Thursday, February 25, 2010

Book Review: The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao

THANKS JESSE!! I read The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz based on a recommendation from a friend, who encouraged me to read it when he heard I planning a trip to the Dominican Republic.

I really enjoyed this book-with the exception of too many LENGTHY footnotes. If a footnote is longer than 3 sentences I don't understand why it isn't just part of the book. I found that most of the footnotes didn't add much to the story but did provide more historical information about the Dominican Republic. I think the only reason I did sort of enjoy the historical aspects of these footnotes was because of my upcoming trip-if I didn't have the trip planned I probably would have skipped past them. I likes how often the writer used Spanish phrases-even if I wasn't 100% sure of what they meant-it felt authentic.

There were a few quotes that struck me enough to write them down, or at least jot down the page number. This rarely happens, so I thought I would share them:

"If you didn't grow up like I did then you don't know and if you don't know it's probably better you don't judge." (p.55) I think this is so UNIVERSAL! Love it!

"You don't know what it's like to grow up with a mother who never said a positive thing in her life, not about her children or the world, who was always suspicious, always tearing you down and splitting your dreams straight down the seams." (p.56) No I definitely don't know what that's like-my mom is AWESOME!

"And I wonder: What hurt him more? That i was never really his friend, or that I pretended to be?" (p.181) Sad.

My last comment on the book: there is a recurring minor character of a faceless man-think what you want about what he represents-literally and figuratively a faceless man is pretty creepy.

Nine more days until I'm in the Dominican Republic-I am almost ready to start counting down the hours!! Any traveling tips?


  1. Wow Sara thanks for the compliment! My own mother is awsome as you know! But a comment on the faceless man in your book, although I didn't read it we saw a lot of pictures of women and men which are faceless in the Dominican Someone told me that they are like that because there were so many ehtnic groups that came to the Dominican and tried to take over the island that a lot of them don't know their heritage or where they came from, Spanish, French, etc... You will see those pictures at all the markets the faces are usually all black. You will have a great time and I am jealous that I can't be with you! Love always.

  2. Pack light, they have umbrellas in each room if it rains, enjoy the sun and sand, and eat and drink as much as you want!!!!

  3. Hey Sara,

    I'm glad I was able to recommend a book you enjoyed. Have a terrific trip and please post some pictures when you get back.

    All the best,
    Jesse V

  4. MOM-Thanks!

    Jesse-Dave and I saw Tropicana's Inuvik commercial-but we didn't see you :( I'll have to take a closer look at the people in the background if I see it again!!


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