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This Is How You Lose Her Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

3.9 out of 5 stars 781 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, September 2012: This Is How You Lose Her features nine stories by Junot Diaz, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao in 2008. At the center of each story is Yunior (making his third appearance in Diaz's work), a Dominican American stud who, despite his macho exterior, aches to be loved. At first blush, this slim volume lacks the ambition and scope of Oscar Wao, a condensed pop-culture epic. But Diaz has done an extraordinary thing here: He has taken Yunior's heart and battered it every which way to show how love--romantic, physical, or familial--can affect even the most masculine character. The final story, "The Cheater's Guide to Love," features the collection's stickiest line: "The half-life of love is forever." Diaz compares heartbreak to radiation, its strength decaying exponentially over time. You can bury it underground and try to forget about it, but it never goes away entirely. --Kevin Nguyen --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

Praise for Junot Díaz

"One of contemporary fiction's most distinctive and irresistible voices." –Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times 

“Talent this big will always make noise.” –Newsweek

“Graceful and raw and painful and smart... The pages turn and all of a sudden you’re done and you want more.” –The Boston Globe

“Like Raymond Carver, Díaz transfigures disorder and disorientation with a rigorous sense of form... [He] wrings the heart with finely calibrated restraint.” –The New York Times Book Review

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio; Unabridged edition (September 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611761107
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611761108
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 5.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (781 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,027,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anyone familiar with either of Junot Díaz's previous books will remember Yunior, the Dominican kid coming of age in Drown who goes on to become the narrator of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Back for his third starring role Díaz's work, Yunior is the link connecting most of the stories in This Is How You Lose Her. People who read Oscar Wao got a chance to see how compulsively self-destructive Yunior was in his relationships with women. In This Is How You Lose Her, Yunior's doomed relationships take center stage, as does the tenuous relationship he has with his older brother, Rafa.

It's always an encouraging sign when someone you admire begins something by quoting someone else you very much admire. In this case, the book's epigraph is from the Sandra Cisneros poem, "One Last Poem for Richard." But even better, This Is How You Lose Her opens with one of my favorite short stories, "The Sun, The Moon, The Stars," which was originally published in The New Yorker in 1999. It was written well before readers got to know Yunior in Oscar Wao, but in the story we can already see the effects of his lying and cheating as he tries in vain to earn back his girlfriend's trust.

I had already read a few of the stories in this collection, but reading them all at once and seeing how they fit together was a wholly different experience. One of the most striking things about it was getting to see the way that Yunior's views and his interactions with women were shaped by (and, at times, in response to) his older brother's womanizing ways. In Drown, we got to see a little bit of what Yunior was exposed to as a child; he bore witness to his father's philandering. With his father largely out of the picture in This Is How You Lose Her, it is now Rafa who sets the example for Yunior.
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Format: Hardcover
I once saw Junot read at the Enoch Pratt library in Baltimore. He has a dynamic presence and is a fearless reader. He was able to calm and fully captivate a room full of twitchy, cafeteria-smelling high school students and grumpy senior citizens. It was hard to look away from Junot at the podium, but indeed, I had to watch the slightly-Amish-looking woman who was signing the story for the hearing impaired. I couldn't help but wonder how one actually signs such fresh sentences as, "You, Yunior, have a girlfriend named Alma, who has a long tender horse neck and a big Dominican ass that could drag the moon out of orbit. An ass she never liked until she met you. Ain't a day that passes that you don't want to press your face against that ass or bite the delicate sliding tendons of her neck. You love how she shivers when you bite, how she fights you with those arms that are so skinny they belong on an after-school special."

After reading THIS IS HOW YOU LOSE HER, I wanted to close down my facebook page, shut off Twitter, leave the oily, grimy dishes in the sink, let the wet laundry sit in the washing machine (and ignore the fact that the clothes end up smelling like a dank, rotting basement), and just write like mad with the hope that I could push out one single sentence as great as every sentence in this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Don't understand all the hype on this book. It was well written and easy to read...however, I was hoping to get insight into Yunior's horrendous treatment of women (and infidelity in general), but it just didn't click for me. I understand the notion that we repeat the mistakes of our parents, but it feels more like a long-winded excuse that even Yunior doesn't quite believe. For Rafa, I can buy that, as he's kind of obtuse. But we're led to believe that Yunior has some self-reflective qualities and a notion of what's right and wrong. He occasionally seemed quite sensitive, particularly when bad things were directed at him (like prejudice, poverty, slights of pretty girls who liked his brother, etc.). But I never quite understood the cheating still (and sort of wondered who'd want to with him?). I feel like there's something missing -- even the book itself feels cowardly. Also, the ending where he's pining away doesn't ring true given his history. The strongest feeling I had was -- I'm SO glad the girl got away. While we hear lots about Yunior's suffering, what isn't brought to light is what his fiancee had to go through. It's very hard to trust after a trauma like that. May she find a man who doesn't betray her. And may all the Yuniors in the world grow the bleep up. I'm just saying.
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Format: Hardcover
Junot Díaz's This Is How You Lose Her, a nine-story collection, is the author's follow-up to his 2008 Pulitzer-winning novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Seven of the stories were first published in The New Yorker between February 1998 and July 2012, one in Glimmer Train in 1998, and another in Story in 1999.

Reading these stories in the order in which they are presented here, one after the other, will be a greatly different experience than that had by those who read them over the fourteen-year period during which they first appeared in print. This Is How You Lose Her, in fact, reads more like a novel than it does a short story collection. This is because all of the stories, although they flip back and forth between segments of his life, feature the same central character already familiar to readers of Díaz's two previous books. Yunior, a young Dominican, along with his mother and older brother, came to the United States when he was just a boy, and these stories, in addition to telling how Yunior got here, detail what happened to him once he did.

Be forewarned that these stories, insightful as they often are, are written in a raw, sometimes outrageous, style. Díaz writes in a Hispanic street vernacular that sees him often mixing Spanish words into his sentences. And, even though entire sentences are sometimes presented in Spanish, Díaz leaves it up to non-Spanish speaking readers to figure out what he is saying based on the context of the rest of the paragraph. But that is the least of it.

Yunior is a womanizer, and he comes by it naturally. His father, although not a constant in Yunior's life, set the pattern for that lifestyle early on, leaving Yunior to learn all the moves by watching his older brother in action.
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