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The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

3.9 222
by Junot Díaz

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This is the long-awaited first novel from one of the most original and memorable writers working today.

Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. From his home in New Jersey, where he lives with his old-world mother and rebellious sister, Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien


This is the long-awaited first novel from one of the most original and memorable writers working today.

Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. From his home in New Jersey, where he lives with his old-world mother and rebellious sister, Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the fukú – the curse that has haunted the Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim.

Diaz immerses us in the tumultuous life of Oscar and the history of the family at large, rendering with genuine warmth and dazzling energy, humor, and insight the Dominican–American experience, and, ultimately, the endless human capacity to persevere in the face of heartbreak and loss. A true literary triumph, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao confirms Junot Diaz as one of the best and most exciting voices of our time.

Editorial Reviews

Ten years after his acclaimed short story collection Drowned, Junot Diaz returns with a lollapalooza of a debut novel centered on a grotesquely overweight Dominican-American teenager named Oscar. Lonely, loveless, and living almost completely inside his own head, Oscar is a "ghetto nerd" whose multiple obsessions include comic books, fantasy fiction, and supremely unobtainable women. In a story that moves back and forth between the Dominican Republic and Paterson, New Jersey, Diaz illuminates the tragic arc of Dominican history (especially under the brutal Trujillo regime) in the lives of Oscar's sister, mother, grandmother, and aunt. Shot through with witty cultural footnotes, scabrous slang, and touches of magic realism, this heartbreaking family saga is a work of brave originality.
Jabari Asim
…weirdly wonderful …Oscar clearly is not intended to function as a hero in the classical sense. Is he meant primarily to symbolize the tangled significance of desire, exile and homecoming? Or is he a 307-lb. warning that only slim guys get the girls? Are we to wring from his ample flesh more of that anguished diaspora stuff? Could be, but I find sufficient meaning in the sheer joy of absorbing Diaz's sentences, each rolled out with all the nerdy, wordy flair of an audacious imagination and a vocabulary to match…Diaz pulls it off with the same kind of eggheaded urban eloquence found in the work of Paul Beatty (The White Boy Shuffle), Victor LaValle (Slapboxing with Jesus), Mat Johnson (Drop) and his very own Drown. Geek swagger, baby. Get used to it.
—The Washington Post
Michiko Kakutani
Junot Diaz's Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is a wondrous, not-so-brief first novel that is so original it can only be described as Mario Vargas Llosa meets "Star Trek" meets David Foster Wallace meets Kanye West. It is funny, street-smart and keenly observed, and it unfolds from a comic portrait of a second-generation Dominican geek into a harrowing meditation on public and private history and the burdens of familial history. An extraordinarily vibrant book that's fueled by adrenaline-powered prose, it's confidently steered through several decades of history by a madcap, magpie voice that's equally at home talking about Tolkien and Trujillo, anime movies and ancient Dominican curses, sexual shenanigans at Rutgers University and secret police raids in Santo Domingo…It is Mr. Diaz's achievement in this galvanic novel that he's fashioned both a big picture window that opens out on the sorrows of Dominican history, and a small, intimate window that reveals one family's life and loves. In doing so, he's written a book that decisively establishes him as one of contemporary fiction's most distinctive and irresistible new voices.
—The New York Times
A. O. Scott
In The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Diaz, the author of a book of sexy, diamond-sharp stories called Drown, shows impressive high-low dexterity, flashing his geek credentials, his street wisdom and his literary learning with equal panache…Diaz's novel also has a wild, capacious spirit, making it feel much larger than it is. Within its relatively compact span, [it] contains an unruly multitude of styles and genres. The tale of Oscar's coming-of-age is in some ways the book's thinnest layer, a young-adult melodrama draped over a multigenerational immigrant family chronicle that dabbles in tropical magic realism, punk-rock feminism, hip-hop machismo, post-postmodern pyrotechnics and enough polymorphous multiculturalism to fill up an Introduction to Cultural Studies syllabus. Holding all this together—just barely, but in the end effectively—is a voice that is profane, lyrical, learned and tireless, a riot of accents and idioms coexisting within a single personality.
—The New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly

