Book Review – The Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao: Pulitzer Prize Novel by Junot Diaz
With exceptional praise for his Pulitzer Prize novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, it goes to show Junot Diaz doesn’t play around when it comes to writing great fiction. As a Dominican-American writer and professor at MIT, Diaz tends to work with the duality of the immigrant experience, and in this novel he undergoes the grandiose task of recording the saga of an immigrant family.
Meet Oscar, a dungeons and dragons geek who is constantly falling in love. He’s an overweight ghetto nerd, kind and sweet but without any game. With his love for role playing games and his sci-fi antics, life is worse than pathetic. Two things are on Oscar’s mind: writing that Tolkien masterpiece and falling in love. But love isn’t a game and with his fear of dying a virgin clawing him inwardly, Oscar’s wooing gets over the top. He attacks girls with his no-end, no charm, and no-game approach, and eventually his overwhelming tactics scares off the ladies.
But what can you say. Oscar’s not the kind of guy to give up, but when things never work out for you, what kind of tragedy is that? Blame the fuku—a curse that has been haunting Oscar’s family for generations. And this curse doesn’t play around. It’s been around for generations, following Oscar’s family from the Dominican Republic and to the United States. Like Oscar, this curse just won’t give up.
Told in the point of view of Yunior, a creative writing student, who had to tough it out one semester as Oscar’s college roommate. Completely infatuated with Lola, Oscar’s over-the-top sister, Yunior missed his one chance with the love of his life and is trying to make up for the lost time.
Yet when he finds out how deeply nerdy Oscar is Yunior decides to take Oscar on a fascist regime in order to reform Oscar out of his loser flux. But to no avail. Oscar fails to reform and blunders back further into his ghetto nerdiness. Yunior loses his cool and unable to befriend Oscar, he fails to impress Lola.
A Novel for Praise
With oodles of footnotes on pop culture, comic book references, and fiction and sci-fi slang, be sure that Diaz’s novel will be a top-notch read. The novel, divided into four lives told under the point of view of Yunior, the creative student who just can’t keep it in his pants, has a panoramic approach to storytelling. Jam-packed with fiction innuendos and character foils, Diaz’s novel reads like an American classic.