The narrator, Primi, has a refreshing lack of self-consciousness that gives the book the feel of another era ... Apostol grants Primi an exhilarating agency in pursuing these literary and sexual quests, merging her bookish and bodily cravings ... Apostol creates a striking contrast between wry, outlandish statements and earnest ones verging on spiritual ... These last sections have more immediacy and fully realized scenes than the rest of the book. As in many first novels, events in Bibliolepsy often occur in summaries rather than sustained scenes that extend long enough to evoke the nuances of a significant moment.
The book, which is largely about how democracy is both desirable and fragile, is as relevant as ever in 2022 ... might be about revolution, but it is deeply introspective and inward-looking ... The political underpinnings of Biblioepsy may still be relevant, but at times the book’s literary style shows its age, full of self-referential commentary and metafictional techniques in vogue in the late 20th century. The prose, though, is still fresh and at times very funny.
Apostol shows a beautiful light and easy touch here. There is a constant stream of wordplay and literary reference, but it is not overdone (as is so often the case in these kinds of stories with word- and book-loving narrators) ... Apostol manages the difficult balancing act here of creating a convincing character in a larger-than-life and very colorful world around her. It works in part so well because of the quick, easy style, feeling both dashed off and yet consistently to the point ... First novels, and novels featuring book-obsessed narrators, are so easily and often vastly overwritten, but Bibliolepsy is an airy delight, the writing quick and sharp. Apostol shows just the right restraint ... It's a lovely piece of work, and makes for very good reading.
Filipino author Apostol’s extraordinary latest...is a feverish tale of love and longing for the written word ... Apostol’s language is a constant delight, frank and full of felicitous turns of phrase and abundant humor. Layered and fully realized, it’s deserving of several readings.
...this is a book of its literary time, when metafiction flourished. Though it can be hard not to grow impatient with its curlicues of prose, self-referentiality, and almost total absence of linear plot, the novel is full of little verbal surprises and humor, and it's fun to watch the author play with the contrast between her self-involved heroine...and the reality of radical political change ... An occasionally frustrating but often entertaining literary throwback.