What a bargain to have Díaz's short story collection, Drown, included (on the last five CDs) with the talented, emerging Dominican-American writer's first novel. Davis reads both superbly. He captures not only the fat, virginal, impractical Oscar, but he also gives a sexy vigor to Yunior, who serves as narrator and Oscar's polar opposite. Davis also gives voice to Oscar's mother, Beli, whose fukúcurse infects the entire family, except for Oscar's sister, Lola, performed in a flat voice by Snell, whose performance overlooks Lola's energy and resolve. Both Snell and Davis move easily from English to Spanish/Spanglish and back again, as easily as the characters emigrate from the Dominican Republic to Paterson, N.J., only to be drawn back inexorably to their native island. Listeners unfamiliar with Spanish may have difficulty following some of the dialogue. However, it's better to lose a few sentences than to miss Davis's riveting performance, perfect pace and rich voice, which are perfectly suited to Díaz's brilliant work. Simultaneous release with the Riverhead hardcover (Reviews, June 18). (Sept.)

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School Library Journal

Díaz's remarkable debut novel tells the story of a lonely outsider with zest rather than pathos. Oscar grows up in a Dominican neighborhood in Paterson, NJ, as an overweight, homely lover of sf and fantasy. Reading such books and trying to emulate them in his own writing provide Oscar's only pleasure. What he really wants is love, but his romantic overtures are constantly rejected. The author balances Oscar's story with glances at the history of the Dominican Republic, focusing on the Rafael Trujillo dictatorship and its effect on Oscar's family. Díaz masterfully shifts between Oscar and his sister, mother, and grandfather to give this intimate character study an epic scale, showing that an individual life is the product of family history. Jonathan Davis's sensitive reading captures the romantic quest of the hero and the tragedy of life under Trujillo, and Staci Snell ably reads the alternating chapters dealing with Oscar's sister and mother. Also included is Drown, a collection of stories by Díaz. Highly recommended for all collections. [This book is a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.-Ed.]
—Michael Adams

Kirkus Reviews
A rich, impassioned vision of the Dominican Republic and its diaspora, filtered through the destiny of a single family. After a noted debut volume of short stories (Drown, 1996), Diaz pens a first novel that bursts alive in an ironic, confiding, exuberant voice. Its wider focus is an indictment of the terrible Trujillo regime and its aftermath, but the approach is oblique, traced backwards via the children (Oscar and Lola) of a larger-than-life but ruined Dominican matriarch, Beli. In earthy, streetwise, Spanish-interlaced prose, Diaz links overweight, nerdy fantasist Oscar, his combative, majestic sister and their once Amazonian mother to the island of their ancestry. There, an aunt, La Inca, with strange, possibly supernatural powers, heals and saves Beli after her involvement with one of Trujillo's minor henchman, who was married to the dictator's sister. Beli, at age14, had naively hoped this affair would lead to marriage and family, but instead her pregnancy incurred a near-fatal beating, after which she fled to New Jersey to a life of drudgery, single parenting and illness. By placing sad, lovelorn, virginal Oscar at the book's heart, Diaz softens the horrors visited on his antecedents, which began when Trujillo cast his predatory eye on wealthy Abelard Cabral's beautiful daughter. Was the heap of catastrophes that ensued fuku (accursed fate), Diaz asks repeatedly, and can there be counterbalancing zafa (blessing)? The story comes full circle with Oscar's death in Santo Domingo's fateful cornfields, himself the victim of a post-Trujillo petty tyrant, but it's redeemed by the power of love. Despite a less sure-footed conclusion, Diaz's reverse family saga, crossedwithwitheringpolitical satire, makes for a compelling, sex-fueled, 21st-century tragi-comedy with a magical twist.
From the Publisher
"An extraordinarily vibrant book that's fueled by adrenaline-powered prose. . . A book that decisively establishes [Díaz] as one of contemporary fiction's most distinctive and irresistible new voices." —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"Díaz finds a miraculous balance. He cuts his barn-burning comic-book plots (escape, ruin, redemption) with honest, messy realism, and his narrator speaks in a dazzling hash of Spanish, English, slang, literary flourishes, and pure virginal dorkiness." —New York Magazine

