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Topic: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

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Subject: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Date Posted: 9/28/2009 10:25 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2009
Posts: 12
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Junot Diaz's book was the best book that I read in years.  Even though I have no experience with the Domican Republic or New Jersey, the author's insight into the mind of a sci-fi loving, history digging, social misfit person really resonated with me.

If anyone else read and loved the book, could you suggest something else wonderful for me to read?

Date Posted: 10/8/2009 10:07 AM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 13,991
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Sorry----I think I may be the only person who absolutely could not read this book--and I really tried because of great reviews. Just could not get in to it at all.

Date Posted: 10/9/2009 4:29 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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This is on my TBR pile. I'm mostly interested in reading it because it is set in the city in which I grew up. I think I need to move it up on my list, I've been hearing lots of good things about it recently.

Date Posted: 11/27/2009 2:32 PM ET
Member Since: 11/25/2009
Posts: 2
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This was one of the best contemporary novels I've read in years. I found his voice like none other ... even though I missed a lot of the Spanish dialogue and comics references. Most everyone in my book group loved it too, except for the ones who dislike salty language.

Here are the links we used for the group

If only I could learn all history by reading such great novels!  Oh, wait... I've started reading the Alan Furst books.  Very different from Oscar, but WOW!

Date Posted: 11/27/2009 3:46 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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My contention has been that Wao's life was neither brief nor wondrous. I hated this book.

Date Posted: 5/24/2010 2:17 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2010
Posts: 6,377
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I'm reading it now and it is a hard book to read. I'm worn out trying to translate all the spanish. Write it in English or Spanish but not both. Chapter three was 90 pages of misery and pain . I keep reading because the modern chapters are a good read.

Date Posted: 6/16/2010 6:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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Bill, that was my only complaint too...I listened to the audio version, so it was VERY difficult trying to keep up with the Spanish and figure out what was being said or going on sometimes. Otherwise, I really liked it!


Date Posted: 1/24/2011 9:49 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 335
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I finished this book last week and found that although the Spanish was difficult, even without translating every word it added a texture and reality to the book. To me, the best parts were the footnotes.

Diaz managed to infuse this tragic story with so much heart and levity that it wasn't disturbing in the way Wally Lamb's books are.

I enjoyed The Brief Life more than I thought I would.