Thursday, January 10, 2008

Book review

The brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz.

Oscar is an over-weight, nerdy Dominican-American male, living in New Jersey and longing for love. Obsessed with role-playing games and super-heroes, Oscar eats, writes science fiction, and alternates between dreams of romance and nightmares of dying a virgin. Alas, happiness and love eternal prove elusive goals. Is it just bad luck or is it an ancient curse, a fuku, the original unleashed when the Europeans first set foot on Hispaniola? Told from multiple perspectives and moving back and forth in time between New Jersey and the Dominican Republic, the story that unfolds is hilarious and horrific, rollicking and deeply moving. Diaz’s use of the language is magical, moving easily between Spanish and English, literary allusion and street slang; it has a rhythm and flow that is, perhaps, essentially and uniquely Dominican American. A wondrous life, a wondrous tale, indeed, this New York Times’ Notable Book of 2007 will appeal especially to fans of Julia Alvarez, Jonathan Lethem, and Michael Chabon.

1 comment:

R. L. Hall said...
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