The Brief discount Wondrous outlet sale Life of Oscar Wao outlet sale

The Brief discount Wondrous outlet sale Life of Oscar Wao outlet sale

The Brief discount Wondrous outlet sale Life of Oscar Wao outlet sale
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Winner of:
The Pulitzer Prize
The National Book Critics Circle Award
The Anisfield-Wolf Book Award
The Jon Sargent, Sr. First Novel Prize
Time Magazine #1 Fiction Book of the Year


One of the best books of 2007 according to: The New York TimesSan Francisco Chronicle, New York Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, The Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, People, The Village Voice, Time Out New York, Salon, Baltimore City Paper, The Christian Science Monitor, Booklist, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, New York Public Library, and many more...

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd who—from the New Jersey home he shares with his old world mother and rebellious sister—dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, finding love. But Oscar may never get what he wants. Blame the fukú—a curse that has haunted Oscar’s family for generations, following them on their epic journey from Santo Domingo to the USA. Encapsulating Dominican-American history, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao opens our eyes to an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and explores the endless human capacity to persevere—and risk it all—in the name of love.

Review

"An extraordinarily vibrant book that''s fueled by adrenaline-powered prose. . . A book that decisively establishes [Díaz] as one of contemporary fiction''s most distinctive and irresistible new voices."  —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"Díaz finds a miraculous balance. He cuts his barn-burning comic-book plots (escape, ruin, redemption) with honest, messy realism, and his narrator speaks in a dazzling hash of Spanish, English, slang, literary flourishes, and pure virginal dorkiness." — New York Magazine

"Genius. . . a story of the American experience that is giddily glorious and hauntingly horrific. And what a voice Yunior has. His narration is a triumph of style and wit, moving along Oscar de Leon''s story with cracking, down-low humor, and at times expertly stunning us with heart-stabbing sentences. That Díaz''s novel is also full of ideas, that [the narrator''s] brilliant talking rivals the monologues of Roth''s Zuckerman in short, that what he has produced is a kick-ass (and truly, that is just the word for it) work of modern fiction all make The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao something exceedingly rare: a book in which a new America can recognize itself, but so can everyone else." — San Francisco Chronicle

"Astoundingly great. . . Díaz has written. . . a mixture of straight-up English, Dominican Spanish, and hieratic nerdspeak crowded with references to Tolkien, DC Comics, role-playing games, and classic science fiction. . . In lesser hands Oscar Wao would merely have been the saddest book of the year. With Díaz on the mike, it''s also the funniest."  Time 

"Superb, deliciously casual and vibrant, shot through with wit and insight. The great achievement of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is Díaz''s ability to balance an intimate multigenerational story of familial tragedy. . . The past and present remain equally in focus, equally immediate, and Díaz''s acrobatic prose toggles artfully between realities, keeping us enthralled with all." — The Boston Globe

"Panoramic and yet achingly personal. It''s impossible to categorize, which is a good thing. There''s the epic novel, the domestic novel, the social novel, the historical novel, and the ''language'' novel. People talk about the Great American Novel and the immigrant novel. Pretty reductive. Díaz''s novel is a hell of a book. It doesn''t care about categories. It''s densely populated; it''s obsessed with language. It''s Dominican and American, not about immigration but diaspora, in which one family''s dramas are entwined with a nation''s, not about history as information but as dark-force destroyer. Really, it''s a love novel. . . His dazzling wordplay is impressive. But by the end, it is his tenderness and loyalty and melancholy that breaks the heart. That is wondrous in itself." — Los Angeles Times

"Díaz''s writing is unruly, manic, seductive. . . In Díaz''s landscape we are all the same, victims of a history and a present that doesn''t just bleed together but stew. Often in hilarity. Mostly in heartbreak." — Esquire

"
The Dominican Republic [Díaz] portrays in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is a wild, beautiful, dangerous, and contradictory place, both hopelessly impoverished and impossibly rich. Not so different, perhaps, from anyone else''s ancestral homeland, but Díaz''s weirdly wonderful novel illustrates the island''s uniquely powerful hold on Dominicans wherever they may wander. Díaz made us wait eleven years for this first novel and boom!—it''s over just like that. It''s not a bad gambit, to always leave your audience wanting more. So brief and wondrous, this life of Oscar. Wow." — The Washington Post Book World

