Jill's Reviews > This Is How You Lose Her

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz
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Mar 24, 2015

it was amazing
bookshelves: short-stories
Read from September 13 to 16, 2012

This is how you write it – you take a scintillatingly talented writer, you focus in on a Lothario who is unmoored from any healthy attachments, and then you write an achingly beautiful book that knocks the socks off the reader with its astuteness and authenticity.

In this interwoven collection of short stories, the immensely gifted Junot Diaz revisits Yunior, the narrator of his previous short story book, Drown. Right from the start, he grabs the reader’s attention: “I’m not a bad guy. I know how that sounds – defensive, unscrupulous – but it’s true. I’m like everyone else – weak, full of mistakes, but basically good.”

By the end of the book, the reader is inclined to agree. Yunior is pitiful but never deigns to be self-pitying. He is highly sexually charged but impotent in emotional consistency. He is incredibly self-aware yet at the end of the day, always falls victim to his “lying cheater’s heart.”

Take this passage, when Yunior’s girlfriend reads his journal and finds visible proof of his cheating: “Instead of lowering your head and copping to it like a man, you pick up the journal as one might hold a baby’s beshatted diaper, as one might pinch a recently benutted condom. You glance at the offending passages. Then you look at her and smile a smile your dissembling face will remember until he day you die. Baby, you say, baby, this is part of my novel. This is how you lose her.

Junot Diaz writes like a dream, adeptly mixing the testosterone-charged prose with poetic insights. His emotionally abusive father and cancer-stricken older brother – both role models in the most negative of ways – are presented as background. At the end of the day, this is a book about love: not how to maintain it but how to soldier on when love cannot be claimed.
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Reading Progress

02/14 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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BooksnFreshair (Poornima Apte) Junot Diaz is my boy. Paws off :) jk!

Jill Them's fighting words! He's all mine! :)

BooksnFreshair (Poornima Apte) He lives in Cambridge, Jill. Yes, I'm a stalker :) So I stand a better chance :)

BooksnFreshair (Poornima Apte) LOVE the review, Jill!

Jill Thanks, P'ma. JD makes writing look so easy. Darn him, anyway!

message 6: by Kate (new) - added it

Kate Wonderful review. I really must get around to reading this one.

Jill Thanks, Kate! I hope you do!

message 8: by Carol (new)

Carol This seems like one of those books I want to read but might not get too. Does that make sense? I just listened to an interview with Diaz somewhere, I think Bookworm and just loved listening to him talk.

Jill I absolutely understand, Carol. With 100 books on my TBR shelf, there are plenty that sound enticing and I just can't get to them. I'm trying to be more realistic but it's not working :)

message 10: by Jay (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jay Beautiful, Jill. I didn't give it five stars but maybe need to reconsider. Your last, concluding line is right on the mark.

message 11: by Jill (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jill Thanks, Jay. Junot Diaz is a favorite author and I DID love the book.

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