This was so off track for me I wish I could get my money back. This is the kind of ethnic trash that immigrants like my family find so very offensive. Can't relate- like my aunt has said - its such a shame someone is making money off such vulgarity. Proves we are not all alike. Very good book for people that believe ugliness in itself is profound. I would not be surprised, on top of it all, to find out someone got a grant to write this. What irony!
I was disappointed that I was not able to understand much of the book because it was not in english (with no translation). I was disappointed because the author is a very desriptive writer.
I usually love when an author will bring in non-fiction historical elements into a novel. In this case, he overdid it and I would often loose interest while he was in the middle of a too-long on verbiage- too short on detail history lesson.
Even with 3 years of Spanish under my belt and growing up in a neighborhood that was predominately Hispanic (so I learned a lot of slang they don't teach in school) I felt the author used too much Spanish without really giving us a hint as to what it might mean except for the negative or positive connotation. I found it irritating that many of the times I had no idea what he was talking about.
As for the plot and the characters, I am all for a tragic story. In this case the characters actions were more dumb than tragic. I didn't feel that the author worked toward a climax. As the story unfolded it became repetitive. Different girl, different location, same story. Save for a couple interesting periods, I personally found it to be mostly dull and predictable with a couple unecessary and undevloped supernatural occurances that I am sure were meant to lend flavor to the story but came up short.
This won awards? Everyone in my book club expressed surprise at this books' literary success; only 2 of 10 of us had finished it- I had only because I had it read to me. If you don't speak any Spanish there are apparently websites for translation (why wasn't it footnoted?) I never cared about any of the characters. Really poor.
I admit I only managed to get an hour into this book, but all the eye rolling was making my forehead tired. I can't quite put my finger on what the trouble was, but it felt forced. All of the vulgarity, the slang, even the Spanish phrases inserted for atmosphere gave me the impression of an author trying really hard to be cool, and just coming across as a bore.
The historical bits are interesting, but the plot is awful.
Foul mouthed pointless angst
Good characterizations but reading would have been faster. I kept thinking I must get better with so many good reviews.
All the male characters.
Brilliant vivid writing. An almost pathological fixation on sex. The most interesting parts of the story were descriptions of the Dominican dictator, Trujillo. Some disgustingly graphic descriptions of torture. Wanted to stop listening on several occasions but was compelled to continue to find out what happened.
Belli her life's story is truly heartbreaking.
No!!! The author created a multi generational saga that was compelling seemed plausible and beyond depressing.
If it wasn't for the constant vulgar language that kept rudely interrupting my meandering thoughts I could have listened to this entire book without ever actually paying attention to what was going on in the story. Pretty much all the characters have these traumatic horrific experiences and then the book just ends. The author (who is a jerk) tried to wrap everything up in the end with a few lines from Watchmen that were not thought provoking or enlightening at all. I actually threw my ipod down and said aloud "are you freaking kidding me? That's how this ends?" I mean it didn't even really end, it just trailed off. Oh and to make matters worse I don't speak any spanish at all, this book is obviously not meant for a gringa like me,
At some points the book was confusing and sentences never-ending. But this story was amazing and weaved together things I never imagined could be mixed. Most of all this story was real, I found myself relating to it immensely. It was violent and unabashed but excellent. I wish I knew Spanish, it would have made it much better.
I missed much of this book because I don't speak Spanish. I want my money back! What I got was not very enjoyable because it was so scattered I couldn't follow the characters or the plot.