Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. 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 Fuk - the curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations.
This is the long-awaited first novel from one of the most original and memorable writers working today.
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 Fuk-the curse that has haunted the 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.
GhettoNerd at the End of the World
the golden age
Our hero was not one of those Dominican cats everybodys always going on about -
he wasnt no home-run hitter or a fly bachatero, not a playboy with a million
hots on his jock.
And except for one period early in his life, dude never had much luck with the females (how very un-Dominican of him).
He was seven then.
In those blessed days of his youth, Oscar was something of a Casanova. One of those preschool loverboys who was always trying to kiss the girls, always coming up behind them during a merengue and giving them the pelvic pump, the first nigger to learn the perrito and the one who danced it any chance he got. Because in those days he was (still) a normal Dominican boy raised in a typical Dominican family, his nascent pimpliness was encouraged by blood and friends alike. During parties - and there were many many parties in those long-ago seventies days, ...
As we flip back and forth, character to character, narrator to narrator, Diaz's prose-dance continues to dazzle as the story takes on greater weight as the history piles on – but it's not just dazzling for the sake of the dazzle. He loves the performance, but not for the applause. He loves doing it, loves the writing, loves the rush and the game, and most of all the promise, the hope, the bet, that you, the reader, will fall in love, too.
(Reviewed by Lucia Silva).
Full Review (597 words).
As much the tale of a teenage
misfit as it is the story of the
Dominican Diaspora in the United
States, The Brief and
Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
is filled with references to the
Dominican Republic, and in
particular to the ruler whose
profile defined the country in
the twentieth century - Rafael
Leonidas Trujillo, the "Dictatingest
Dictator who ever Dictated".
A Short History of the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic occupies two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with Haiti (map). ...
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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