The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
by Junot Diaz
Hardcover- $16.96

This is the long-awaited first novel from one of the most original and memorable writers working today.

Things have never been easy for ...

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  "History of the Dominican Republic/All about Trujillo/Poignant characters" by nadjaj (see profile) 03/25/08

A "novel" that was actually a series of short stories about characters interconnected over several generations. Full, real, well-developed characters, quite graphic in language, sex and violence. We had a great deal to talk about and could have gone on for several hours! Scores ranged from 6-8.5.

  "Spanish Required!" by calli42 (see profile) 04/15/09

Although I enjoyed the tragic (yet sometimes humorous) story of Oscar Wao, there was so many spanish phrases and expressions that I felt I was missing some of the subtilities of the story. Sometimes I got the gist of what the author was trying to convey, other times I felt completely lost - and I speak English, but know French and Italian, too. Pulitzer prize-winner or not, this was just not my cup of tejava!

  "More Shock than Awe...." by ziencat (see profile) 04/30/09

I think books like this make it necessary to put warnings about graphic language on the cover. I liked the story enough to finish it. Beli was by far the most interesting character, way more so than Oscar. But I did not enjoy that onslaught of vile expressions and curses, Spanish and English. Yikes! This truly speaks volumes about how some people express themselves.

  "the brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao" by nu2335 (see profile) 06/23/09

  "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" by joymclain (see profile) 08/06/09

Overall I liked the book. I got lost in all of the references to the history of the Dominican Republic. Way too many footnotes.

  "Strange, sad and slow moving" by LauraAdams (see profile) 09/16/09

I found this book to be very strange. Most pages had from a few lines to half a page of footnotes about the Dominican Republic or its leaders. A sad, slow book.

  "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 it, but not sure we'd recommend it.

  "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 necessarily sorry that I read it, though, as I do have a commitment to reading all of the Pulitzers. I just wish the committee had chosen a different book.

There was a section in the middle that was quite interesting about the brutal reign of Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. If not for that section, the book would have only received a 1 star rating. It did have quite a few literary references that were somewhat enjoyable as well, but no, that does not make up for the rest of it I did not enjoy. I am just glad that I can now mark this one off my tbr list.

  "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

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

  "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 of some family members. The graphic language was at first a shock to my senses, and the inclusion of Spanish text without translation was a bit confusing.The book required persistence in following the story line as it jumped from present to past and to different generations of the family. However, if one persevered, it all came together at the end. The main character was both bizarre and tender. In hindsight, it was a good book, but may not appeal to the senses of older readers.

  "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.

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

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

  "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.

  "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 untranslated Spanish terms, neither of which I could really understand without help (thanks to Google translate, I\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'ve learned an awful lot of Spanish insults and swears). About the only thing I had in common with Oscar was a love for Tolkien. And yet, I was drawn into the story of this boy very much unlike me, and his family who could not escape a power-hungry dictator. I cared about Oscar and his sister Lola and wanted to see them make good. It\'s the sort of book I\'m hard-pressed to describe an audience for, but one I would recommend for someone who enjoys unique, inventive fiction.

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