Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Book Review - What's in a Name challenge

I have finished my book for the First name category for this challenge and I am still kind of on the fence about the book.

My choice was The Brief Wondrous life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. It is the story of a boy from the Dominican Republic who doesn't quite fit in - a "nerd". I felt that this book was going over my head and I was missing things (probably due to the fact that there was quite a bit of Spanish slang that I didn't take the time to look up and find out what they were talking about). That being said, I loved the writing style of this author. The book was kind of crass in parts but written as if the author was having a conversation and with a dry sense of humor. The character development was great and I actually felt as if I could relate to the entire family and what it means to be from the Dominican Republic. Also included were quite a few footnotes about DR history - this was fascinating to me.

Without giving away the ending of the book (although the title gives an idea of what is coming) I will say this book is about human struggles, both self-imposed and those brought into the characters lives from outside forces.

All in all, I did enjoy the book - it was just a bit more intellectual (and a bit more intense) than the Janet Evanovich I have been reading lately. Maybe it was sleep deprivation (blame it on the 2 month old) or maybe it was just over my head.


Debi said...

I added this one to my wish list a little while back. Sounded kind of interesting, and it made all so many of those "top reads" lists, but now I'm kind of thinking it's one I could go delete. If it went a bit above your head, I'd probably be clueless! Though like you, I would love the parts of DR history thrown in.

By the way, you need to update your "pertinent info"!

Debi said...

Would you like The Translator after Rich reads it? It really is good, and while there's a few really tough scenes, overall, it's not quite as bad as I expected it might be. (Not that the whole situation isn't horrendous, of course.)

Chain Reader said...

I just put this on my list of books I'm interested in about a week ago. It's one of those I can't really tell if I will like, but there's only one way to find out!