Wednesday, 9 March 2011

MONDAY MORNING BOOK CLUB: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao generated a lively discussion at the Monday Morning Book Club on February 14th:  the fact that it was Valentine’s Day only highlighting the theme of love.

The majority of members enjoyed the book, expressing enthusiasm especially for the style of writing with its lively mix of register, from the literary to the very colloquial.  The use of Spanish words liberally sprinkled throughout the text worried some, while others thought this device lent an authenticity of tone to a novel concerned with people from the Dominican Republic.  Similarly, some people found the use of footnotes to elucidate the history of the DR disconcerting, while others found them informative and entertaining.

The emphasis on the fantasy life of Oscar was thought to complement the theme of magic and voodoo permeating the culture and, although there was considerable violence in places, it was not overly dwelt upon and served to illustrate the atrocities of the regime of the dictator, Trujillo.   Many people also enjoyed the book’s more humorous aspects. 

Overall, most people thoroughly enjoyed the book.

Written by Barbara

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