"Genius. . . a story of the American experience that is giddily glorious and hauntingly horrific. And what a voice Yunior has. His narration is a triumph of style and wit, moving along Oscar de Leon's story with cracking, down-low humor, and at times expertly stunning us with heart-stabbing sentences. That Díaz's novel is also full of ideas, that [the narrator's] brilliant talking rivals the monologues of Roth's Zuckerman—in short, that what he has produced is a kick-ass (and truly, that is just the word for it) work of modern fiction—all make The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao something exceedingly rare: a book in which a new America can recognize itself, but so can everyone else." —San Francisco Chronicle

"Astoundingly great. . . Díaz has written. . . a mixture of straight-up English, Dominican Spanish, and hieratic nerdspeak crowded with references to Tolkien, DC Comics, role-playing games, and classic science fiction. . . In lesser hands Oscar Wao would merely have been the saddest book of the year. With Díaz on the mike, it's also the funniest." —Time 

"Superb, deliciously casual and vibrant, shot through with wit and insight. The great achievement of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is Díaz's ability to balance an intimate multigenerational story of familial tragedy. . . The past and present remain equally in focus, equally immediate, and Díaz's acrobatic prose toggles artfully between realities, keeping us enthralled with all." —The Boston Globe

"Panoramic and yet achingly personal. It's impossible to categorize, which is a good thing. There's the epic novel, the domestic novel, the social novel, the historical novel, and the 'language' novel. People talk about the Great American Novel and the immigrant novel. Pretty reductive. Díaz's novel is a hell of a book. It doesn't care about categories. It's densely populated; it's obsessed with language. It's Dominican and American, not about immigration but diaspora, in which one family's dramas are entwined with a nation's, not about history as information but as dark-force destroyer. Really, it's a love novel. . . His dazzling wordplay is impressive. But by the end, it is his tenderness and loyalty and melancholy that breaks the heart. That is wondrous in itself." —Los Angeles Times

"Díaz's writing is unruly, manic, seductive. . . In Díaz's landscape we are all the same, victims of a history and a present that doesn't just bleed together but stew. Often in hilarity. Mostly in heartbreak." —Esquire

"The Dominican Republic [Díaz] portrays in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is a wild, beautiful, dangerous, and contradictory place, both hopelessly impoverished and impossibly rich. Not so different, perhaps, from anyone else's ancestral homeland, but Díaz's weirdly wonderful novel illustrates the island's uniquely powerful hold on Dominicans wherever they may wander. Díaz made us wait eleven years for this first novel and boom!—it's over just like that. It's not a bad gambit, to always leave your audience wanting more. So brief and wondrous, this life of Oscar. Wow." —The Washington Post Book World

"Terrific. . . High-energy. . . It is a joy to read, and every bit as exhilarating to reread." —Entertainment Weekly

"Now that Díaz's second book, a novel called The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, has finally arrived, younger writers will find that the bar. And some older writers—we know who we are—might want to think about stepping up their game. Oscar Wao shows a novelist engaged with the culture, high and low, and its polyglot language. If Donald Barthelme had lived to read Díaz, he surely would have been delighted to discover an intellectual and linguistic omnivore who could have taught even him a move or two." —Newsweek

"Few books require a 'highly flammable' warning, but The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz's long-awaited first novel, will burn its way into your heart and sizzle your senses. Díaz's novel is drenched in the heated rhythms of the real world as much as it is laced with magical realism and classic fantasy stories." —USA Today

"Dark and exuberant. . . this fierce, funny, tragic book is just what a reader would have hoped for in a novel by Junot Díaz." —Publishers Weekly

