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Book Rating (32)

Narrator Rating (3)

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Junot Díaz

Narrated By: Jonathan Davis

Publisher: Penguin Audio

Date: September 2007

Duration: 16 hours 0 minutes

Summary:

Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd who—from the New Jersey home he shares with his old world mother and rebellious sister—dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, finding love. But Oscar may never get what he wants. Blame the fukú—a curse that has haunted Oscar’s family for generations, following them on their epic journey from Santo Domingo to the USA. Encapsulating Dominican-American history, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao opens our eyes to an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and explores the endless human capacity to persevere—and risk it all—in the name of love.

Genres:

  • Maria Loomis

    This audiobook truly made this story come alive. It is rich in non-fictional detailed history and tells the story of a fictional family. At times in the beginning of the book, it may feel like the history drags on, but that's because the narrator is reading what is reference and subtext material in the book. I appreciated that he included that. Since listening in 2010, this piece of literature remains in my top five favorite books of all time.

  • Willy Belloso

    This was a really good experience and I actually liked it. The only problem is that the reader is really slow.

  • Del

    I like books set in a historical setting, even if that setting is recent. Listening to this book showed me how ignorant of the politics and history of the Dominican Republic I was. Also because it was wrapped in an interesting story I learned something while enjoying it. There is a lot of use of the "N" word in this book, but it seems to be used to make the language seem authenticate and not as a slur. I thought it was funny that the reader seemed to have an easier time saying that then the word ain't. Every time he had to use ain't it seemed almost painful for him to utter. This book is 1/3 Spanish, 1/3 geek, 1/3 History/Politics. My Spanish is a bit rusty but passible enough that the Spanish portions of the text were understandable and I have a current geek card so I was able to understand those references. I think if you are missing both the geek references and the spanish text you'll have a hard time getting into the story and understanding what is going on.

  • Catharine Cosoleto

    After seeing this book listed as one of the best of 2007, I decided to give it a try, but it was not for me. The long passages regarding the politics of the Dominican Republic detracted from the flow of the story. The untranslated Spanish phrases and cultural references made me feel like an outsider. Also, the frequent use of the "n word" was offensive. When I realized that I was no longer looking forward to listening, I gave it up (something I rarely do). I guess I will never find out what made Oscar's life "wondrous".