Miss Letting-Go-Getting

Wow, Wao! Miss LGG’s Book of the Week
April 19, 2008, 4:13 am
Filed under: Books | Tags: ,

Looking for something good to read? This week I bring you one of my top books of the year…

This debut novel by Junot Diaz contains one of the most memorable, endearing characters I’ve encountered in a long while. Pushing 250 lbs, young “ghetto nerd” Oscar Wao, aspiring science-fiction author and role-playing game master, dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien. He also loves, loves, loves the ladies, but his extreme social awkwardness prevents him from having his affections requited. His family is also cursed. Poor guy.

“You really want to know what being an X-Man feels like? Just be a smart bookish boy of color in a contemporary US ghetto. Mamma mia! Like having bat wings or a pair of tentacles growing out of your chest.”

Though you could read the book for the title character alone, there is soooo much more packed into this fast-reading, artfully constructed (yet not pretentious) debut and Pulitzer-prize winning novel. Oscar’s family, the de Leons have roots stretching back to the Dominican Republic of the brutal, almost supernaturally evil dictator Rafael Trujillo–the source of the De Leon’s (and many Dominican’s) curse or fuku. The family has the bad habit (and don’t I know it) of falling hopelessly in love with the wrong people.

Believe the hype! Alternately heartbreaking and hilarious, filled with magical elements, historical details of the Trujillo reign, and plenty of nerdy sci-fi, superhero, Tolkien references The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is a stunning novel of a family seeking love and redemption in the New World.

Read it and we’ll discuss!


Miss LGG


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