"Terrific. . . High-energy. . . It is a joy to read, and every bit as exhilarating to reread." — Entertainment Weekly

"Now that Díaz''s second book, a novel called The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, has finally arrived, younger writers will find that the bar. And some older writers—we know who we are—might want to think about stepping up their game. Oscar Wao shows a novelist engaged with the culture, high and low, and its polyglot language. If Donald Barthelme had lived to read Díaz, he surely would have been delighted to discover an intellectual and linguistic omnivore who could have taught even him a move or two." — Newsweek

"Few books require a ''highly flammable'' warning, but The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz''s long-awaited first novel, will burn its way into your heart and sizzle your senses. Díaz''s novel is drenched in the heated rhythms of the real world as much as it is laced with magical realism and classic fantasy stories." — USA Today

"Dark and exuberant. . . this fierce, funny, tragic book is just what a reader would have hoped for in a novel by Junot Díaz." — Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Junot Díaz was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. He is the author of the critically acclaimed  DrownThe Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award;   This Is How You Lose Her, a  New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist; and a debut picture book,  Islandborn. He is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, PEN/Malamud Award, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, and PEN/O. Henry Award. A graduate of Rutgers College, Díaz is currently the fiction editor at  Boston Review and the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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4.4 out of 54.4 out of 5
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Top reviews from the United States

Dan'l Danehy-Oakes
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Tragically funny? Humorously tragic? Don''t know, don''t care, just read it
Reviewed in the United States on September 12, 2018
Another book which, but for my office''s book club, I''d never have even heard of, let alone read: and which I''m terribly glad I did. (I''m also terribly glad I bought a used copy, but that''s another issue.) What we have here, is the story of a nerd - a fat... See more
Another book which, but for my office''s book club, I''d never have even heard of, let alone read: and which I''m terribly glad I did. (I''m also terribly glad I bought a used copy, but that''s another issue.)

What we have here, is the story of a nerd - a fat (incredibly fat), ugly, intellectual, verbose nerd whose parents (Dad left when Oscar was but a wee thing) came from the Dominican Republic but who grows up in Paterson, New Jersey, and who dreams of just two things: love (ideally including the physical sort) and becoming the Dominican Tolkien.

He is, as you might expect, a rather frustrated young man.

Whole sections of the book, though, are not directly about Oscar, but about his family: his mama, Belicia De Leon (nee Cabral), the child of a cursed family; his sister Lola; Beli''s father Abelard, who fell afoul of Trujillo and met the end that tended to meet such afoul-fallers. Perhaps a third of the book is directly about Oscar de Leon (who acquires the nickname Wao when some Domincan homies apparently have never heard of, and cannot correctly pronounce, Wilde).

It''s written, mostly, in a brilliant English, but with large quantities of Spanish, Dominican Spanish slang, and I don''t know what-all else. (I learned a number of Spanish words during the course of the book, some of which are not for use in polite company. Also the N-word pops up far more often than a gringo blanco like myself is comfortable with.)

Most of the story is narrated by Díaz''s stand-in, a Dominico called Yunior, which raises questions of how he knows some of the things he seems to know. Indeed, the final chapter reads to me as something tacked on by Yunior to give Oscar a bit of a happy ending. Your take on this may vary.

Anyway, a lot of the book takes place in the Dominican Republic of Trujillo and his successors; the climax occurs during the unacknowledged occupation of the DR by America in the ''80s; and it would be incredibly grim if it were not also incredibly funny. I can''t decide whether it''s a funny book that happens to be sad, or a sad book that happens to be funny. It''s funny that way.

What propels the story more than Yunior''s voice is the characters. They sparkle with life even when terrible things are happening to them, and they change, both as time passes, and as we get to know them better. (Mama Beli, as we first see her through Oscar''s then Lola''s eyes, seems like a terrible person; then we learn her story and everything just shifts.)

