Bobbi Woods's Reviews > The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
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Oct 05, 08

bookshelves: book-club
Recommended to Bobbi by: Book Club
Recommended for: Barbra Philips
Read in October, 2008

This book was very different from recent books that I have read. (Do I say that a lot??) I probably would not have chosen it myself but that is why I am in a book club--to stretch out of my reading comfort zone!

It is the story of a young, overweight, science fiction-obsessed boy named Oscar whose family immigrated from the Dominican Republic to New Jersey. Oscar has what he considers to be chronic bad luck due to a curse that was put on his family years and years ago (fuku?). The sections of the book alternate between different family members and their personal history--his mother, her parents, her cousin who raised her (La Inca), and his sister Lola. These mini-histories of each character are meant to tie the whole book together. Occasionally the voice changes, as well. Much of the book is narrated by his college friend, Y-something-or-other.

Oscar falls in and out of love easily and has an extremely hard time getting girls to like him. His awkward approach will make you cringe, but you'll find yourself cheering for him throughout the book.

I found the book to be rather confusing at times. It has intricate footnotes and the author bounces between using an educated literary style and a low class slang. He also throws in Spanish without translation. Yoo hoo! I don't speak Spanish!

Even though I don't think I can rate this as one of my favorite books, I am glad to have read it. Not sure it deserved the Pulitzer, but what do I know????....

Don't read this one, Dags...you'd hate it! Barbra, I wish I had heard Junot Diaz on NPR--maybe it would have given me an appreciation for how this book came about. :-)
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Barbra (new)

Barbra Ooo, this has been on my to-read list for a year. I heard Junot Diaz talk about it on NPR when it came out last September. I really need to get it. I heard him again last week on NPR, but didn't catch what book he was discussing. Thanks for the (unintended) reminder to pick p Oscar Wao. -Barbra


Bobbi Woods If you read it soon, you can come to my Book Club with me on the first Thursday in November to discuss if you want..:-) Miss you!!! With Jake not at Hammond this year, I am afraid I will never see you!!!


message 3: by Karen (new)

Karen Thanks for the personal recommendation against me reading this! With my limited time, it's also nice to know what NOT to read.


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