The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Diaz

Jan 01

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Diaz

I will shamefully report that I only read 22 books in 2015. That is probably an all-time low for me. Match Day came in March, with the news that Spencer would be completing his residency in Atlanta. Packing, moving, my own job hunt, acclimation, exhaustion…..all of these added up to not much time to read. Luckily, I ended the year on a strong note. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao was a book I could not put down, I burned through it in less than a day. Let’s hope this Pulitzer Prize winner is a good omen for my reading new year.

Junot Diaz masterfully weaves the tale of one family who originated in the Dominican Republic and ended up living in New Jersey. Oscar is the result and victim of the Fukú – a curse that has followed his family for generations, and is hella fun to say. The book reads like several short stories, as Mr. Diaz artfully tells each family member’s sad story. Even though each relative is more tragic than the next, the author peppers the text with humor and history in a most pleasing way. When referring to the tyrant Rafael Trujillo and his reign of terror, Junot Diaz shouts out a “T to the R to the U to the J to the illo.” Genius. It should also be mentioned that Oscar is a chub who is madly obsessed with all things geek. If you know me at all, you know that I sincerely appreciate any and all Lord of the Rings references.  Tolkien and myriad more obscure references are represented in a most unique way throughout the story.

No spoilers here, but the title tells all. It doesn’t end well for our sweet, sad Oscar, but I truly enjoyed his epic, fleeting, sad life.

I am hoping to return to a more consistent reading/reviewing schedule in 2016. Thanks for hanging with me through this transition.

“Success, after all, loves a witness, but failure can’t exist without one.”

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