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Publisher's Summary

With 10 stories that move from the barrios of the Dominican Republic to the struggling urban communities of New Jersey, Junot Diaz makes his remarkable debut. Diaz's work is unflinching and strong, and these stories crackle with an electric sense of discovery. He evokes a world in which fathers are gone, mothers fight with grim determination for their families and themselves, and the next generation inherits the casual cruelty, devastating ambivalence, and knowing humor of lives circumscribed by poverty and uncertainty. In Drown, Diaz has harnessed the rhythms of anger and release, frustration and joy, to indelible effect.
©2007 Junot Diaz; (P)2007 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Keep your eye on Diaz." (Booklist)
"[A] stunning collection of an eloquent and original writer." (San Francisco Chronicle)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Latino literature at its best!

the collection of short stories can be viewed as an overall story of the narrator in different time periods OR short stories that intertwine with each other in a context of living in a Dominican community. Junot's use of not translating or even italicizing the Spanish words is referenced in the beginning quote from Gustavo Perez Firmat. If you are monolingual and are interested in the US Latino experience, Diaz poignantly gives you an East Coast view. Be sure to have google translator handy if you want to get a better understanding of the Spanish words used in the stories. This is what makes Latino literature unique!!!!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Sometimes repetative, always misogynistic

Junot Diaz is a talented writer with a lot of powerful stories to tell. His writing is best when he writes from the heart, which is about half of the stories. The other half feel distant and false--the fake "poor/urban" accent the narrator takes on in some stories only makes it worse. All his stories are riddled with misogyny, not just in his characters but in his own narration. All in all, worth reading but often frustrating.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Andre
  • Ithaca, NY, United States
  • 08-10-09

True Story?

This book details the trials and tribulations of immigrants from the Dominican Republic. Life is never easy, and they just barely manage to keep noses above water. It also characterizes really terrible behavior of men to their women. The culture they bring with them is truly misogynous; it will not be enjoyable for women to read.
There does not seem to be any plot, other than that of daily survival.

8 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Jumbled mess

This book was in dreadful need of a good editor and it didn't find one. It uses Spanish words not familiar to many, without explanation, the plot shifts arbitrarily and the narratives are contradictory from one chapter to the next. It has some redeeming qualities as a sociocultural exploration but i can't recommend it.

6 of 29 people found this review helpful