On The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Posted by Jack on 2018-02-01 at 18:00
Tagged: books
TitleThe Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
AuthorJunot Díaz

Unsurprising for a Pulitzer winner, this story was extremely well told, and I ended up reading the last 200 pages in one sitting.

It was an interesting journey and punctuated with juicy and sometimes frightening tidbits from the Dominican Republic in its dictator days. Similar to other spoken word style family biographies, but still unique and compelling.

My one criticism is that I think some poor editing choices were made. Footnotes were sometimes historical and sometimes in universe and those occasionally took me out of the story. Chapters open from an unknown point of view that takes a few sentences longer to resolve than I'd like. Some idiomatic Dominican Spanish wasn't translated and wasn't made clear with a search engine. It felt clumsy in those notes, even giving definitions of terms we were expected to lookup or infer pages before.

Anyway, I could hear Diaz's voice telling the story clearly from page one and it was told with such expertise and practice that I can forgive any minor foibles and just say it was definitely worth a read.