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
4.30(w) x 6.78(h) x 1.03(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"Funny, street-smart and keenly observed.... An extraordinarily vibrant book that's fueled by adrenaline-powered prose.... A book that decisively establishes [Díaz] as one of contemporary fiction's most distinctive and irresistible new voices." -Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "Terrific... Narrated in high-energy Spanglish, the book is packed with wide-ranging cultural references - to Dune, Julia Alvarez, The Sound of Music - as well as erudite and hilarious footnotes on Caribbean history. It is a joy to read, and every bit as exhilarating to reread." -Jennifer Reese, Entertainment Weekly "Astoundingly great.... You could call The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao the saga of an immigrant family, but that wouldn't really be fair. It's an immigrant-family saga for people who don't read immigrant-family sagas." -Lev Grossman, Time "Now that Díaz's second book, a novel called The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, has finally arrived, younger writers will find that the bar. And some older writers - we know who we are - might want to think about stepping up their game. Oscar Wao shows a novelist engaged with the culture, high and low, and its polyglot language." -David Gates, Newsweek "In the imagination of many writers it is the untold stories that propel-those vibrant, colorful, magical, historical swirls of humanity that make up our knowing. Junot Díaz's wondrous first novel offers that and more, enchanting us with energetic poetry and offering us a splendid portrait of ordinary folks set against the extraordinary cruel history of the Dominican Republic in the 20th century. Those of us who have for years known and marveled at Mr. Díaz's stories will not be disappointed." -Edward P. Jones

Meet the Author

Junot Diaz's fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The Best American Short Stories. His debut story collection, Drown, was a publishing sensation of unprecedented acclaim, became a national bestseller, won numerous awards, and is now a landmark of contemporary literature. He was born and raised in the Dominican Republic, and now lives in New York City and Boston, where he teaches at MIT.