It is a terrible, a tragic story with the inevitability that makes a tragedy tragic and not merely bathetic. You won''t go far wrong picking it up - from a library, or a used book emporium, or some such, please.
32 people found this helpful
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Mkmasterscorpion
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
All over the place...
Reviewed in the United States on June 12, 2019
I had to read this for an Ethnic Literature class. It just wasn''t easy to read. The writer tosses in a lot of phrases in Spanish, oddly placed vulgarity, and the tone is so bipolar. One minute you''re reading along, nearly enjoying the story, then it''s N****r this and... See more
I had to read this for an Ethnic Literature class. It just wasn''t easy to read. The writer tosses in a lot of phrases in Spanish, oddly placed vulgarity, and the tone is so bipolar. One minute you''re reading along, nearly enjoying the story, then it''s N****r this and p***y that and Spanish phrases that you may or may not understand... I did not enjoy reading this book.
28 people found this helpful
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Anna
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Magical Realism at its Finest
Reviewed in the United States on June 20, 2016
Pros: For me, this book somehow manages to embody that elusive “magical realism” genre that so many authors have attempted to capture since Gabriel Garcia Marquez coined the category with “One Hundred Years of Solitude.” The characters are real and flawed and complex, the... See more
Pros: For me, this book somehow manages to embody that elusive “magical realism” genre that so many authors have attempted to capture since Gabriel Garcia Marquez coined the category with “One Hundred Years of Solitude.” The characters are real and flawed and complex, the history is rich, and the story sucked me in immediately. This is honestly one of the best books I have read in the past few years. I have given it as a gift to multiple people, and they have had nothing but good things to say about it.

Cons: Don’t buy the Kindle edition. You need the hard-copy with the footnotes right on the page for you to read right as they come up in the book. There are a lot of footnotes, and they’re 100% needed to fully enjoy/understand the book.
97 people found this helpful
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J. Teague
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
would not recommend
Reviewed in the United States on June 17, 2019
It held my interest through the first half but started getting boring half way through and it was very confusing at first, trying to figure out who exactly the narrator was. Lots of vulgarity and phrases in spanish that I didn''t understand. I would not recommend this book... See more
It held my interest through the first half but started getting boring half way through and it was very confusing at first, trying to figure out who exactly the narrator was. Lots of vulgarity and phrases in spanish that I didn''t understand. I would not recommend this book to anyone I know unless they were really interested Dominican history.
14 people found this helpful
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Raven C
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Don''t understand the hype
Reviewed in the United States on October 7, 2018
This book has been so recommended to me that I finally read it. I think the parallels to the history of the Dominican Republic is certainly interesting, but the story in general is lacking for me. Some of the magical realism stuff at work doesn''t do it for me and I find... See more
This book has been so recommended to me that I finally read it. I think the parallels to the history of the Dominican Republic is certainly interesting, but the story in general is lacking for me. Some of the magical realism stuff at work doesn''t do it for me and I find that narrative boring at first, then plain weird at the end. The style was interesting and I enjoyed the Spanglish and creativity of the writing. However, this novel just didn''t stand out to me. Not a favorite.
16 people found this helpful
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Patty Apostolides (Author)
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Don''t waste your time
Reviewed in the United States on December 8, 2020
I had to read this book for an Immigration Narrative class in college. What a disappointment! As an author, I understand the time and effort it takes to write a book. However....the author focuses primarily on sex and violence, two topics that are rampant throughout the... See more
I had to read this book for an Immigration Narrative class in college. What a disappointment! As an author, I understand the time and effort it takes to write a book. However....the author focuses primarily on sex and violence, two topics that are rampant throughout the pages. Poor Oscar. I don''t see how his life is so wondrous after all. Did he become president of any company? Did he help anyone? Did he grow spiritually? Nothing like that, except go back to Dominican Republic to get beaten up once again by his girlfriend''s ex -boyfriend and this time left to die in the cane field. What is so wondrous about that?

