Junot Diaz – The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Junot_wao_coverLet me begin this entry, though unfortunately it will be shorter than the others and slightly overshadowed by the entry on Roth’s book which I just finished and am more willing to talk about, nonetheless, I will do my best to capture what I felt about this book at the time of finishing it. Diaz’s book is a masterpiece, and one of the books that I have read so far in this contest that I am glad to say that I have read in my life. I think on this project often as to the effect of what I am doing with my time, why am I trying so dilligently to discover, find, buy, and read this books? What will I get from this? But with Diaz’s book I do not think that and I capitulate and renounce my doubts about the integrity and importance of such a venture. Diaz’s book will be one that I look back on in this journey as a sustaining force in a mixed, crazy, unfortunate list of some good and some awful books that have not stood the test of time *see the Magnificent Ambersons* Anyways, Diaz’s work is awe-inspiring, riveting, and explosively funny at parts, but for the majority of the work you are on the verge of tears or insanity or rage, all of these emotions sustained over the course of what is perhaps a drawn out section here or an unnecessary definition here. There are footnotes in this work of fiction written by the author of course, but by some other perspective divorced from the straight narration. The narrator switches from time to time, giving us a different perspective on different stories. It is really hard to keep track of who is speaking. I believe that there are only two narrators, Junior and Lola, but they cover different parts of different peoples stories, which is very odd. And the main narrator Junior talks about himself, which would lead one to believe he might be a tad unreliable which adds even complexity to this twisted knot of a novel. One thing I told Drew, my trusted compatriot in this fight, was as I completed it, ‘I have never felt so manipulated by a work of art in my life, and enjoyed it’ Diaz wants to control everything that you are thinking through the work. At times the narrator who you could confuse for the writer, and the main character which could be Diaz himself thrust into this novel which could be a mostly true to life story written under the mask of magic realism in the best train of Marquez, but Diaz will say out right in the novel near the especially, why he is writing the story the way he is, even it it isn’t true, which is an odd word to use seeing as how this is fiction and he could say whatever he wants, which is the ultimate manipulation. I loved this book dearly and am glad I was forced to read it.


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