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Informative,
Graphic,
Confusing

13 reviews

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
by Junot Diaz

Published: 2007-09-06
Hardcover : 340 pages
16 members reading this now
19 clubs reading this now
21 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 6 of 13 members
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 ...
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Introduction

(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 Fukœ-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.

D'az 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 D'az as one of the best and most exciting voices of our time.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

Yunior says that the people of the Caribbean have a tolerance for extreme phenomena, and it has helped them survive. In what way is this true for the de Leon and Cabral families? Does Oscar's interest in science fiction have a s
Spanish words and phrases in the novel do not have an English translation. How did that work for you?
What did you think of the author's use of footnotes to include historical information and anecdotes?
by mbell7 (see profile) 09/20/13

Did you think it was fuku or zafa?
How did knowing that Oscar was going to die (see title) affect the level of suspense?
by NewMexicoTam (see profile) 09/11/09

How did you feel about Oscar?
Who was the book really about?
by Cmatthe1 (see profile) 04/30/09

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao"by mbell7 (see profile) 09/20/13

This is a difficult book to categorize. It's smart and funny and heartbreaking. It's rawer in language and content than what I tend to read. There are several references to science fictional works and... (read more)

 
  "Excellent read"by MariaHourihane (see profile) 05/28/13

A great book. The language is somewhat colorful and graphic but it adds to the story.

 
  "Oscar Wao"by stgarzon (see profile) 05/14/13

this book took me into the lives of Dominicans, with characters I loved.

 
  "why be so confusing in your writing style?"by StephanieMiller (see profile) 10/27/12

Did not like it at all. Tried to read it several times. Got so frustrated I threw the book across the room.

 
  "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao"by megbarry (see profile) 08/19/12

The book gave an informative history of the Dominican Republic during the dictatorship of General Trujillo. The generations of a family affected by his rule was both tragic and sad, yet showed the resilience... (read more)

 
  "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao"by nalleyo (see profile) 08/19/12

 
  "Worth it in the end"by KSREINEK (see profile) 08/19/12

This is challenging read, but interesting. there are a lot of layers the character develoment is good, however the strong language, graphic content and untranslated Spanish phrases can be off putting... (read more)

 
  "Great Insight"by sterlinggirl (see profile) 04/19/12

It helped to me see things from someone else's perspective. Things aren't always as they seem. Learned about DR history. Lots of slang, but very well written, easy to follow along, even though I don't... (read more)

 
  "Didn't like it"by 1morechapter (see profile) 02/14/11

I just didn’t like this book. At all. This book was just not my cup of tea. Plainly put, it was quite vulgar and crass and just not at all what I want in my reading. I’m not necessari... (read more)

 
  "Hard to read, but sometimes worth it"by ohforsure (see profile) 01/01/11

This book jumps around a lot, from different narrators, to different generations, different countries, even different languages. We had a lively discussion about it, and most of us said we were glad we'd... (read more)

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