Like I mentioned in my last post, I haven’t been reading as much lately. That said, I was too tempted by The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao to not read it. It might have taken me longer than usual, but I did it! I started it while on a business trip with my Mom (long story) but then put it down when I got back home. I picked it up again over the long weekend when Jeff and I ferried our asses over to our Orcas Island hide-out (also known as his parent’s cabin).
I think I first read about this book on Raych’s blog and was intrigued. Then it appeared on the EW New Classics List. Then my sister-in-law gave it to me for Christmas. Obviously, I HAD to read it. And it was pretty amazing really. Very different from the stuff I’ve been reading lately. The whole book is centered around the Dominican culture, with the plot twisting in and out of New Jersey and The Dominican Republic.
Oscar Wao is a giant Dominican dork. Which is apparently a bit of an oxymoron because Dominican men are all supposed to be major players and have mad game. Oscar however is obese and loves, loves, loves anime and everything medieval and mystical. He lives in New Jersey with his angry Mother and lovely sister Lola and wonders if he’ll die a virgin. The story bobs and weaves (sometimes a little too much for my liking) so that you end up getting to hear about his Mother’s childhood in the DR, his grandparent’s destruction by the evil dictator Trujillo, his sister, and Oscar’s college roommate, Yunjior.
Truthfully the author had me hooked on page two when he used the phrase Fuckface. I know that’s a little inappropriate and maybe weird that I loved it so much. But fuckface is a funny thing to say! And he was using the word in a *footnote* which is ironic because footnotes are supposed to be all official and serious. The book is totally fresh and different and really brilliant. The stuff about Oscar’s interest in Elvish, Tolkien, role playing games and basically anything dorky was hilarious. Learning about Dominican history is heartbreaking and interesting and Oscar’s story in particular is captivating. Definitely not uplifting, but captivating (remember it IS his “brief” life). My only complaint about the book is that the narration was confusing sometimes. I couldn’t really tell who was narrating half the time. Was it Yunjior, Lola, objective third person? It felt like it skipped around constantly, but maybe this is more a symptom of my recent affliction with reading A.D.D.?
2 days ago