1

0

 

2

6

 

0

9

 

 

L

I

T

E

R

A

T

U

R

E

 

 

1

0

 

2

6

 

0

9

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 


 

       

 Hurricane Ride!

 
 

A novel for a rainy day...

   

 

  

Every now and then, a novel comes along that is truly whimsical and fresh, that takes one along on a roller-coaster ride with its stylistic audacity and exuberant storytelling.  We had wanted to read Junot Diaz's novelistic debut, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, for the longest, and recently spent a rainy evening with this unputdownable hurricane of a book. The book was an instant success, garnered numerous awards including the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award.  Readers of Diaz's collection of short stories Drown will recognize the smooth-talking, womanizing narrator Yunior de Las Casas.  Here he chronicles the lives of Oscar Wao, a rather overweight young man infatuated with science fiction and fantasy novels, his sister Lola, and mother Hypatia and grandfather Abelard, who both suffer remarkable hardships under the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo.

 

The novel is also a trans-generational trip through the colorful world of Dominican history and Dominican diaspora, full of macho braggadocio, a decidedly anti-intellectual milieu in thrall with physical beauty and the pleasures of the senses.  Diaz mixes Spanish with English, weaving in pop, cultural, hip-hop, and science fiction references with colloquialisms and street jargon to create his own distinctive prose….. 

 

"Our hero was not one of those Dominican cats everybody's always going on about--he was no home-run hitter or a fly bachatero, not a playboy with a million hots on his jock. 
And except for one period early in his life, dude never had much luck with the females (how
very un-Dominican of him)…" 

 

It's the prose that drives you along, through the Dominican Republic and the diasporan communities of New Jersey and the Bronx.  Copious footnotes à la David Foster Wallace or Nabokov tell a parallel history of the Dominican Republic, a Caribbean paradise transformed into a ruthless Soviet-style dictatorship by a power and sex-obsessed Trujillo.

 

Wao is a modern-day antihero who is everything that Dominican men are not meant to be: overweight, uncoordinated, unsure with women - plainly put, a nerd.  And when Oscar Wao falls in love he does so with desperate, passionate conviction: he turns out to be very much a romantic…. 

 

 

Read: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

 

Read: Drown 

 

 

Permalink   Save to del.icio.us    Digg This!


 


 

 


BECOME A FAN ON FACEBOOK!

  

 

 

 

     

Subscribe About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Editorial Policy  

Unsubscribe  Press Archives Search

 

 

 

©2009 eCognoscente