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Friday, February 27, 2009

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

rating: 4 of 5 stars. Score 1 for the Pulitzers!

Oscar Wao is the summa cum dork, the extreme end of all us dorks' worst secret fears about ourselves: slothful, virginal, living in a fantasy land of comics and movies. To make things worse, his is a dominican in working-class NJ, a community where even garden-variety dorks are a rarity unto themselves.

But what starts out as an exploration of a quirky protagonist's coming-of-age ends up being a family saga, going back generations to the Dominican Republic under the brutal Trujillo. The family, it seems, is cursed. It's a saga of violence, rebellion, resilience and unrequited love affairs, and I found it uplifting despite its march towards tragedy.

I adored the pacing and linguistic style Diaz brought to the tale, as well as the many many Lord of the Rings references. It's a rare read: quick, engaging, profound, and clever all at once.

View all my reviews.

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