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Customer Review

152 of 179 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wao as in WOW!, October 17, 2007
This review is from: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Hardcover)
Dude can write. In fact, this book is one of the most original that I've come across in a long time.

Like the layers of an onion, Diaz peels back the layers of years to reveal the back history of Oscar and his sister Lola. And what a history it is! The Banana Curtain is unveiled and the horrors of Trujillo -- the raging narcissist and despoiler of women -- are unflinchingly revealed, creating shudders of revulsion and flashes of understanding in this reader.

Junot Diaz creates a language and a tempo unlike any I've read before, peppered with Spanish colloquialisms, street talk, and video game terminology. Somehow, though, it works -- and works beautifully -- even if you don't know an "hola" from an "adios" or have never played a video game in your life (like this reader.)

I will not soon forget Oscar Wao, the 300+ pound romantic, Lola, Yunior, or his mother and the Gangster and his ill-fated grandparents. The book is compulsively readable. For all of those who say that "the novel is dead", I say: read Junot Diaz.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 18, 2007 10:41:43 AM PDT
Mary Whipple says:
Every person I know who has read this book has loved it. Thanks for the suggestion. Mary

Posted on May 3, 2009 9:59:23 AM PDT
This book is amazing. Bonnie

Posted on Jul 29, 2009 5:54:36 AM PDT
Jill, I sent an e-mail to Diaz and we had a nice conversation. He also signed my copy of this book. Bonnie

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2009 6:22:03 AM PDT
Bonnie, I love books that push the envelope -- and this was one of them. I saw him speak at a lecture at Columbia College, here in Chicago. His sparkling intelligence was everywhere in evidence. I'm so impressed with him.
Jill

Posted on Dec 21, 2010 10:33:37 PM PST
Carol says:
The dude may be able to write but i would like him to do more in English. Many of the words I understand in context but many I do not. I really don't like this book at all.

Posted on Feb 8, 2011 1:32:28 AM PST
just got done, this book was awful

'drown' is amazing, though, and yeah, 'dude can write,' but can we all agree that the tired, lame layered-onion analogy/cliche needs to stop?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2011 6:52:54 AM PST
Sorry that was your reading experience. Obviously, I disagree with your assessment, but respect your right to express it.

Posted on Apr 20, 2012 9:14:32 PM PDT
Nathan Vader says:
Jill, nice review! Just a friendly correction: the references in the book were more of science fiction, fantasy, and anime. Oscar, as the book said, didn't play video games because he didn't have the reflexes for them.
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