Warning - Don''t let your teenager read this book. Life is not that deprived. I''m flabbergasted that this book would even make it this far.
5 people found this helpful
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Maria Regina Paiz
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Captures the vibe of the typical Latin American family transplanted to the U.S.
Reviewed in the United States on June 23, 2015
More than the story of Oscar --an obese, bullied, comic book-loving, fantasy role-playing nerd on a desperate mission to lose his virginity-- this is the story of a Dominican family''s fukú: a potent curse said to have been cast on Oscar''s grandfather Abelard by the... See more
More than the story of Oscar --an obese, bullied, comic book-loving, fantasy role-playing nerd on a desperate mission to lose his virginity-- this is the story of a Dominican family''s fukú: a potent curse said to have been cast on Oscar''s grandfather Abelard by the Dominican dictator himself, Rafael Leónidas Trujillo. A fukú may affect generations, until someone along the line manages to find the right zafa to break the spell.

In a combination of Spanglish, slang, and the occasional made-up expression, Junot Díaz effectively captures the spirit and evolved identity of a transplanted Latin American family onto U.S. culture. It touches upon the struggle of a society affected by oppressive power, and the resilience and determination needed in their diaspora. As a native Hispanic, I wonder if and how non-Spanish speakers get to fully understand this book, because it''s written not only in Spanish but in Spanish (untranslateable) slang. Also, as a native Hispanic, I was annoyed at the multiple grammatical and spelling errors in Spanish. Couldn''t Diaz have found a bilingual editor?

The book''s chapters alternatively tell the story of Oscar and his immediate family members. Narrated by Yunior, Lola''s on-again, off-again boyfriend, we learn of the De León clan''s woes and how fukú, inevitably, catches up with Oscar. From the title we are aware that Oscar will die, but that news does not lessen our sorrow because by then we are despairingly rooting for his success. Oscar''s unquenchable thirst for love is heart-wrenching because it is snubbed by every female he encounters. "His affection --that gravitational mass of love, fear, longing, desire, and lust that he directed at any and every girl in the vicinity without regard to looks, age, or availability-- broke his heart [and ours] each and every day". His family members and their struggles also break our hearts in their own struggles to survive their personal hell.

As for the dose of Dominican history included in the book, I am so curious about Trujillo now that I will follow with Julia Alvarez''s "In the time of the butterflies" and Mario Vargas Llosa''s "La fiesta del chivo". Intense!
16 people found this helpful
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SS
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Fatalistic Tendencies
Reviewed in the United States on March 25, 2015
I was pretty fascinated by Diaz’s work even though it was not an easy read given its extensive use of Spanish terms and unconventional style of narration. Nevertheless, the originality of the characters captivated me throughout the text. I personally am not a great fan of... See more
I was pretty fascinated by Diaz’s work even though it was not an easy read given its extensive use of Spanish terms and unconventional style of narration. Nevertheless, the originality of the characters captivated me throughout the text. I personally am not a great fan of using slang and crude language but then there is no denying that it actually made the characters look much more realistic.

The use of symbols in the story such as the faceless man or the mongoose created some level of abstraction and ambiguity, allowing the reader to make assumptions and fill in the details themselves. I also found the fatalistic tendencies of Dominicans pretty interesting such as when Oscar attempted to kill himself and then was confronted by Yunior, he attributed his suicidal attempt to fukú. An extension to this behavior can be observed in matters related to the dictatorship they lived under, where despite the ongoing repression by Trujillo, the Dominicans accepted this to be their fate and continued to be in denial that a problem even existed. This collective fatalistic behavior seems to explain why the Dominicans did not opt to stand up for their rights.

As both, an immigrant to US and a nerdy Dominican, Oscar struggled to find acceptance in both the circles, eventually finding it in neither. In that regard, the statement, ”You really want to know what being an X-Man feels like? Just be a smart bookish boy of color in a contemporary U.S. ghetto.” clearly highlighted his crisis of identity.

