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Publisher's Summary

Read by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Tony Award®-winning creator and star of the musical Hamilton, and Tony Award®-winning actress, Karen Olivo. This brilliant narration adds another layer of lyricism and depth to this Pulitzer Prize-winning classic novel.

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 Díaz (P)2016 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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Beautiful and devastating

I loved every minute of this book. The story was raw and beautiful and I was hooked. Lin Manuel Miranda's reading was phenomenal.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Poor Oscar

the story is compelling. At times I got a little confused because it jumps around a lot. But I was definitely sucked into the magical energy of the curse in the family. so well-read too. Definitely worth a listen.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Brought to life by Lin Manuel's performance

Lin Manuel's performance brings the story to life in a way only someone who has lived with characters like these can relate to. His pronunciation, accent, imitation of the expressions and sense for the culture are spot on. The story itself is interesting and engaging, with enough history to educate, character development to make one wonder and a lot of heart. Worth every moment of your listening pleasure.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Disturbing

What made the experience of listening to The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao the most enjoyable?

"Disturbing" is how I would describe this book in one word. The story and the numerous characters are very different, yet connected. I felt the author was jumping too much from a character to another, which made it hard to follow who he was talking about some times.<br/>Disturbing, was also the voice of the narrator ... screaming - even when not cursing. The women's voice was OK but I didn't understan why there were two narrators anyway.<br/>Yet, I decided to continue this book to the end. I was sad, sometimes disgusted and most of the time ... disturbed. But this book had a particularity to catch me and want to finish it, which is why I'm giving it 4 stars.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Disappointing

The story line keeps jumping around and it tells a while to follow. If you don't speak Spanish you miss a lot. It's a scathing history of the DR under Trujillo but it's depressing and frustrating as Oscar's life seems a big waste as does the book and a waste of Miranda's talent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Third time did it

I first came across this book when I attended a convention at which Diaz was the keynote speaker. I so thoroughly enjoyed the speech and I could not wait to start the book. However when I started it, for whatever reason at the time, I just wasn't getting into it. I downloaded an audible version a while back but didn't actually listen. So now the third time comes. Lin-Manuel Miranda and Karen Olivia have Done a remarkable job of narrating the complex story of Oscar Wao as we meet him and then learn of his family and it's past. So glad I finally finished it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A wondrous tale

I would never read/listened this book if I hadn't heard about the Lin-Manuel Miranda audiobook. I'm glad I stumbled onto it through Lin-Manuel Miranda. This is an interesting story and well written. I love the humor of the writing even though the story is at times quite dark. I have to admit my Spanish is not good enough for this book but the performance did relay a lot. My only complaint about this is something that may not be as bad if you actually read the physical book. At times I found it difficult to determine the narrator of the story. I will have to investigate this author further.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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It doesn’t get much better than this...

If you are looking for a challenging, funny, sad and beautiful book, then this is for you. Lin Manuel does Diaz justice. Great reading!

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So good on so many levels !

Loved the narration, LMM’s energy and pace and effortless flow between English and Spanish was so perfect and engaging.

And the National history, woven with family history, woven with personal history so well done.

Ok I gotta start listening all over again

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Important For Our National Dialogue

This book is one of the most important I’ve ever read. An insightful look at the offer under-documented experiences of Dominican-Americans, I think we all have lots to learn from Diaz.