Best of the Millennium

#11: The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

By posted at 2:15 pm on September 22, 2009 6

coverA few months ago, I got a poke to do one of those silly “do this now” things on Facebook. We were asked to pick up the book lying nearest to us and quote a sentence from it on a particular page–I think it was page 58. The book near me at that moment, though I’d read it sometime prior, was Junot Díaz’s The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I grabbed it, flipped open to the directed page–and found there one perfect sentence. I remember thinking, “Damn, you can flip this book open anywhere and find perfection. Wow.” This book has gotten tons of attention–major prizes, big reviews, bestselling status–but it’s nice to see that a novel so well-crafted, so funny, so idiosyncratic, so…wondrous, can still capture the imagination of large audiences. If you haven’t read it yet, you should.

Junot Díaz’s Year in Reading.
More Best Fiction of the Millennium (So Far)
Best of the Millennium, Pros Versus Readers

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6 Responses to “#11: The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz”

  1. L. Venell
    at 2:27 pm on September 23, 2009

    I liked this book a lot, but I think I might have loved it if it had come with a Spanish/slang glossary in the back. Or is the point to not really know what these things mean, and to just let the sound of the words and their context sort of imply a feeling/image?

    Ugh, I hate talking about literature. I always feel like the one idiot who didn’t get the joke.

  2. JMK
    at 7:50 pm on September 26, 2009

    Am I the only one who read this and thought it was pretty good, until the ending? It’s like Diaz got bored at the end and just rushed it out. It felt like a big cop out.

  3. LD
    at 4:52 pm on September 28, 2009

    I don’t know, JMK, I thought the ending was AMAZING– it still gives me shivers whenever I think about it.

  4. Coming in at No. 11 « Meanderings
    at 12:44 am on October 4, 2009

    […] September 24, 2009 · Leave a Comment The Millions is counting down the 20 best books of the century (”so far,” as they add). They’re only halfway through, and I’m curious what the top 10 will look like, because my favorite book came it at No. 11. […]

  5. Saraid
    at 4:13 am on October 27, 2009

    The ending also gave me shivers. And made me happy. I thought this book was completely magnificent. I also have Drown, a collection of short stories by the same author. Definitely reccommend it!

  6. Rochelle
    at 10:30 am on December 5, 2009

    I agree Saraid. Since reading Drown, I had been looking forward to Diaz’s novel. The Brief Wondrous Life did not disappoint.

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