Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco

Ilustrado: A Novel BY Miguel Syjuco. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Hardcover, 320 pages. $26.
The cover of Ilustrado: A Novel

Miguel Syjuco's wildly entertaining "Ilustrado" was the recipient of the 2008 Man Asia Literary Prize. Such awards, as readers know, all too often go to earnest, high-minded, politically correct and rather dull books. In this case, I picture the judges, weary from perusing massive laser-printed works of heart-sinking merit, suddenly rejoicing at the discovery of a manuscript as engaging as this one, absolutely assured in its tone, literary sophistication and satirical humo