Though I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book, by the end, I was left wondering if there was anything wondrous about Oscar Wao''s life.
2 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

J. Smith
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Poorly written female characters
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 26, 2019
What a disappointment after all the great reviews. Really found the way young girls are described so sexually hard to stomach. Page after page of descriptions of young teens with perfect arses and plump boobs. And even Oscar’s main motivation is trying to bed girls. I’m no...See more
What a disappointment after all the great reviews. Really found the way young girls are described so sexually hard to stomach. Page after page of descriptions of young teens with perfect arses and plump boobs. And even Oscar’s main motivation is trying to bed girls. I’m no prude and love boobs as much as the next reader, but the book falls into the classic trope of male writers who can’t write women without describing how they look naked. Even when describing female children. Try and describe any of the characters without mentioning sex or how they look, and you’ll struggle to write a paragraph. They’re all quite one dimensional. I also find books that lapse into another language faux intellectual - it doesn’t really add to the narrative but does exclude anyone without a pretty decent grasp of Spanish.
20 people found this helpful
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Paul
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Tremendous
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 4, 2018
An absolutely tremendous book which follows the lives of three generations of an immigrant family, pre- and post-emigration. It is obvious Diaz is writing about something he knows, something he has lived himself, even down to the geeky references to sci-fi and 80s...See more
An absolutely tremendous book which follows the lives of three generations of an immigrant family, pre- and post-emigration. It is obvious Diaz is writing about something he knows, something he has lived himself, even down to the geeky references to sci-fi and 80s boardgames. Unusual in structure with its multiple narrators and time lines, but it is not difficult to read. The footnote sections, which add real history to the imaginary story, are a great addition. This book led me to Diaz''s short story collections, This Is How You Lose Her and Drown, both of which are excellent too. Shame about the ''me too'' stuff in the media though.
4 people found this helpful
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Harry Hamill
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Wild and Colourful Ride
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 6, 2021
This novel kept me engaged to the end. The writing is vigorous and at times pretty raw. It presents a terrifying picture of the Trujillo era in the Dominican Republic but with a ruthlessly comic viewpoint. The outsider hero is obsessed by fantasy fiction and comic books and...See more
This novel kept me engaged to the end. The writing is vigorous and at times pretty raw. It presents a terrifying picture of the Trujillo era in the Dominican Republic but with a ruthlessly comic viewpoint. The outsider hero is obsessed by fantasy fiction and comic books and the story unfolds through the eyes of the vividly drawn characters like a cartoon strip by George Grosz. For me the final denouement was a little weak though you could argue the same about many of Dickens’ novels so perhaps not such a bad thing. It didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the book’s energy and colour. It also provides a crash course in Spanish. Keep a dictionary to hand or read on Kindle.
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Huck PortlyFellow
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Horribly sweary ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 12, 2020
... ewww. Very difficult to like - despite the reviews. I stopped reading!
2 people found this helpful
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Zoe Brooks
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Worth working at
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 14, 2013
When I read the trials and tribulations of Oscar, the over-weight fantasy geek who desperately wants a relationship with a woman, I wondered how the author was going to sustain Oscar''s story for a whole book. I needn''t have worried: the book rapidly expands beyond Oscar''s...See more
When I read the trials and tribulations of Oscar, the over-weight fantasy geek who desperately wants a relationship with a woman, I wondered how the author was going to sustain Oscar''s story for a whole book. I needn''t have worried: the book rapidly expands beyond Oscar''s limited life to become a story of three generations of his family set against the terrible history the Dominican Republic. This is not an easy book to read: the book''s structure is complex, switching narrators, moving in and out of history. In addition there is the regular use of Spanish slang, of swear words and of geeky references to Sci Fi, fantasy and Japanese anime. For this British reader I could have done with a lexicon. Nevertheless I found the effort of reading this book all worthwhile. It was fascinating to explore a history which I knew nothing about and to watch as the lives of Oscar and his other family members unfolded.
5 people found this helpful
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The Brief discount Wondrous outlet sale Life of Oscar Wao outlet sale

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The Brief discount Wondrous outlet sale Life of Oscar Wao outlet sale

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