Jeff Glovsky's Reviews > The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
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it was amazing

I went in a little bit unconvinced here... Admittedly put off at first by the casual, street corner 'latino' voice ("Players: never never never f*ck with a bitch named Awilda", readers of all stripes and gender are warned), and the overarching theme of nerdism, which is the title character's bag, but has never been mine.

The more I read, though, the more I realized I couldn't stop reading... The voice, one of urgency; all the fantasy sci-fi stuff -- the 'nerdism' -- balanced, and well, by a family, a culture, a country's history.

What the book didn't do well enough, I thought, was relate the life story of Oscar Wao himself. The King Nerd Title (Non)Player - a "Brief" life, perhaps. But "Wondrous"? I didn't get that, from reading.

To me, the compelling, truly page-turning (indeed, wondrous) lives recounted were those of Oscar's grandfather, Abelard, and mother, Belicia: geneses of the fukú'd Familia Cabral, under the DR's brutal and generation-spanning Trujillo nightmare. These life stories and vignettes of horror were grippingly told... Only for the spells to be broken by revisits to sad, modern-day Oscar and his devoted sister, Lola - "wondrous" too, I'm sure (we're told). But from reading, I just didn't feel Lola like the main narrator / author obviously did.

Small quibbles with a powerful book about tragedy, fortitude, luck and destiny... and in the end, freedom.

To choose what's inevitable.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
April 19, 2018 – Shelved

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