Susanita (bardhlul) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Book 3 - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Junot Diaz)

Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd, a New Jersey romantic who 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 fukú — the ancient 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 dreaming of his first kiss, is only its most recent victim - until the fateful summer that he decides to be its last.

I did not particularly care for this book. The Tolkien references and some of the descriptions of Dominican-American life were interesting, but overall the writing was too ... colloquial for my taste. I could have handled the liberal use of the F-bomb and the oh-so-street-cred narrative and the numerous footnotes reminding us what a cabrón Trujillo was and the depressing self-destructive habits of every character. What finally sent me over the edge, though, was the single sentence that spanned over more than two pages. At that point I might have given up on the book, except:

- I was far enough along that I did care what happened to the poor sap Oscar
- I have a stubborn streak in me and I wasn't going to let this book get the better of me
- It was for Book Club ... and I picked it!

On the positive side, we had a good discussion about it.
Tags: family saga, magical realism

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