Saturday, 5 July 2014

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar WaoThe Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow.  Just wow.  This kinda blew me away.  My first book for the Writers of Colour group on Goodreads and we are off to a cracking start.  I thought it was well written, I loved the humor and pop culture references, (although I didn't get all of them).  I bonded with Oscar, Junior and Lola, I cared about the characters and I wanted them to be okay.  I really enjoyed the magical realism aspects of the story, the theory of Fuku and the rich history that the family had.

My only negative - and it's entirely a fault of mine - is that I don't speak fluent Spanish, so some of the story was lost on me, and sometimes that pulled me out of the story.  I have a basic knowledge of Spanish and was able to understand parts, but most of it went over my head.  Further proof that I need to start learning it again!

What this book has pushed me to do is look into history outside my normal sphere, I know next to nothing about the Dominican Republic, and I often think being so isolated from the rest of the world (I'm in Australia), we don't learn about much about the world outside of our little bubble, it wasn't on the school curriculum and English was the language that most people spoke, at least when I was at school; that of course is changing as more immigrants arrive here.  But generally I was taught a little Australian history, but the majority was English History.  The first time I went to Europe it became glaringly obvious just how sheltered we are, a tour guide that we had in Italy spoke five languages.  Five.  Not all of them fluently, but enough to get by and I'm not saying everyone in Australia only speaks English, but we don't feel the need to learn other languages, unless we have that particular background.

My audio request of this arrive before the print copy, and it was great to listen to.  Lin-Mauel Miranda was the narrator, he was brilliant, it was like being there with Junior and I got more out of the Spanish language when it was being read to me, rather than me reading it off the page.  The story was truly bought to life.

Definitely not my last Junot Diaz book. Have you read this, lets chat!

Until next time, happy reading :)


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