I'm sure Junot Diaz doesn't need to know my opinion, but he is a fantastic writer! This story is by turns hilarious, heartbreaking and astonishing. There are moments that make you hold your breath and wish better things for the characters. The use of language is unique and always compelling. Just a great book, well performed.
Beautiful, layered book, beautifully read, which affirmed some things I already knew and taught me a fair bit I didn't. I did not want it to end. Highest praise.
I loved the style of this author. My favorite books are those that let me get in the head and life of people unlike myself. This was well accomplished in this book. I came out with a greater understanding of what it would be like to live in a country with a cruel dictator and to see the colorful people who live and love through it all.
Great reading and voice that makes the times, the people and the story come alive - congratulations. And not knowing much about the DR's history, it was a great way to learn about cruelty, jealousy and triumph. And I sure like Oscar.
The performances are superb. This is a wonderful story, but the narrators become just as important as what they are saying, and really bring it to life. Your internal monologue will become colored with their quirks and vernacular. The book itself is littered with references to all kinds of things - not just nerdy stuff, although there is plenty of that - that will make you laugh and feel pretty smart when you pick up on them.
This book is probably better read than listed to. I find the bar is higher when you read a book on audio, and unfortunately, the reader for this one is badly cast.
As happens so often with audio books, the actor's voice is much too "professional radio announcer-ish," to be believable as the character.
Additionally, the book is filled with violence and "p-ssy." It may be authentic to the culture and the time, but I thought it was too similar to "junk-in, junk-out" sex and violence films.
In between the machismo, there's some beautiful writing, compelling characters, and a sometimes interesting story in this book. Other times it rambles on and you can't believe it's still going. I can't recommend it to my friends.
The story is unique, the writing excellent, and the narration top notch. I read plenty of trashy thrillers as well as literature, so I was a little worried that this was going to be one of those beautifully executed and heartrending books that failed to grab the reader. I was so wrong. It IS beautiful and tragic, but also very engaging and ultimately uplifting. I agree with other reviewers that it helps to understand Spanish but, even without, I expect it would be almost as good.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is one of those audio books that is the combination of a imaginative story and a great performance by the two narrators. I was hooked shortly after I started listening, and found myself completely caught up in the lives and histories of these characters.
If you appreciate books where the author develops the characters with great detail, and you are an aficionado of great performances in spoken word, you'll enjoy this book immensely.
I found this book fascinating. Oscar reminded me of many of my friends; a geek trying to find his place in the world and trying to be what he was supposed to, as per his Dominican background promotes. The way the story brings these cultural elements, superstitions and way of life hit a little to close, but I think the author kept a great balance. Although at times the attempts at a spanish accent were jarring, the narrator finally got into the groove and did a great job at bringing Oscar to life.