The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Author:Junot Diaz Oscar is a sweet but fat sci-fi obsessed introvert who -- from the New Jersey home he shares with his old world mother and rebellious sister -- dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But Oscar may never get what he wants. Blame the fuku -- a curse that has haunted Oscar's family for gen... more »erations, following them on their epic journey from New Jersey to Washington Heights and back to Santo Domingo. Encapsulating Dominican American history, Oscar's story open our eyes to an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and explores the endless human capacity to persevere -- and risk it all -- in the name of love.
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.
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!
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.
Fiction. * * * *. Looks at the life of an overweight, lonely nerd aspiring to be a writer and fall in love, and how his life may have been affected by an old Dominican curse. Interspersed with pop culture references and idiomatic expressions, it is both humorous and tragic.