwalay kasi may Friendster/Facebook). Parang hindi lang kasi doon nanggagaling ang dissatisfaction mo na hindi mo na-articulate nang mabuti. Ipinakikita ko lang siguro ang isang gap sa train of thought. Na hindi kayang lubusang ipaliwanag/hindi kayang bigyang-solusyon ng pagkakaroon ng social networking sites ang pangangailangan/parampatan ng mga paghihiwalay.

    • I was only able to purchase Mythology Class, as these stories were released during the time I had to budget my money. They’re now rare classics. Kudos to everyone who were wise enough to buy copies when they could.

      I loved Mythology Class, by the way.

  3. Pingback: Book: Martial Law Babies | taking a break

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