Christopher Tayler is impressed by Junot Díaz’s ingenious first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. In “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” Díaz, the author of a book of sexy, diamond-sharp stories called “Drown,” shows impressive. Winner of: The Pulitzer Prize The National Book Critics Circle Award The Anisfield-Wolf Book Award The Jon Sargent, Sr. First Novel Prize A Time Magazine.

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I found the writing lazy and unexpressive in many places. They said no matter how far a mule travels it can never come back a horse, but she would show them all. We’re just starting to groove with sympathy for fat little Oscar when Diaz suddenly shifts gears and takes us into the world of Lola, Oscar’s beautiful, athletic sister who has a stormy relationship with their mother, Belicia, a “hardnosed no-nonsense femme-matador.

I’m not entirely sure how I should end this other than saying–you should probably read this book.

Thanks to my fellow book club member who sacrificed her sanity and DID finish this to hte me away while I still had the chance. There are some things that time cannot mend.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Gabriela As discovered by mid-section of the book, the narrator is Yunior, a guy who’s into Lola and ends up being Oscar’s bf. On the other hand, Isis potentially coming to Yunior to learn more about her uncle represents gaining an understanding of the past, which is key to decolonizing and pinpointing the structures that are systematically oppressive.


Rant alert and unpopular opinion about metoo I read a couple of reviews who criticize this novel because it is sexist. Comic books, science-fiction, and fantasy literature all play an important role in Oscar’s upbringing and identity, and each is incorporated into the novel to reflect the world he lives in. The novel contains significant exposition on Oscar’s family history. This voice, which mixes street talk and dollops of Spanish with heavyweight nerd-speak and literary references, could easily have been a joke that soon got old.

And how are their forms of isolation different? Bashful, precocious, overweight, Oscar is “a hardcore sci-fi and fantasy man”, well versed in “Japanimation” and Marvel comics lore. It’s also unclear who is narrating the book until around brkef through, when I was surprised to learn that it wasn’t a typical omniscient entity narrating the story, but actually a real person who all of a sudden would break into first person and become a doaz in the story. Can’t we believe that an Ybon can exist and that a brother like Oscar might be due a little luck after twenty-three years?

Subsequent sections detail Beli’s backstory growing up as an orphan in the Dominican Republic after her father was imprisoned and her mother and ot sisters died. Try what it feels like on the other side of the fog for a bit, and make the effort to get past it.

Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim. Yunior reminds the reader consistently that he is telling the story, as opposed to the story happening in its own right. Hype can really change the way you perceive a book.


The beginning of chapter two also features the use of second person narration, rarely used in literature. Always had a different excuse to not pick it up.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz – Reading Guide – : Books

The dictatorship of the evil that is Trujillo and the horrors and brutality he inflicted, such heartbreaking stuff. It’s a mix of things but i’ts interesting, funny, tragic and highly relatable. Along with his use of Dominican slang in his punchy American-English sentences, all this made Drown a hard book to pigeonhole. View all 42 comments. The sex and violence is crude too.

Ybon is kind to Oscar but rejects his frequent romantic overtures. Diaz crafts a complex narrative, full of flashbacks, side stories, and dias footnotes that eventually encompass a partisan history of the Dominican Republic and complete accounts of the tribulations of Oscar’s forebears. Oye, pariguayo, y que paso con esa esposa tuya? Thanks for telling us about the problem.

View all 36 comments.

Beli understood how advantageous appearance is in the social situations of the Dominican Republic, but not until she had undergone major physical and psychological changes. I can tell this is the kind of story that’s going to sit with me for a while, and maybe I should’ve waited a day before writing this review.