Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao
A while back a friend of mine recommended this book as an excellent read, and then in early April I was wondering around at the local farmer's market and toddled into the prerequisite used book store. A flyer announced that the book store would be hosting a book club featuring this book. Unfortunately, I thought the meeting was tonight, but I realized earlier today that the book under discussion was something by Salman Rushdie and not Junot Diaz.
Anyway, I'm glad I read it even if it was too early.
This book appears to be a biography of sort of one Oscar de Leon. The narrator, Yunior (Junot Diaz) occasionally stops the narration to explain things, sometimes in great detail and always with a great deal of humor, usually of the noirish variety), in footnote form. It reads many times like an unauthorized historical account.
The title character is a young Dominican man who is sooo not the stereotypical Dominican male. He a sci-fi nerd of the highest order and goes through life reading all manner of sci-fi books, watching various sci-fi television shows and films, and uses high falutin language with everyone at all times.
Though really I have practically nothing in common with the title character, I do feel a certain kinship with him. Hispanic, big reader, loves sci-fi/fantasy, and thinks and uses words that are just not in vogue anymore. I actually think in that narrative style, those high falutin words when I frame my thoughts. Then I have to translate it all into everyday language or run the risk of not being understood by friends and family, or just being thought of as an incredible snob and otherwise pretentious.
Anyway, has anyone else read this book?