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The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Audiobook
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Written by: 
Junot Diaz
Narrated by: 
Jonathan Davis, Staci Snell
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The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Audiobook

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

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Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize, Fiction, 2008

National Book Critics Circle Award, Fiction, 2008

Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. From his home in New Jersey, where he lives with his old-world mother and rebellious sister, Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fuku: the curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim.

Diaz immerses us in the tumultuous life of Oscar and the history of the family at large, rendering with genuine warmth and dazzling energy, humor, and insight the Dominican-American experience - and, ultimately, the endless human capacity to persevere in the face of heartbreak and loss. A true literary triumph, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao confirms Junot Diaz as one of the best and most exciting voices of our time.

©2007 Junot Diaz; (P)2007 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc. and Books on Tape

What the Critics Say

"[A] wondrous, not-so-brief first novel that is so original it can only be described as Mario Vargas Llosa meets Star Trek meets David Foster Wallace meets Kanye West. [W]ondrous [and] original. … [This work] decisively establishes him as one of contemporary fiction’s most distinctive and irresistible new voices." (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times)

"The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is panoramic and yet achingly personal. … It’s Dominican and American, not about immigration but diaspora, in which one family’s dramas are entwined with a nation’s, not about history as information but as dark-force destroyer." (Susan Straight, Los Angeles Times)

"[A] book whose imaginative energy, linguistic volatility, historical passion and all-around love of life (and its characters) make it one of the best first novels of the past few decades. … A profane and sacred, playful and serious, light and dark, filthy-throated and bittersweet treatise on life as we need to know it." (Alan Cheuse, Dallas Morning News)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (3425 )
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4.1 (2019 )
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4.4 (2009 )
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2 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Emily Walker 03-12-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
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    2
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    "Overhyped"

    Didn't enjoy it at all! Dark story about a boy/man who doesn't want to die a virgin. And, he doesn't.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AW 03-02-15
    AW 03-02-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    1
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    "ZAFA!"

    I recommend this richly descriptive well written novel. Well done Junot Diaz, well done!

    THANK YOU

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew T. Williams Salt Lake City, Utah 02-20-15
    Matthew T. Williams Salt Lake City, Utah 02-20-15 Member Since 2016

    Tyler W.

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    "Excellent."

    I will have to actually read this book before I state that it is a work of genius but it is close.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Ortiz Texas 04-25-14
    Matthew Ortiz Texas 04-25-14

    Dental hygienist, runner, avid reader, and best of all....a lover of music :)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A wonderous tale"
    Any additional comments?

    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is a book that deserves to be read. It's a story that speaks beyond the author's words with truth about life and death. I found myself at odds at many times making every attempt to shield my emotions as the story unfolded. Political, honest, happy, tragic, horrifying, sexual, historical....these are the underlying themes that make this story interesting - one to keep any reader engaged! Happy reading everyone! Peace and love!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yvonne M. Kaiser Magnolia, TX 01-28-14
    Yvonne M. Kaiser Magnolia, TX 01-28-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Pulitzer Winner, Why?"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I listened and read along as this was one picked for our book club. The resounding opinion form the group was one of disgust. Our group is compromised of a variety of women of different ages and backgrounds. We could not figure out the so called Tolkien references which was one of the draws to the book. Many of us were shaking our heads to who picked the book the year it won the Pulitzer. The book is offensive and demeaning to women. The slang was hard to understand and the only redeeming quality was the tiny bit of history that was given on the atrocities of the Dominican People during the reign of Truillio.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I think I would like to give another Dominican author an opportunity but not sure who yet will need to do a little more research.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao?

    Cut down on the demeaning attacks on women and the language could be sliced back a bit. I felt beaten over the head by both.


    Any additional comments?

    The audio was the only way I could make it through this book and out of 15 women at the meeting only 5 were able to make it all the way through the novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caroline 12-27-13
    Caroline 12-27-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "stopped before halfway done"

    This is one of those prize winners where you go ‘huh?’ Boring, writing isn’t insightful or artful. I read a lot of serious international fiction, and this doesn’t measure up. I made myself keep going to about one third through, to see if was going to kick in, but it never did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rose 11-17-13
    Rose 11-17-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "CONSTANTLY SKIPS"
    What did you like best about The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao? What did you like least?

    The book was pretty good and possibly even worth reading, but not nearly as good as I had expected based on reviews.


    Any additional comments?

    I have listened to many audiobooks before and never had any issues, but for whatever reason this auidiobook was almost impossible to listen to. No matter how many times I tried to play it over, it would constantly skip and jump to different scenes, and there where many times when the narrators voice was playing over itself, saying many things at once. I would NOT recommend purchasing this, just read the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Malia LONG BRANCH, NJ, United States 02-04-13
    Malia LONG BRANCH, NJ, United States 02-04-13 Member Since 2011

    Avid reader turned listener.

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    "Unexpectedly Excellent"

    A co-worker requested this book for a Secret Santa gift and I was intrigued. I'd never heard of the author or title, but figured I would give it a try as I had some credits piling up. It was a very interesting book and one of the reviews I read about this book having a Toni Morrison feel was dead on. A lot of the book takes place in New Jersey too which was a cool aspect for me, being an NJ native and a lot of the locations the narrator references I was familiar with. If you have even an inkling of interest, I would recommend this purchase. I would caution the listener though, as there are several '75-'90 sci fi/nerd references, some I could understand, others I couldn't. The same goes for a lot of the Spanish dialogue.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mary 02-04-13
    mary 02-04-13 Member Since 2008
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    "beautifully written but took too long to conclude"
    Where does The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I love the writing and the story-- Learned enough about The Dominican to want to learn more


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth ISSAQUAH, WA, United States 01-30-13
    Elizabeth ISSAQUAH, WA, United States 01-30-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Meh"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I have been waiting to read this award-winning book for ages. I was underwhelmed. I supposed I read it for the wrong reasons, hoping for a story of Oscar and instead getting a story of a Dominican family, a curse, and a country. It reminded me a lot of Love in the Time of Cholera (which I also found underwhelming). It was loaded with hyperbole and some of the characters, despite their ordeals, never were likeable for me (same with Cholera). I LOVED Oscar. This overweight love-obsessed boy (clearly with Asperger's) was my absolute favorite. Much later in the book they finally started to tell Oscar's story. But not for long enough. If this book was more Oscar and less about his Mother, grandparents and Dominican dictators I'd have adored it, devoured it. I was most put off by the lack of any redeeming arcs in the mother's storyline and the lack of any follow through into her life as the mother of the title character. I guess extensive hyperbole and unlikeable characters aren't my cup of tea - despite Nobel Prizes. The narrator was good. Pacing was appropriate. Voices were recognizable. Spanish, in my opinion, was emotive (what I didn't understand with my mediocre command of romance languages was delivered with inflection). Thus, 3 stars total.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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