Junot Díaz burst into the literary world with Drown, a collection of indelible stories that revealed a major new writer with the "eye of a journalist and the tongue of a poet" (Newsweek). His eagerly awaited first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, arrived like a thunderclap, topping best-of-the-year lists and winning a host of major awards, including the Pulitzer Prize. Now Díaz turns his prodigious talent to the haunting, impossible power of love.
The stories in This Is How You Lose Her, by turns hilarious and devastating, raucous and tender, lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weaknesses of our all-too-human hearts. They capture the heat of new passion, the recklessness with which we betray what we most treasure, and the torture we go through - "the begging, the crawling over glass, the crying" - to try to mend what we've broken beyond repair. They recall the echoes that intimacy leaves behind, even where we thought we did not care. They teach us the catechism of affections: that the faithlessness of the fathers is visited upon the children; that what we do unto our exes is inevitably done in turn unto us; and that loving thy neighbor as thyself is a commandment more safely honored on platonic than erotic terms. Most of all, these stories remind us that the habit of passion always triumphs over experience, and that "love, when it hits us for real, has a half-life of forever."
©2012 Junot Díaz (P)2012 Penguin Audiobooks
I loved Oscar Wao and have given it as a gift to friends and family so I had high hopes for this new book. I simply didn't get it, there was a lot of cursing which didn't bother me, the stories just seemed disconnected and lacking.
You won me.
When he actually says "this is how you lose her..."
His voice is so identifiable.
It made me laugh out loud many times. It made me sick. It made me feel like I was actually inside the mind of every bad boyfriend I had in NYc. And it made me love Diaz even more than I did after Oscar Wao.
Near the top.
Junot Diaz's voice. His narrative. His perspective.
He made it "real".
This was an amazing, complicated, heart wrenching story. The author was was an incredible performer.
I am not sure who might enjoy this book?
This book is a waste of money.
I really enjoyed the fact that this was read by the author.
The characters, particularly Yunior, had such an authentic voice. He is flawed and relatable.
The scene where Elvis finds out that the son he thought was his, was not.
Mr. Diaz creates fascinating characters with strong voices. He is particularly adept at capturing heart wrenching emotions behind the heavy masks of his multidimensional characters.
a different reader!
my book club read the book, I listened to it. I believe they enjoyed the book more than I did because they were not distracted by the reader.
Yes, the author tells heartfelt and penitent tales of love and loss, and honestly depicts his role in each story.
The ending paragraph had me in tears.
A tone of integrity.
Having absolutely no knowledge of Spanish, had I known that a considerable amount of the book is sporadically in Spanish, I might not have purchased it. But I hope this doesn't keep people from listening, because the context in which the Spanish is inserted is written in a way that one can get the gist of what they are saying, and doesn't interfere with the story.
Listening to books makes my mundane tasks so much more palatable.
Junot Diaz's writing is extremely fresh, new, and immensely entertaining. Yunior, the recurring narrator throughout most of these stories, is a character unlike any other I've come across. The writing here, especially the Dominican street talk, is vivid.
While I liked the book overall, I gave the story itself only three stars. For me, the stories, detailing Yunior's romantic relationships, and the inevitable breakups, got a little repetitive. I really liked the stories about Yunior's childhood, the coldness of his father, the mother's obliviousness, and the stories of Rafa's (Yunior's brother) sad end. Yunior's chronic infidelities are interesting at first, but I eventually just got tired of hearing about them in almost every story. In one of the last stories, Yunior claims to have cheated on one long-time girlfriend over 50 times. At that point, the reader has read so much about cheating that it elicits only a shrug.
The writing is so good here. I just wish other characters would have had more voice, and that relationship issues other than infidelity would have figured into the stories.
I loved The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao and was looking forward to hearing this collection of related stories. I was so happy with the results. The collection is beautifully written and a bitter sweet description of his character's loves (or rather failures of love) and lives. The real treat was Diaz's performance of his stories. His narration provided the amazing experience of hearing the author words as he meant them.
I'm also a Central New Jersey guy and know almost all of the places where the stories took place. That also made it great.
I cannot recommend this collection of stories more.
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