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This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
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This Is How You Lose Her (edition 2012)

by Junot Diaz

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1,237736,425 (3.67)101
Member:megc11
Title:This Is How You Lose Her
Authors:Junot Diaz
Info:Riverhead Hardcover (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz

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English (68)  Spanish (2)  Catalan (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (72)
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
Despite the fact that I really disliked The Brief, Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao, I decided to give Junot Díaz another try, and I'm very glad that I did. I wasn't really planning on reading this one anytime soon, but oddly enough, this book came up in my YA Publishing class of all places and everyone was saying that it was really good. I therefore marched myself into Powell's and bought this book. This is the first time I have actually done that and read the book immediately. Something inside me just knew that this was exactly the book I wanted to read at that point. It was weird, but rewarding.

I have to say that I admire Díaz's style in this book. Written as a first person account, it doesn't sacrifice voice for perfectly correct grammar and actually does it well. It reads in a way that seems very much like stream-of-consciousness, and it's great to see this form done well. Often times, this style falls apart and just becomes annoying and unreadable, but not this book. It works really well. I especially enjoyed the fact that near the end, when it becomes "The Cheater's Guide to Love", it changes from first person to second, making it difficult to take yourself out of the novel and completely immerses you in the feelings of the main character, Yunior. I thought this was very effective and I admired his daring use of this form.

While this book could have turned into a book of excuses for Yunior's infidelity, like I thought that it might, it actually became a book of reasons and explanations, but no excuses. Yunior doesn't feel that these reasons excuse his actions, they just explain them. He never asks for sympathy and instead uses his writing as way of warning others that the path of infidelity leads to a spiral. It doesn't just affect the one relationship, it affects all of the ones after it.

This book touches on the fact that sometimes, cultural norms, like the attitudes of Dominican men and women about relationships, are hard to break out of, even if you want to. Growing up surrounded by men who commit adultery constantly makes it difficult for Yunior to avoid this in his own life. Yunior never uses this as an excuse, but rather explains this fact so that we, the reader, can better understand why. He doesn't ask for our forgiveness, he asks for our understanding and hopes that maybe we will learn something from him.

I thought this book was rather beautiful in the way that it portrays a man trying to stay connected to his Dominican culture while at the same time attempting to fight aspects of it. Díaz does a great job of showing this melding of cultures through writing certain phrases and words in Spanish throughout the novel which gives the book a more authentic feel. I highly recommend this book and am looking forward to reading more from Junot Díaz in the future. ( )
  kell1732 | Jan 25, 2015 |
This was a real disapointment to me; I had been looking forward to reading this for quite some time. It's a collection of stories, which generally turns me off, but for the most part it worked because they were really all about one character and in the end, there's a full, cohesive story. That is, except for that one chapter that I'm still puzzling over - I have no idea who the narrator was or what the connection with the other short stories was. On top of that, the switch from "I" to "you" which still referred to the narrator was confusing and difficult to get past. In the end, the biggest problem I had with this book was that I didn't like or feel sorry for the narrator. He was with "the love of his life," his fiancee, for six years, and cheated on her with 50 different women, from the beginning of their relationship. Seriously? What was to like about him? Or care whether or not he ever got over her? In my opinion, he could have been heartbroken for the rest of his life and I would have just thought he got what he deserved. He did acknowledge that in the end, but it wasn't enough for me to feel sympathy for him. ( )
  carebear10712 | Dec 31, 2014 |
I received an ARC for this book through goodreads. I picked it up a few times but really couldn't bring myself to finish it. I didn't enjoy the narrator and often was confused by the references to things in Spanish. When I'm reading a book I like the character to grow and learn but the narrator acted like a jerk most of the time and never seemed to change. I understand that this is true of many people, but I enjoy reading as an escape not as a sad reminder of the reality of life. ( )
  plaeski | Dec 16, 2014 |
Very similar to 'Drown'--the last chapter--seemingly autobiographical takes place in Cambridge and felt so, so uncomfortably close to home that I loved it all the more. ( )
  Catherine.Buxton | Oct 14, 2014 |
Enjoyed it immensely. The short story style with certain characters running through it made it good for the long read or the intermittent reader. The strong point was the beautiful diction and syntax. While still maintaining realness. ( )
  lushrain | Sep 29, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
The strongest tales are those fueled by the verbal energy and magpie language that made “Brief Wondrous Life” so memorable and that capture Yunior’s efforts to commute between two cultures, Dominican and American, while always remaining an outsider.

“This Is How You Lose Her” doesn’t aspire to be a grand anatomy of love like Gabriel García Márquez’s “Love in the Time of Cholera” — which opens out into a luminous meditation on the varieties of love and loss and the persistence of passion — but it gives us a small, revealing window on the subject.
 
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Epigraph
Okay, we didn't work, and all

memories to tell you the truth aren't good.

But sometimes there were good times.

Love was good. I loved your crooked sleep

beside me and never dreamed afraid.



There should be stars for great wars

like ours.

Sandra Cisneros
Dedication
For Marilyn Ducksworth and Mih-Ho Cha honor of your friendship, your fierceness, your grace
First words
I'm not a bad guy.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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He Loves her
     He Loves her also
     He loses both

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Presents a collection of stories that explores the heartbreak and radiance of love as it is shaped by passion, betrayal, and the echoes of intimacy.

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