The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, was a very different kind of book for me. I enjoyed it very much, however, I found it very difficult as well. I attribute this to the fact that I had the audio version for this Pulitzer-Prize winner. There was a lot of use of Spanglish, and for someone without a Spanish background this was tough. The story itself was wonderful.
Told through the eyes of various narrators, readers enter the frightening world of a Dominican Republic family living in New Jersey. The characters’ lives are overflowing with injustices, unrequited love, lost opportunities, physical cruelties, and as one narrator points out, an ancient Dominican curse called Fukú.
Oscar Wao, is a nice guy, who longs for love but he finds a lot of road blocks along the way: he's fat, a comic book, sci-fi, and fantasy nerd, and a loser. These undesirable characteristics diminish his chances of finding love. The love he so desperately craves, continues to elude him, and we witness the lengths Oscar is willing to endure just for the opportunity, however brief to feel love. Oscar is a poignant, painful, and lovable character who is in constant battle with his delusions. The female characters: Oscar's mother and sister, were very memorable as well. Their own brutal histories and sacrifices are heartbreaking.
I highly recommend this luminous, and humorous book, however, I would recommend the print version as opposed to the audio version, simply because of the English/Spanish difficulty I had.RATING - 4.5/5 - COMPLETED - 8/30/08