With the weight of a Pulitzer Prize pinned to its pages, I picked up this book with great expectations. It was different, stylistically speaking, from my usual read, as I’ve said before, but I liked it, nonetheless. It flowed wonderfully, the slang and the street Spanish giving the writer a conversational voice, all be it an angry one. At least, that was my impression.
Being an American, and given the patrocentristic (I don’t think that’s a word, but you’ll know what I mean) nature of our education system, I don’t know a lot of Dominican history, so Oscar Wao was an education. An impatient one, to be sure, but a great learning experience for all of that.
Not being a fan of The Lord of the Rings (I thought the books were way too complex with lots of minutiae taking away from the story), nor a lover of comic books, and having a dislike of anime, I could have done without the plethora of references thereto. The footnotes were a great help in that regard. In fact, at times, the notes were almost more interesting than the story, but, maybe, that’s my inner geek speaking.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is an enjoyable read, with interesting characters and a rich, cultural background (and back story). However, unlike Time (Top 10 Fiction Books – 50 Top 10 Lists of 2007 – TIME), I happen to think that Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns was a better book. That’s just me.
By all means, read this book. You will not be disappointed.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars