Adele's Reviews > Drown

Drown by Junot Díaz
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Mar 24, 09

Read in March, 2009

Once, on a bus in Tanzania, I got into a fight about the movie "Crash". The fight was pretty silly, but I still got upset enough to cry about it. The argument was an impassioned debate between me and two of the other kids I was studying abroad with. They thought it was a brilliant important commentary on race and class in America. I thought it was a didactic, simplified, contrived piece of shit.

Drown is lthe opposite of a movie like Crash. Sure, it covers race and class and the failed pursuit of the American dream, and even does so in a way that's straightforward. And yet, Diaz manages to be quite nuanced throughout-- he's never trying to "teach" you a lesson about race, and never hits you over the head with his immigrant story. He's not telling a parable, or preaching, or posturing. Diaz is brilliant because his writing is refreshingly real, yet incredibly poetic. Without trying too hard. Somehow, it hit me, halfway through the book: this is exactly the opposite of Crash! Drown accomplishes so effortlessly what Crash tried painfully hard to: to tell a real story, about real people doing real things. Maybe it's because of that Terrence baby wipes guy.

I haven't read Oscar Wao yet. However, I certainly plan to.
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