Oscar Wow

Junot_wao_cover

The day Junot Diaz decided to write the The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao probably went something like, I’m bored, but I have a terrific idea for a character which I’ll make out to be funny, and to which I’ll probably be able to devote an entire book to. He then went on to have these other character ideas with which to support the very endearing Oscar, and wrote and wrote and wrote until the sun came up, or it went down, depending on which time of the day he supposedly whimsically decided to write. Or maybe Junot Diaz did think about this novel, made extensive research, and carefully pieced together little bits of Dominican Republic historical details and stringed them together with certain pop culture personages and events (J.Lo, LOTR, X-Men, etc).  Either way, the resulting book is a very funny, unintentionally hip novel that is just as wondrous as its titular character, the very fat and very smart Oscar Wao. I don’t know how anyone could think of Oscar Wao as a work thought out of nowhere but it reads to me like one in spite of the many, many footnotes. The footnotes by themselves are very interesting and you’d find yourself Wikiing certain historical things like Rafael Trujillo which turns out to be Dominican Republic’s Ferdinand Marcos and Imelda Marcos times ten. The book will attempt to bore you momentarily by going back to Oscar’s family history but it will fail. Diaz momentarily stops Oscar’s tale to tell his sister’s and mother’s and they’re just as fascinating and fucked up so you won’t mind. Lola the sister is a tough bitch whose toughness and bitchiness were proabably a result of the even  bitchier mother. Basta. Magandang nobela ‘to. It won the Pulitzer Prize but the real reason to read this is for such gems as , ‘So you’re an album cover now?’ and ‘Negro, please.’ Lots of those. So bitches, please. Read it. Hehe.

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