Saturday, May 8, 2010

Table of Contents: The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar WaoAuthor: Junot Diaz
Publisher/Year: Riverhead, 2007
Synopsis: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao tells the story of Oscar "Wao" De Leon, an overweight, nerdy Dominican-American virgin living in New Jersey. He falls for many of the women he meets, although they all barely acknowledge his presence. Oscar longs to be the Dominican Tolkien, and his love life remains nonexistent when he attends Rutgers. His sister, Lola, and his roommate, Yunior, try to get him to leave his room and be more social, but Oscar resists. Yunior believes Oscar is suffering from a curse on the family, a fuku, which extends back to Oscar's family's past in the Dominican Republic. His mother, Belicia, was an erotic beauty whose family ran afoul of the dictator, Rafael Trujillo, leading to the death of the rest of the family.

What Others Have To Say
The New York Times
"An extraordinarily vibrant book that’s fueled by adrenaline-powered prose, it’s confidently steered through several decades of history by a madcap, magpie voice that’s equally at home talking about Tolkien and Trujillo, anime movies and ancient Dominican curses, sexual shenanigans at Rutgers University and secret police raids in Santo Domingo."

"Díaz wrings considerable humor out of Yunior's confessions to shades of uncoolness, but Oscar's true obsession and raison d'être are far more earthbound than his sci-fi fantasies: finding transcendent love."

Boston Globe
"The past and the present remain equally in focus, equally immediate, and Díaz's acrobatic prose toggles artfully between realities, keeping us enthralled with all."

Entertainment Weekly
"Oscar's story is indeed brief, but, like this novel, it is also quite wondrous."

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