Dimas's Reviews > This Is How You Lose Her

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz
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Oct 12, 12

Read from October 08 to 11, 2012

I have never heard a bad word uttered about The Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. There’s no need to ether. The best seller, which was published in 2007 and which would end up winning the Pulitzer, is epic and beautiful piece of work. The book told the tale of an obese, Dominican nerd, who had to deal with growing up as an outcast in New Jersey.
What made the book brilliant is that it also told the story of the Dominican Republic and its savage dictator, Rafael Trujillo, better known as El Jefe.
The book was written by Junot Diaz who is back with a follow-up, five years later. His latest, This is How You Lose Her, which is a collection of short stories, doesn’t have the epic scope of Oscar Wao. However that takes nothing away from this new piece of work. This is How You Lose Her is an inmate and superb look at love through the eyes of a Dominican playboy named Yunior, the same Yunior that—SPOILER ALERT— starred in Drown, Junot’s first piece of work, and the same Yunior who narrated the majority of Oscar Wao.
If Junot were a filmmaker, it would be like following up a three-hour epic period piece, with a 90-minute independent film—two types of methods, yet they both excel at what they are trying to accomplish.
The first thing that is evident with How You Lose Her is how amazing the voice of Yunior, who, in my opinion, has to be one of the most memorable characters in literature over the last 20 years, is. He’s a slick, sweet, smart, creepy, cruel, sympathetic dude who can’t control his urges. Yunior’s voice is so clear and affective that the density of the book is deceptive.
The book starts off with a story about his girlfriend finding out that he cheated on her, so we know from the jump that he’s a womanizer. The rest of the book is dedicated to explaining (not excusing, but explaining) why Yunior is the way he is when it comes to women. So you’ll learn about his older brother who got all the ladies, even though he treated them like shit, his stern father, who bailed on the family soon after they migrated from the Dominican Republic, his distant mother who never seemed to get accustomed to The States and the various fractured, unhealthy relationships Yunior goes through, including one that he had with a teacher.
(There’s one story that doesn’t feature Yunior, and it’s about Yunior’s father and his mistress. This is Junot’s chance to look at love from a female perspective, and it’s superb.)
This all leads up to the last story where Yunior's fiancé dumps him after finding out he’s cheated on her (50 times!). There, a middle age, heartbroken Yunior has some decisions to make about his lifestyle.
Just an amazing book that's heavier than it feels.

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