Wow, Wao. I listened to this book and it was heart-wrenching and honest, built upon powerful stories woven together with violence, fantasy, and profanity, written in a distinctive voice. I was hoping for something great to happen...and it almost did, a bunch of times. I didn't like very many of the characters, but the ones I did, I really loved and find myself thinking of even after I finished listening. Let's be honest, I am thinking of the ones I despised still, as well. I read in my writing prompts book that Junot Diaz steals away from the world by writing perched alone on the side of the bathtub, and I find that to be a fascinating tid-bit, especially when I envision him writing some of the scenes and relationships that occur in these pages. I'm inspired...to write real, even when it's ugly, and where ever I can find the space. Maybe one day I will win awards too. Even if I don't, life won't be as difficult as it was for the primary GhettoNerd, or for any of the Dominicans in this book, so I've got THAT going for me.
OK, OK, I didn't give it much of a chance however, I am so incredibly offended by the continuous use of the "n" word I could not listen to this book. I am not African American and I am not usually offended by language but the story did not grab me and the offensive language made it a relief to hit the delete button.
This is the FIRST book of hundreds that I have treated this way and rated one star. Glad I only paid 7.95 for it!.
I became fatigued with the dreadful parade of bad things that happen to Oscar. Toward the end, I just quit. Otherwise, it is well written and well read.
This was a GREAT idea. I think the execution was poor. The character of Oscar Wao was so great. He was an amazing character. Pretty well-developed, but mostly funny, intriguing, unique. I wanted more of him. I think the choice of narrator as the old roommate was a terrible idea. It seemed like he was only added to the storyline in order to support the fact that he was the narrator. The only real link between all 3 generations seemed to be the circumstance of getting beat up. I didn't see how that was foucou. Was it about the curse? Or about Oscar? Or Oscar's Mom? I understand that it was about them all, but none of them took hold. It was 10% of 10 different things and not a 100% of anything. It was dissappointing. I finished it, however, but only because I had grown to care enough about Oscar to want to know what happened to him. Oscar's immediate family (mom and sister) were pretty well developed. I could have done without all the time travel though. Write a sequel and just make it about Oscar. He was one of the greatest characters I've ever met. Get rid of the foucou and all the old relatives and focus on Oscar. Give me more Oscar. Then we've got a great book.
I am a recent fan of Junot Diaz from both his reading/interviews as well as his short stories as presented on the New Yorker's short story podcast. I think that Oscar Wao should have remained maybe a novella or a short story but even a writer with deft word skills can get dull when going back and forth and back and forth over the same territory. Oscar Wao is a loser. His life is brief. Those are my Cliff's Notes. I don't think there's much else to say - except he's from the Dominican Republic. Apparently, Oscar Wao is the first loser the DR ever produced. Interesting, but not novel-, or credit-worthy.
While I speak enough Spanish to flow with all the spanglish, I find the interestingly sad and morose story of a Dominican family's demise obscured by excessive swearing.
This really took a while for me to get through. I just wanted to hear the story. What exactly is proven by being so blatantly ignorant? I grew up with Oscars, Yuniors and Lolas and while cursing was a part of their lives, they weren't dominated by it.
At times this felt like a short story stretched out into a mini epic. I also found it went a lot of places and no where at the same time. I really wanted to like this, but it was a difficult ride.
Mr. Diaz take note: excessive writing and excessive cursing always malign good writing and good storytelling.
A librarian who loves to read, whether in print or in the air
Until now, whenever I have read a Pultizer Prize winning book, I have liked the book, regardless of its genre. However, this time, I can't say that I liked the book a lot, and would have difficulty recommending it without reservations to others. I certainly learned about the Dominican Republic, its culture, and people, but it was a dark, violent and misogynistic story.
The story of Oscar Wao was a tad weak but I really loved the background history of The Trujillo era in the Dominican Republic. It actually encouraged me to read In the Time of Butterflies.
Me thinks the author is drunk with the wine of words. The attempt to wring some meaning out of a "Dominican story" just doesn't do much for me from an artistic or cultural point of view. "C."