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
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.
This story is so well told that I travelled to the Dominican Republic;s history and felt what living there and then being an immigrant in the streets of New Jersey.... It was compelling, exciting, well written and a page turner... Thank you Junot!!
A culture I knew nothing of became real and alive for me
Definitely, there is very much to love and like in this wonderful audiobook from critically acclaimed author Junot Díaz who features also as the narrator giving the short stories of this book a unique perspective and a (very) personal touch. Add in the short bachata musical introductions (featuring Romeo Santos) to each of the chapters and you got yourself a masterpiece.
The book relies quite heavily in the use of Latino expressions, culture and symbols. Therefore, and audience not familiarized or interested in Latin American culture may not enjoy it as much as those who do. Moreover, some knowledge of the Spanish language, although not mandatory, is highly recommended for anyone interested in this audiobook.
The main argument of the (semi-autobiographical) of each tale is easy to follow and captivating (who hasn’t lost a soul mate once in a lifetime? Who hasn’t wrecked what otherwise seemed to be a promising relationship?). I found each of the stories to be interesting and some of them were very exciting.
Way to go Junot, I will definitely keep an eye out for your next book.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…The man who never reads lives only one.” (George R. R. Martin)
I wasn’t sure what to expect with Junot Diaz’s follow up to “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” which is one of my favorite audiobooks and one of my favorite novels. I also wasn’t too keen on Junot Diaz’s narration at first, mostly because Jonathan Davis’s narration of Oscar Wao was so good but I quickly grew to like it. To me, “This Is How You Lose Her” exists somewhere between Oscar Wao and “Drown.” I felt that the short stories were less minimalistic than in “Drown” but they took place in the same universe as some characters featured in both books make appearances – mostly the character Yunior. I guarded myself before listening to this collection because I thought an audiobook of short stories couldn’t live up to the grandeur of Oscar Wao but fortunately I was pleasantly surprised. The stories here are great.
Brilliantly written moving
The humanity and richness of each of his characters.
He didn't perform. He read his story as if he was telling you about it. One on one.
The narrator, because he looks at life all around him, (not just at his own belly button), with understanding and compassion.You can feel the icy, treacherous shards of ice under the feet. The Promised Land comes at great cost, if it comes at all.
I read to learn, and in his cool, wry way Diaz delivers on every page.
I send this book over and over as a thank you note. Also, it is wonderful because when have to, you can pick it up and put it down. There is no catch up time. You hear his voice and you are right there.
Junot Diaz is a wonderful writer who gives a strong voice to Dominican culture. He writes about a world I've not experienced, but it rings true. The stories are sad and funny, mean and generous, and to hear Diaz read them himself is a special treat.
My favorite genre is Mysteries. Thank you Audible for keeping me company on my commute, doing chores, etc. What a treat!
I think Junot Diaz is a gifted writer, but I don't feel I was his target audience. I didn't like any of the characters and didn't feel badly when their relationships fell apart. ****SPOILER ALERT**** All of the men were cheaters, all of them. All but maybe one or two of the women were users. If this is Junot Diaz's reality, then I feel really badly for him. I guess it would make anyone cynical. I didn't enjoy it and couldn't recommend it to anyone.
I love audio books because they allow me to knit and read at the same time. Since this was narrated by the author, it ensured that the perspective of the author came through.
The most memorable for me is when Rafi works in the yarn store. He has absolutely nothing in common with any of the ladies there, however, he still insists on overcoming his illness.
Of course, Yunior was my favorite. However, I loved Rafi.
Yes it is.
This is a popular book right now, deservedly so. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
We don't usually get the inside scoop on what goes on in the mind of a "cheating" guy, how he justifies it and regrets it, how he deals with the challenges of his life -- upbringing, dying brother, and much more. I liked the linked story format -- we meet him at different times of his life, and we piece together how all of these experiences made him the person he is.
Fabulous performance. He brought his character to life with his reading, his accent, his idiosyncrasies.
A Cheater's Life Revealed
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