Arrr! (Celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day) Thar be a hunt for treasure, Mateys!
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by…

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007)

by Junot Diaz

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
10,177405406 (3.87)1 / 592
  1. 130
    The World According to Garp by John Irving (GoST)
  2. 90
    The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (Smiler69, chrisharpe)
  3. 123
    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Smiler69)
  4. 81
    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon (Othemts)
  5. 40
    The Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa (chrisharpe)
  6. 40
    Drown by Junot Díaz (2810michael)
  7. 30
    In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez (weener)
    weener: Oscar Wao mentions In the Time of the Butterflies in a footnote. Both dealing so gracefully with the Trujillo regime, they seem like complementary books.
  8. 10
    No Place For Heroes: A Novel by Laura Restrepo (eenerd)
  9. 10
    Delirium by Laura Restrepo (chrisharpe)
  10. 00
    Neuromancer by William Gibson (andomck)
    andomck: Neuromancer is exactly the type of 80's nerd culture that Oscar Wait submerged himself in.
  11. 00
    Hermanas : roman by Torgrim Eggen (GoST)
  12. 00
    Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  13. 00
    Jasmine Nights by Somtow Sucharitkul (nsblumenfeld)
  14. 00
    The Lost Legends of New Jersey by Frederick Reiken (Othemts)
  15. 00
    Caribbean Connections: The Dominican Republic by Anne Callin (sungene)
    sungene: To learn more about the DR, and for an essay by Junot Díaz.
  16. 11
    Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware (2810michael, 2810michael)
  17. 00
    A Bad Idea I'm About to Do: True Tales of Seriously Poor Judgment and Stunningly Awkward Adventure by Chris Gethard (andomck)
    andomck: New Jersey setting, nerdy/outcast protagonist, pop culture references, etc
  18. 12
    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (andomck)
    andomck: At the core of each book is the story of an adolescent male friendship
  19. 23
    Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (bbudke)
  20. 12
    Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick (weener)
    weener: One is fiction, one is non-fiction. One is in Latin America, one is in Asia. Both are heartbreaking, deeply affecting tales of life under totalitarianism.

(see all 21 recommendations)

1960s (113)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (395)  French (4)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Catalan (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (404)
Showing 1-5 of 395 (next | show all)
First a bit confusing writing style but then it is a page turner. Haunting. Raw. Real. Beautiful. ( )
  kakadoo202 | Aug 23, 2018 |
Lonely life of obese, nerdy kid Oscar Dao. He grows up in New Jersey but returns with his family to Santo Dominica in the Dominican Republic.
There is a lot of historical background to the Dominican Republic and the many revolutions in its history.
The story is well written and it is told by the voices of several different people including Oscar, his sister Lola, their mother Benicia Cabral, their grandmother La Inca and Oscar’s friend Junior.
Fuku, or the general idea of fate or a curse is one of the underlying themes of the Dominican psyche and Oscar and his family do not escape this sentiment.
The characters are well drawn, the dialogue is a mixture of English and Spanish and the story is funny and sad at the same time.
Oscar spends his whole life trying to become a sci-if author, looking for love and friendship and finds none. ( )
  MaggieFlo | Aug 6, 2018 |
I expected to love this book, especially with Lin Manuel Miranda reading. I gave it an extra star for the fantastic reading, but I didn't love the book. Great ending though. ( )
  CSKteach | Jul 20, 2018 |
Incredible prose. Junot Diaz tells the tale of Oscar and his colorful family in such a vibrant and stunning way. A deeper look into what it means to be Dominican. ( )
  trile1000 | Jul 1, 2018 |
I liked this book, but for some reason I was having a hard time sticking with it... switched to audio (read by Lin-Manuel Miranda) and fell right into the story. It’s very dark and sad, but I enjoyed the family history a lot, and who couldn’t love Oscar?

Also, I’m pretty pleased with how much of my español I have retained since high school and college. 😂

Another 1001books success. ( )
  sprainedbrain | May 12, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 395 (next | show all)
Díaz’s novel also has a wild, capacious spirit, making it feel much larger than it is. Within its relatively compact span, “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” contains an unruly multitude of styles and genres. The tale of Oscar’s coming-of-age is in some ways the book’s thinnest layer, a young-adult melodrama draped over a multigenerational immigrant family chronicle that dabbles in tropical magic realism, punk-rock feminism, hip-hop machismo, post-postmodern pyrotechnics and enough polymorphous multiculturalism to fill up an Introduction to Cultural Studies syllabus.
It is Mr. Díaz’s achievement in this galvanic novel that he’s fashioned both a big picture window that opens out on the sorrows of Dominican history, and a small, intimate window that reveals one family’s life and loves. In doing so, he’s written a book that decisively establishes him as one of contemporary fiction’s most distinctive and irresistible new voices.

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Junot Diazprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bragg, BillCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pareschi, SilviaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Snell, StaciNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Of what import are brief, nameless lives . . . to Galactus?? (Fantastic Four, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Vol. 1, No. 49, April 1966)
Christ have mercy on all sleeping things!
From that dog rotting down Wrightson Road
to when I was a dog on these streets;
if loving these islands must be my load,
out of corruption my soul takes wings,
But they had started to poison my soul
with their big house, big car, bit-time hbohl,
coolie, nigger, Syrian, and French Creole,
so I leave it for them and their carnival--
I taking a sea-bath, I gone down the road.
I know these islands from Monos to Nassau,
a rusty head sailor with sea-green eyes
that they nickname Shabine, the patois for
any red nigger, and I, Shabine, saw
when these slums of empire was paradise.
I'm just a red nigger who love the sea,
I had a sound colonial education,
I have Dutch, nigger, and English in me,
and either I'm nobody, or I'm a nation.
(Derek Walcott)
Elizabeth de Leon
First words
They say it came first from Africa, carried in the screams of the enslaved; that it was the death bane of the Tainos, uttered just as one world perished and another began; that it was a demon drawn into Creation through the nightmare door that was cracked open in the Antilles.
You wanna smoke?
I might partake. Just a little though. I would not want to cloud my faculties.
“They say it came first from Africa, carried in the screams of the enslaved; that it was the death bane of the Tainos, uttered just as one world perished and another began; that it was a demon drawn into Creation through the nightmare door that was cracked open in the Antilles. Fukú americanus, or more colloquially, fukú–generally a curse or a doom of some kind; specifically the Curse and the Doom of the New World. Also called the fukú of the Admiral because the Admiral was both its midwife and one of its great European victims; despite “discovering” the New World the Admiral died miserable and syphilitic, hearing (dique) divine voices. In Santo Domingo, the Land He Loved Best (what Oscar, at the end, would call the Ground Zero of the New World), the Admiral’s very name has become synonymous with both kinds of fukú, little and large; to say his name aloud or even to hear it is to invite calamity on the heads of you and yours.”
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (4)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0739494287, Paperback)

Brief biographical study.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:23 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Oscar, an overweight Dominican from a New Jersey ghetto, dreams of becoming a writer and finding love, but a Fuku curse has haunted his family for generations, and may well prevent him from attaining his desires.

» see all 15 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.87)
0.5 6
1 49
1.5 10
2 172
2.5 51
3 552
3.5 215
4 1103
4.5 181
5 775

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 128,806,495 books! | Top bar: Always visible