Review: Twisted 8 1/2 by Jessica Zafra


Posted at Jan 27 2010 11:21 AM | Updated as of Jan 27 2010 08:32 PM

Twisted 8 1/2 by Jessica Zafra
112 pages
Anvil Publishing
ISBN 97127-23049


Browsing through the latest bestsellers at a National Bookstore near the office, I was pleasantly surprised to see the latest Twisted volume from that perennial doyenne of acerbic wit, Jessica Zafra. OK, more like half a volume. Clocking in at a thin 112 pages, Twisted 8 1/2 collects 27 of Jessica's "Emotional Weather Report" columns for The Philippine Star. Anyone who's read Zafra's past books knows the drill by now. Like a good episode of David Letterman, we know we're going to get intelligent conversation whatever Jessica chooses to tackle in her columns. This volume is no different. In between the obligatory Star Trek and tennis references, Zafra gives several history lessons on how technology has changed rapidly in the past 20 years or so ("Life Before Google", "Ode to the Walkman", "Requiem for the Compact Disc") while discussing her own adventures in adapting to new technologies such as digital cameras, 1-terabyte hard drives and the new MacBook Air. She also takes detours on last year's events such as the Great Book Blockade of 2009, the last Eraserheads concert (she was a former E-heads manager) and her now "historic" column on Michael Jackson's musical legacy. (Note: Zafra wrote a column on Michael Jackson that came out in the Philippine Star on the same day that Jackson died.) Curiously though, Zafra's sarcasm seems at half-power here - probably because of space constraints and the subject matter.


Its in old familiar territory though that Zafra's prose shines. Whether its skewering the McG-helmed action flick "Terminator Salvation", ranting about EDSA traffic or dishing out advice on "How not to be in a sex scandal", Zafra shows us the potency of her pen and why we keep coming back for more. Now, if we can only get to that next volume sooner...Review by David Dizon,