Juan's Reviews > The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
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Feb 11, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: favourites
Read from February 11 to April 28, 2011

Excellent. This took a little while, for me, to get going but once it did, what was already good, became excellent. Filled with nuance and character, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao brings the reader into the history and culture of The Dominican Republic and what life is like for a Dominican-American. Great stuff, great langauge, great dialogue and a wonderful voice. I'm glad, too, ***SPOILER ALERT*** that it wasn't told from beyond the grave from Oscar's POV. Being told from Yunior's is the only way it could've been told. To relive what happens to Oscar wouldn't feel natural if told by a family member. It's too painful a thing to recount, I think, based on my own experiences from an "old world culture/immigrant family" (we're Filipino) that keeps a lot of personal business close to its chest. However, from the perspective of someone close enough to know the details but outside of the family and still detached enough to recount the story makes it believable and true. Fantastic.

In pitching my own novel, Back Kicks And Broken Promises, agents have told me my work sounds, at least in scope and feel, like Oscar Wao. Having finally read Junot Diaz's novel (Go RU. I'm an Alumni too. Haha!), I'm ridiculously flattered and just hope my novel can live up to half the praise Diaz's has.

Oscar Wao is an easy and fantastic read for anyone but, to me, for anyone who's interested in cultural studies, for anyone from an immigrant family, for anyone who's ever felt alone and for anyone who's ever been in love. Great stuff, great stuff!
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