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

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

is the author of numerous articles and essays and of four novels. Her latest, The Taste of Salt, will be published in September. You can find out more about her work at her website www.marthasouthgate.com.


  1. 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. 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. 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!

Add Your Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.