The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

by Junot Diaz

Quick take

Dude wore his nerdiness like a Jedi wore his light saber or a Lensman her lens. Couldn’t have passed for Normal if he’d wanted to.

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Poor Oscar Wao. He will never outgrow his nerdy phase, but it’s a distinct pleasure to trace his life and the life of his extended family up until its premature end. Oscar, a Dominican kid in New Jer...


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. Tol...

Member thoughts

47% Love
38% Like
11% Dislike
  • "Oscar was the worst, but the narrator's voice and the other characters were great. I absolutely loved the engaging and well-written footnotes and have been inspired to research Dominican history!"

  • "This was such a bold book. Unabashedly Dominican. Unabashedly nerdy (back before nerd culture became mainstream). I loved Junot Diaz's voice and I can't wait to read everything else he wrote."

  • "A really poignant book - the blending of fantasy with history was such an engaging mode of storytelling, and the emotions evoked by the book were so palpable."

  • "Please read are missing out on an amazing book if you don't."

  • "Best book that I have read in a while. It challenged me both with vocabulary and with the cultural references. I spent a lot of time thinking about the book after reading it."

  • "Loved it!"

  • "This is definitely a new classic and worthy of all the praise it's received."

  • "Just read it. It like nothing I have ever read. The history and the pop culture clash perfectly. "

  • "Beautifully written, terrific, well-developed narrator with a strong voice. The characters are interesting, human and develop over the course of the book. Loved all of!! (maybe minus the footnotes)"

  • "This was a great read, but not an easy read. Makes you think about yourself, your family, and what has happened to get you to where you are now."

  • "A book I will always remember and carry with me. Beautiful."