The Gangster Of Love by Jessica HagedornThe Gangster Of Love by Jessica Hagedorn

The Gangster Of Love

byJessica Hagedorn

Paperback | October 1, 1997

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 88 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


Ships within 1-2 weeks

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


? Nominated for The Irish Times International Fiction Prize? The author?s first novel, Dogeaters, was nominated for a National Book Award in 1990 and was voted the best book of the year by the Before Columbus Foundation.Rocky Rivera arrives in the U.S. from the Philippines the day that Jimi Hendrix dies. So begins a blazing coming-of-age story suffused with the tensions of immigration which finds Rocky moving from the counter-culture in 1960s San Francisco to the extravagant music scene in Manhattan of the 1980s.The Gangster of Love tells the story of the Rivera family as they make their new life in the States?all the while haunted by the memory of the father and the homeland they left behind. Among its members are Rocky?s haughty mother, who has impulsively left her father; Voltaire, her brother, prone to heavy depression and odd friendships with strangers; and Rocky herself, unsure about sex and worshipful of her boyfriend?the guitar-playing Elvis Chang?who must learn to accept reality amidst the myths and lures of American success and idolatry.
Jessica Hagedorn is the author of the novels Dogeaters and The Gangster of Love, Dream Jungle, and a collection of poetry and short fiction, Danger and Beauty.
Title:The Gangster Of LoveFormat:PaperbackPublished:October 1, 1997Publisher:Penguin Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140159703

ISBN - 13:9780140159707

Look for similar items by category:


Rated 2 out of 5 by from Wasn't as interesting as I thought it would be. I chose to read his book because the summary sounded interesting. There wasn't really anything that suggested Rocky had trouble adapting to being in a new country though, it was more like her mother and brother had the troubles. Jessica Hagehorn has a writing style which invokes the reader to imagine the imagery behind her words. The characters have unique personalities, but I think the story could have better if she wrote in other character's POVs too, like Voltaire, Rocky's brother. You'd think he'd have chances to speak out his side of the story, but no. There are 2 dream scenes Rocky has, which supposedly have symbolic meanings to music and Jimi Hendrix, but they just confuse readers who aren't aware of familiar with rock history. This book does however show how Rocky transformed through life, first as a rebellious teenager to a mother. Themes of religion, family, culture/identity are in this book, and they help Rocky's character grow up. When the author changes POVs though, it isn't really evident, which is confusing at times. Sometimes it's also wearisome, because the Tagalog in the book is not translated into English. The ending was kind of disappointing, as it leaves off like a cliffhanger. Though this makes the reader imagine the ending, you also get frustrated because you never know what truly happens. If you want to know what happens, read the book. It's an okay read, just be prepared to not like the ending, and make sure you can handle reading about mature themes before picking up this book.
Date published: 2010-06-22
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Total waste of time This book was a poor piece of writing. The plot followed no definitive path, the characters were static, though in the author's defense, she did attempt to make the characters realistic (but in a very poor simple way), and the ending was GARBAGE. The way the book ended, you would think the author forgot to finish. Maybe she was going for some artsy writing style or something, but whatever she was attempting was executed in a childish way. In summation, this book sucked, save your money and check out another book, you will not be missing anything by passing over this one.
Date published: 2010-06-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from At least I didn't fall alsleep. Well, first of all, I just want to say that this book wasn't great, but it wasn't bad. Out of 2 "leaves," it was a 2- wasn't bad. I had chosen to read this book because it was for my grade 11U English class. So I had no choice but to read it. When I started the book, it started off REALLY slow. Like, REALLY SLOW. It didn't really catch my attention (because usually I put down a book if the beginning doesn't grab my attention) but I continued. So as I continued to read, I guess it got more interesting. Interesting enough to keep me going, at least. So, I'm not really a big fan of rock music and Jimi Hendrix and all that other stuff. So, because of this I was really lost when it came to certain events in the novel. Also, the chapters would switch from Rocky's POV to Keikio's to Elvis and back to Rocky. Wow, soo confusing! Anyways, under all those "bad" aspects of the book (SORRY!) I loved Rocky's journey through life. The way she evolved as years came (in the novel) was amazing. From the struggles with her brother & parents, to her sexuality to her religion, it was really easy connect to the character of Rocky. The plot of the book was well planned and the ending couldn't have been better. I wasn't expecting it, but it concluded pretty much all the events in the novel. Good Job Jessica Hagedorn!
Date published: 2010-06-09

From Our Editors

An elegant and smart novel by the author of "Dogeaters" which captures the pain of leaving one country behind and the struggle to adapt to a new one, "The Gangster of Love" tells the story of the Rivera family from the Philippines, who have come to the United States to make a new life