The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Author:Junot Diaz A raw and moving tale of life in the Dominican Republic under the rule of Rafael Trujillo, the effect on Dominican-Americans, and one family's struggle under the weight of a multi-generational curse.
I absolutely loved this book. I've never read a book that is ANYTHING like this, the language used and sense of humor was wonderful. It's a fiction story, but filled with historical footnotes (mainly dealing with with Dominican history) that puts everything in context. The book goes from one character's point of view to another, all coming together to tell the story of Oscar and his "fuku" (cursed) bloodline. If you aren't offended by cursing and sex in books, this book is a real experience and completely unforgettable.
I just finished this book and had a hard time getting through it. There are many interuptions in the story with footnotes that describe Dominican life. That was sometimes helpful but sometimes interrupted the flow of the book. The author also uses quite a bit of un-translated spanish throughout. Having had a few years of spanish, I could put it in context but if you have no knowledge of spanish, keep a language translation dictionary handy.
This book is the story of Oscar a nerdy and extremely geeky Dominican man that is struggling to find where he fits in life. Diaz explores three generations of his family and at times you aren't quite sure which family members background story we are getting. If you enjoy light reading this is not the book for you.
Audra H. reviewed The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao on
Helpful Score: 6
I read the back of this book and bought it as I love to read about Central and S American cultures. Started out good - was a little frustrated by the footnotes which in my opinion could have been in the book and not as separate mini text. Lots of Spanish and slang and when I actually knew the words added to the book. When I didn't, I found it distracting. Almost needs a glossary in the back for those that don't know the words. Struggled to get into it and ended up putting it down (which I rarely do but am learning its OK) about the midpoint. Not my cup of tea but maybe someone else would enjoy.
I was hooked from the first page of this riveting book! I loved the Spanish "dichos" (sayings) and all of the Fantasy/Sci-Fi references and was absolutely captivated by the characters. The plot was compelling and heart-wrenching. IMHO, this book is most deserving of the Pulitzer Prize. ¡Bravo!
From the title of this book and its back cover, I wasn't sure that I was going to relate to the overweight, sci-fi loving Oscar Wao. However, Junot Diaz managed to hook me from the first pages with his story about four generations of a Dominican-American family who are always on the brink of making it. I enjoyed his liberal usage of Spanish, despite my limited understanding. I also enjoyed the non-chronological nature of the story that somehow unraveled in just the way I needed it to, to really empathize with the characters. The Dominican history lessons sprinkled throughout the book were an enjoyable aside to the main story. I recommend this book to those who aren't put off by foul language!