Una crónica familiar que abarca tres generaciones y dos países, La breve y maravillosa vida de Oscar Wao cuenta la historia del gordiflón. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao has ratings and reviews. Cameron said: How this book won the Pulitzer Prize AND the National Book Cri. Readers’ questions about La maravillosa vida breve de Oscar Wao. 12 questions answered.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to osvar. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Vira. 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 wwao Dominican J.

Tolkien and, most of all, of finding 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.

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The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Do you think this book was good enough to warrant the high accolades it went on to receive? Because Diaz has no difficulty from weaving a comprehensible story from two languages without making you want to check a dictionary.

Because the …more Yes. Because the story of Oscar’s life is nothing without the background remembrance of Abelard, Beli, Lola wondrous’ lives. Because you can’t figure out from sentence 2 who narrates this book and this gives the book that je ne sais quoi that keep you going. Because there are far too many atrocities committed by dictators all over the world that we have no clue about and that we are bound to know socar to prevent from happening.

And also because it’s not our duty to decide whether one author or the other deserve the awards they receive – what makes you feel like you’re qualified to judge upon this?!

Who narrates the first section, Oscars childhood and teen years? There are some times when the narrator slips into first person, suggesting that there is some relationship to Oscar and his family. Gabriela As discovered by marwvillosa of the book, the narrator is Yunior, a guy who’s into Lola and ends up being Oscar’s bf. Lists with This Book. Jun 17, Cameron rated it did not like it. Here’s the review I wrote when it came out. I stand by this completely.

If someone says they read this and liked it, punch them in the throat. Imagine if, before Macomber is “accidentally” shot by his wife on that safari, Hemingway decided to pad the narrative with a couple hundred pages about Macomber’s mother, sister, and grandfather — tangents that only serve to betray the proper focus of the story, its title, and the reader’s trust.

Diaz, now 38, burst on the literary scene in with his well-received collection of short stories, “Drown,” which critics and readers both loved.

La maravillosa vida breve de Oscar Wao — Reader Q&A

I’ve been meaning to read it for some time, and when I learned he was coming out with a novel, I figured the timing was perfect: I’d sample his lone collection of short stories, get a flavor for his style, and then progress to the novel. Unfortunately, the library’s sole copy has been checked out for weeks, so I didn’t get to read “Drown” before experiencing “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” which happens to be one of the most erratic, ill-conceived and annoying books I’ve ever encountered.


The book begins with short-lived promise. We meet dorky Oscar as a high school sophomore living in Paterson, N. The mother had been born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, but immigrated to the United States in the early s.

The kids’ father, whom she met on the plane to the states, took off a long time ago, and the story of his flight from domesticity is about the only case of love-gone-bad that isn’t described in excruciating detail in this book. Crazy love is the family’s curse or fuku, which is the superstitious element of magical realism that threads through the novel. That’s the only reason I could glean, anyway. So, Oscar’s personal fuku is that he loves girls, but they don’t love him. And basically, they don’t love him because he doesn’t look like Enrique Iglesias.

To hear Diaz tell it, Oscar’s the only Dominican who doesn’t.

Couldn’t play sports for bleepdominoes, was beyond uncoordinated, threw a ball like a girl. Had no knack for music or business or dance, no hustle, no rap, no G. And most damning of all: He wore his semi-kink hair in a Puerto Rican afro, rocked enormous Section 8 glasses…sported an unappealing trace of mustache on his upper lip and possessed a pair of close-set eyes that made him look somewhat retarded.

Dude wore his nerdiness like a Jedi wore his light saber or a Lensman her lens. Couldn’t have passed for Normal if he’d wanted to. Truthfully, wanting to know does help drag the reader through the novel. But learning the identity isn’t ultimately rewarding; it’s annoying. Early on, the forward momentum of the novel stalls and the narrative flashes back in time and focuses on Lola, the sister, and how she ran away from home in the s; and then to the mother, Belicia, and how she was a star-crossed lover herself in the Vica Republic.

The ce section of the book lasts 90 pages and covers the years Unfortunately, it dr did, and the reasons seem clear. Not only is the lscar timeline all over the place, but important information — be it dialogue or exposition — is often relayed in Spanish. Now, I took two semesters of the language in college and yet I had no idea what maravilllosa were saying in many parts, because wo didn’t lend hints. If Diaz is aiming this book towards a bilingual audience, then so be it.

But how difficult would it have been to translate the Spanish in footnotes? The book is already rife with footnotes anyway, which mainly serve to explain the history of the brutal dictatorship of Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. Throw a gringo a bone. In describing how Belicia, Oscar’s mother, had developed a brash attitude as a teenager while living in the Dominican Republic with her adoptive mother, La IncaDiaz writes, “Those of you who have stood at the corner of nd and Broadway can guess what it was she spoke: Oye, pariguayo, y que paso con esa esposa tuya?

Gordo, no me digas que tu todavia tienes hambre. A lack of Spanish skills won’t be the only thing that keeps you from enjoying this book. He says, “I know I’ve thrown a lot of fantasy and sci-fi in the mix but this is supposed to be a true account of the Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Can’t we believe that an Ybon can exist and that a brother like Oscar might be due a little luck after twenty-three years? If blue pill, continue. If red pill, return to the Matrix.


Do yourself a favor and take the red pill now. Return to the Matrix and don’t read this book. View all comments. Sep 18, Malbadeen rated it it was amazing. I want to know all about your family, your childhood, your grandparents, their childhood, etc, etc, I want to know where you lived, what food you ate, what games you played or didn’t play.

I want to know why this is important to you or that is not. Oscar goes on the short list of book characters that will stay with me forever. View all 11 comments. Nov 04, Michael Finocchiaro rated it it was amazing Shelves: I can see why he got a Pulitzer and wonder if he other books are as fun to read. I think that Seven Killings was even more masterful, but Oscar delivers nearly as much gore and Caribbean corruption and historical facts as well.

I especially enjoyed the footnotes. Writing any more about this book would certainly break my no spoilers rules oscqr suffice it to say that thi Exhilarating. For more about Trujillo, his regime, his assassination, and the chaos that ensued with a magnificent female protagonist Uraniadon’t miss Feast of the Goat by Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa – it is extraordinary!

View all 15 comments. Jul 19, The Crimson Fucker rated it it was amazing. This is all I got!!!

La Maravillosa Vida Breve De Oscar Wao: Junot Diaz: : Books

This book is awesome!!! Is a nerdy dude being nerdy as hell and not getting pussy!!

Even tho he desperately wants it!! Talks about books that I like, and has an unhealthy Tolkien obsession almost as big as mine!

La maravillosa vida breve de Óscar Wao [The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao]

And god damn it I love platanos too! With cebollitas and queso frito! He has a fuku almost as bad as mine!! I disagree with him when he compares Balaguer to one of the Ring Wraths I think it was the witch king I think if we are going to talk about dominican culture in LOTR terms Trujillo was Morgoth and Balaguer was Sauron… there is a part on the Silmarillion when after the fall of Morgoth —yes, I used the Noldor name fuck off!

View all 42 comments. Dec 24, Andy rated it it was ok. I bought Oscar Wao as a birthday gift for my mother in October based on scores of sterling reviews. She read it, gave it a mild thumbs-up probably just being nice and handed it off to me.

Now having read it, I’m pretty mortified I thought this book would be something she might like. The critical consensus seemed to be that Junot Diaz is a good writer, and he picked a good story to tell here in his first novel.