Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Review of a Good, But Rather Odd, Book

As a writer, I'm always reading. I guess this was true when I was a kid too. I always had a book on me. This blog originally started out as a writing blog with book reviews, etc. It turned out I was much more political than I thought....or perhaps it is just that there was - and is - so much going on politically that you'd have to be asleep to not notice. So, I figured I'd step back and do a good ole book review for this post.

The last book I read was "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao." I usually read books pretty fast. This one tended to sit in my car overnight - as I always have to have one with me as well as one at home - or stuffed in my briefcase. It got read very slowly.

The story is about Oscar, an overweight, Dominican sci-fi nerd and his short life (wondrous I'm not so sure about).
It is an interesting book. My significant other adored it. But then, he too is a bit of a sci-fi nerd and a self-professed geek. He also knows some Spanish. This book was full of all of the above. I am not a sci-fi nerd or a geek (at least I don't think so), and am ashamed to say I know little Spanish. I know French quite well, but that did me little good with this book. It did inspire me to get with the program and learn some Spanish.

I found the book interesting, very funny in parts, and weird in many others. I enjoyed the footnotes, what I learned from it, and thought the ending was pretty funny. But it wasn't the pure joy I had heard about from geeks everywhere. This might be partly my fault too though as it did sit for long periods of time.

That being said, Junot Diaz did pen a pretty good book here. The fact that it is so different and makes you think is, in itself, pretty outstanding. And you can't help feeling for poor Oscar who comes from a weird family and is just plain weird himself. After seeing Diaz on The Cobart Report awhile back, one has to wonder how much of this is a bit autobiographical....but most books are in some way or the other. The author can't help but put a bit of his own personality into it. So, yes it's good. And, yes it's different. And I'm sure if I was the self-professed geek and sci-fi nut in the household I would rave on and on about it. But I'll leave that to my significant other. To him it is at the top of his current list.

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