Monday, April 27, 2009

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz is nominally about Oscar, a Dominican nerd. But more than anything else, the novel is about a fuku, a curse that afflicts Oscar's family. What follows is the tale not only of Oscar and his misfortune, but the misfortune of his mother and grandparents as well. But, be warned. The novel is full of Dominican language and nerdish allusions.

Junot Diaz tells his tale with humor and tenderness. I thought this novel was absolutely fabulous. However, it may require a little work on the part of the reader. My twenty year old high school Spanish was no match for Diaz' Dominican idioms. Nor did I understand all the nerdy allusions throughout the novel. (I did, however, understand a little too many for my comfort, if you know what I mean.) The website The Annotated Oscar Wao provided all the help I needed. I would recommend the site to any reader that does not speak Spanish and/or was not a nerd during the eighties. I would also highly recommend this Pulitzer Prize winning novel.


1 comment:

Elena said...

Hey, wow I wish I knew about that site before I read this book!

I'm Australian, they don't teach us Spanish at school here so I relied on my ability to associate the Spanish words with their similar-sounding counterpart in English.

I know what you mean about being able to recognise a few too many nerdy references lol.

It was a joy to read though :) I second your recommendation