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The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao 12-copy solid floor display 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 222 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading so many positive reviews and hearing about the numerous awards this book won, I was extremely anxious to get my hands on a copy. Once I did, however, I was disappointed. I was expecting Diaz's style to be much more subtle and sophisticated, based on what I'd read in the reviews, and was rather underwhelmed by his style of prose. The characters had the potential to be very interesting, but I think the author tried to delve too deeply into too many of them, thus leaving the reader with a shallow impression of all. Oscar, especially, disappointed me. While he may not be a typical DR boy, he is the standard nerdy American boy stereotype. I almost felt as if I was reading a random YA paperback with subpar writing and a so-so plot. I enjoyed the supernatural elements of the book, but they were so few and far between, and examined so briefly, that Diaz might as well just have left them out. The Spanish sentences and the footnotes didn't bother me. If I don't understand something, I can always find an internet translation site, and while the footnotes did drag a bit at times, my understanding of the book would have been severely prohibited without them. Overall, not a bad book by any means, but certainly not one of my favorites. Perhaps if my expectations hadn't been so high to start with I would have enjoyed it more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was blown away by the plot of the story. This is truely an imaginative tale.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The ending was terrible. Whatever the author had to say about life I didn't agree with.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I usually rate a book by it´s ending (how many times do we get built up just to be disapointed by the ending) and this one has a great one. Don't expect a mind-blowing twist, as things go just as the title suggests, but as you learn about and get to know the characters, you can't help but feel genuinely happy fo Oscar and how it all ends. I do, however, have a bittersweet taste in my mouth from it, given that it portrays dominican men as insensitive, fidelity incapable jerks, being Oscar Himself the only exception. Again, he is a 'nerd', and the author suggets that that is weird amongst dominican men, thus reinforcing the stereotype. I understand why some people felt frustrated over the book having all this parts in spanish, but understanding the book will be different for each reader. This book must be read with and open mind, or not read at all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I did not like how most of the book was a footnote. If I wanted a history lesson on the D.R. I would of read a history book. All I wanted was a good story to read. I didn't like how there were no quotation marks either. The story was sad and dark.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book and returned it after the first couple of chapters. I have no spanish, which made some of it difficult, but overall I found it boring, hard to engage with.
Me_OVM 9 months ago
The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, is a novel exploring the life and times of an overweight Dominican nerd. Our hapless protagonist, is cursed with virginity and low-self esteem; with the majority of the novel itself being narrated by Yunior, a stereotypical, womanizing Dominican, who serves as the authors mouthpiece into both Oscar's story, and into the stories of the people who came before him. Within the first 7 pages, Diaz sets up the general voice of the entire novel, from the sardonic darkness of the Dominican struggle, to the dry and hilarious footnotes which become reoccurring characters through out the book. Diaz introduces us to our two most important characters, Yunior, who serves as the (profane) voice of the novel, and Oscar, summarized as "a hardcore sci-fi and fantasy man" and an unfortunate recipient of the fuku. The fuku and its ying-yang counterpart: zafa, give our much needed magical realism injection into the novel, and become important in rationalizing the horrors of the Dominican Experience, an experience filled with terror and hope, subjugation and (attempted) freedom. The rest of the novel is a weaving of Oscar's story, his backstory, his unfortunate misadventures, his various attempts at life and death, and finally his climax and conclusion. Located within the moments of Oscar's sad, lonely life, we see glimpses of the experiences of the people around him, from his sister's attempts to break off from their controlling, abusive mother (uniquely told in her 1st person POV), his own mother's tragic youth in the Trujillato, Dominican Republic, his grandfather's downfall at the hands of similar forces, and a chapter from the POV of Yunior himself, as Oscar's roommate and (alleged) friend. Throughout the story, Diaz shows a mastery in controlling the tone and mood of his writing, being able to shift from hazy, dreamlike and almost goofy, to bone-crushingly brutal moments of pain and tragedy. His ability as a writer is shown best in Beli's (Oscar's mother) chapter, as her coming of age story is marred by the horrors of the regime she lives in; as her story shifts from a doomed love story, to one of victim, so brutalized by the nation she lives in, she flees to protect herself, a story all too common for the Dominican people. Diaz' style of writing is unique, as the book is written from the literary perspective of a New Jerseyan, Dominican swinger/playboy/no-good-cheater. This results in a wonderful blend of profanity, Spanish profanity, slang, innuendo and general urban speak; hilarious and appropriate given the narrative, providing a feeling of life to an otherwise grim and hopeless book. In many ways, the flowery language and dark comedy provide zafa (good luck) in a story filled with anything but. The epitome of Diaz' comedy is located within the sporadically placed footnotes, which provide cheeky information concerning items of importance within the novel, ranging from bitter, witty criticisms of Raphael Trujillo, to quotes from Lord of the Rings. These footnotes are the comedic context given to us by an author who is fully prepared to write out a full Dominican Shakespearean tragedy. Overall, the Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, is an excellent book , commanding of the readers attention, that balances out a tragic plot, with excellent black comedy. With an eye-grabbing cast of characters and with fantastic writing to do them justice, this novel fully deserves the five stars it has received.
Annika12 9 months ago
