Díaz immerses us in the tumultuous life of Oscar and the history of the family at A true literary triumph, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao confirms Junot. Things have never been easy for Oscar. A ghetto nerd living with his Dominican family in New Jersey, he's sweet but disastrously overweight. Read "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" by Junot Díaz available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first download.
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The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz. Read online, or download in secure EPUB format. Editorial Reviews. musicmarkup.info Review. site Best of the Month, September It's been Kindle Store · Kindle eBooks · Literature & Fiction. Editorial Reviews. musicmarkup.info Review. site Best of the Month, September It's been Kindle Store; ›; Kindle eBooks; ›; Literature & Fiction.
Excellent novel with some Dominican Republic history thrown in for extra interest Like Manateestarz Nov 25, It is possible to straddle two subcultures. It is also possible to love a fast paced,furiously written book with pages and pages of allusions. I just loved this book even though I am not part of the geek fandom that is so important in this book. Really well written and compelling. Like s Sarah Aug 03, This isn't working for me.
For example, despite its title it is not a book solely about Oscar's life but rather the story of three generations and the events are not narrated in chronological order. Other aspects include magical realism and an unreliable character-narrator. The facet that fascinated me the most, however, is the language used in the book.
The aspect that shall be looked at specifically is what the language reveals about the identity of the characters. To me, this is an important topic, because language has the ability to reflect a person's self-perception as well as their world view.
It is the catalyst through which each and every one of us describes the world. The way one speaks, that is which tone, register, and range of vocabulary one uses, shapes the way one perceives and experiences the world and oneself immensely, and often on an unconscious level. Vice versa, the use of specific language can also reveal a lot about how one experiences one's environment.
However, the Spanish language is also very prevalent in the text. Additionally, the style of language varies greatly. Both of these aspects shall be analyzed in the following paper. One of the reasons English is the main language of the novel is, of course, to reach an English- speaking audience, especially readers in the United States of America where the book was published and where many aspects of the story take place.
However, the reason English and Spanish are intertwined is that the main characters of the story have ties to the United States as well as to the Dominican Republic. Oscar, the character mentioned in the title, is a young Dominican-American. He and his sister Lola were both born in the United States, but their mother Belicia was born in the Dominican Republic and Oscar spent a few years of his childhood there.
Yunior, a character who narrates most of the story, was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to the United States as a child. The use of English and Spanish represents the everyday reality of immigrants all over the world, being confronted with the language of their country of origin and the language of the country they now live in.
Furthermore, these two languages represent both countries and cultures that are relevant to the characters of the novel and their identity. Due to the limited space, only the varieties of nerdspeak and academic English will be examined. Even when only looking at this small selection of styles, it can be seen that these varieties are used because the transcultural characters have a desperate need for a language or register which truly gives voice to their experiences and their identity.
The literature discussing this novel has looked at the two languages, the strategies of code- switching and the different registers, but none so far has decided to analyze the relationship between the language and the identity specifically. Mostly in heartbreak. So brief and wondrous, this life of Oscar. It is a joy to read, and every bit as exhilarating to reread. And some older writers—we know who we are—might want to think about stepping up their game.
Oscar Wao shows a novelist engaged with the culture, high and low, and its polyglot language. Was the sudden acclaim energizing or disorienting? But Drown acted like an accelerant, it put things into overdrive. I was known among the story-writing nerds and the MFA types and the New Yorker crowd whoever they are and in certain sectors of the Dominican community, but that was about it.
I was and am super-self-conscious, but Drown made me even more so. Also the N-word pops up far more often than a gringo blanco like myself is comfortable with. Indeed, the final chapter reads to me as something tacked on by Yunior to give Oscar a bit of a happy ending.
Your take on this may vary. Anyway, a lot of the book takes place in the Dominican Republic of Trujillo and his successors; the climax occurs during the unacknowledged occupation of the DR by America in the '80s; and it would be incredibly grim if it were not also incredibly funny. I can't decide whether it's a funny book that happens to be sad, or a sad book that happens to be funny. It's funny that way.
What propels the story more than Yunior's voice is the characters. They sparkle with life even when terrible things are happening to them, and they change, both as time passes, and as we get to know them better. Mama Beli, as we first see her through Oscar's then Lola's eyes, seems like a terrible person; then we learn her story and everything just shifts.
It is a terrible, a tragic story with the inevitability that makes a tragedy tragic and not merely bathetic. You won't go far wrong picking it up - from a library, or a used book emporium, or some such, please.
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It touches upon the struggle of a society affected by oppressive power, and the resilience and determination needed in their diaspora. As a native Hispanic, I wonder if and how non-Spanish speakers get to fully understand this book, because it's written not only in Spanish but in Spanish untranslateable slang.
Also, as a native Hispanic, I was annoyed at the multiple grammatical and spelling errors in Spanish. Couldn't Diaz have found a bilingual editor? The book's chapters alternatively tell the story of Oscar and his immediate family members.
From the title we are aware that Oscar will die, but that news does not lessen our sorrow because by then we are despairingly rooting for his success. Oscar's unquenchable thirst for love is heart-wrenching because it is snubbed by every female he encounters.
His family members and their struggles also break our hearts in their own struggles to survive their personal hell. As for the dose of Dominican history included in the book, I am so curious about Trujillo now that I will follow with Julia Alvarez's "In the time of the butterflies" and Mario Vargas Llosa's "La fiesta del chivo".
This book was easily one of the best I read this year. Its blend of cultural history, 80's nerdery, mystical curses, and romanticism create a relatable family history.
My family is Cuban and this family history was so reminiscent of my own.
It is hard not to sympathize with Oscar and his family. Oscar is the perfect pure soul who's goal is something we all strive for love and acceptance. If you are a fan of magical realism and cultural diverse stories definitely give this a try. If you have ever felt like an outcast please give this a try.
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