The novel “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” written by Junot Diaz, explores the violent history of the Dominican Republic and takes readers on a journey, discovering the stereotypes and violence existing in each character’s life. The title combines both Spanish and English influences. Woa, which is mispronunciation of the name Wilde, is a modification made from first language Spanish speakers to insult Oscar on his resemblance to “Oscar Wilde, a famous Irish writer.” (shmoop) Born in the Dominican Republic, Junot Diaz moved to a small community of Dominicans in the United States when he was 7 years old. He grew up with many of the experiences that are described in his character’s lives and incorporated the “Spanglish” language that he was raised speaking in this book. Junot was born a few years after the assassination of the ruthless dictator, Rafael Trujillo, who played an important role in the life of Oscar’s mother. “Running the country like it was a marine boot camp,” Trujillo, mentioned throughout the book as El Jefe, was a greatly feared, powerful dictator in which three generations of Oscar’s family’s lives revolved around.(3) A series of short stories voiced the lives of members of Oscar’s family though out the book so that the bigger picture was clear. What makes Oscar? Taking place in the ghettoes of New Jersey, the author started the wondrous life of Oscar. Living in a poor neighborhood populated by Dominicans, Oscar began his life as a pudgy, round boy, who was a ladies man. However, as he began to grow, his confidence suffered. Oscar was overwhelmed by his disappointing ability to defy stereotypes with his nerdiness, race, and social class. Not only did his outward appearance make it difficult to create friendships and relationships, but he spent his free time cooped up in his room with his unhealthy obsession with sci-fi, marvel comics, Japanimation, and a love of writing. “Bashful, precocious, and overweight,” Oscar’s only wish was to have a woman to love and to hold. (theguardian) The author uses diction to bring emotion into his book, making the reader feel the pain, fear, and happiness of each character. Switching the point of view of Oscar’s life connects the title to the audience, discovering the meaning of the title “brief.” Listening to the lives of those around Oscar connects violence to everyday life. With threats and fear inflicted in each character, the author does a great job of making each story unique and full of detail. He uses idioms and allusions to bring more life to his story. An allusion takes place in the last piece of writing Oscar ever wrote, “The beauty! The beauty!”(335) It is a connection to another famous piece of writing that expresses the horrors of life while after experiencing a woman for the first time, Oscar writes of the beauty. Although the whole book was about the suffering and hardships of the character’s lives, Oscar was able to sum it all up in a positive way. Even though life is difficult, the small intimacies make it worthwhile. However, with a complex structure and many phrases written in Spanglish, the book sometimes was difficult to follow. Some stories kept going long after the subject was explained. It was occasionally a puzzle to guess which character had the spotlight. The book included many phrases and words in Spanish and contained countless footnotes. Readers may also be put off by the numerous cussing and bad language contained in the book which sometimes made
Anonymous 9 months ago
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is a fictional novel written by Junot Diaz. Diaz is a Dominican American author who is also a creative writing professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Although a majority of the book is set in New Jersey, the novel also explores the experience in the Dominican Republic (often referred to as the DR) under the rule of dictator Rafael Trujillo (also referred to as El Jefe). The novel is told from the multiple perspectives of Oscar, an overweight boy who is very interested in writing and falling in love, Lola, Oscar’s rebellious older sister, Beli, Oscar and Lola’s mother and Yunior, the narrator of the novel who ends up becoming a major part of both Oscar and Lola’s lives. Trujillo has quite a bit of power over the DR. He can do pretty much whatever he wants, whenever he wants. Some people came to the conclusion that he has “supernatural powers” (Diaz 3). It was believed that if you did something bad to Trujillo, he could wipe you out. That’s why when Abelard, a distant relative of Oscar, refused to allow Trujillo to see his daughter, it seemed like everyone Abelard was close to began to die. It is since then that Oscar’s family has been cursed by the fukú. There was also a counterspell known as the single word of zafa. These ideas throughout the novel are examples of magical realism and give hints at Dominican Culture. Oscar’s family believe that it is due to the fukú that he is an overweight nerd who lacks masculinity. All other Dominican families will also blame their bad luck on the fukú. The novel is written in a mix of Spanish and English. Diaz stated in an interview that he provided the Spanish without a translation in order to give the reader more of an immigrant experience but it does make the language complicated to understand at some parts. There are also a variety of science fiction movie and book references made in the novel that only a small amount of readers will understand enough to take something away from. Diaz uses very thoughtful diction in the novel throughout all chapters of the novel. Diaz skillfully uses a different kind of diction specific to each character. For example Oscar uses a more sophisticated vocabulary than Yunior who has been described as a bilingual b-boy (The New York Times). Characters like the gangster will also talk in a more aggressive tone with a large amount of curse words and violent references. Diaz’s ability to recognize these different perspectives proves his first hand experience in the DR. With its combined focus on the fukú and Oscar’s desperate attempts to find a girlfriend, there is never a dull moment in this book. Diaz finds a way to incorporate humor, sarcasm and suspense all into one moment. Above all else, this is an enjoyable book that is well worth the read. -Georgia McDonald
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Junot writes a fine evocative story in which I cried and I laughed. Not a book to miss.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bites her lip.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Needed to move a bit faster in the beginning
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the book and the story was really neat. The history is so amazing and so much we do not know! One minor comment is that I found myself distracted with the footnotes at times.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Had some difficulty with some of the slang, but it was a god read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hail Mary...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books that makes me wish I was classically trained as a writer. For I know with reasonable certainty I have not the words in english or spanish to drive home how good this book is, how dynamic a writer Junot Diaz is, nor how much you will get attached to and root for the characters. Alas, I must try... The story of Oscar Wao will yank you from laughing out loud, to tragedy, to hope, to pity, to love, to disdain and back to laughing out loud again. To say the characters are brilliantly fleshed out might even be an understatement. I've never read a book in which I rooted for so many, with paths so different yet intertwined. The book also speaks of the terrible toll the Trujillo dictatorship took on the Dominican Republic from roughly 1930 to 1965. But not in a boring, purely historical way. So many of the decisions made and the lives affected were a direct result of living under the shadow of a sadistic regime whose head seemed omnipresent and demanded a perverse loyalty. Written in a hip spanglish prose that might irritate spanish neophytes, I'd recommend quick access to google translate if necessary. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is one the best books Ive ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago