The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao won in 2008, and while I enjoyed it for the most part, it was not my favorite.
The book is about a Dominican super-nerd and his family and their curse, or fuku. But the most annoying person in the book is Oscar. I enjoyed the chapters about his sister and his mother more, but Oscar is really too nerdy and forever alone for me. I appreciated all the references to Fantasy/SciFi and comics in his chapters, but Oscar as a character was annoying…it took me a lot longer to make it through his chapters.
Another thing that slowed down my reading was the amount of Spanish in this book. I liked the tone of the book, like the narrator was actually telling you this story as if you were sitting at his table or something, there’s a lot of enjoyable slang, and the Spanish did add to that feel. If I knew Spanish, I would have liked it better of course, but a few times I had to have Google Translate help me out.
The ending was kind of disappointing too. It wasn’t a surprise or anything, given the title of the book, but I felt like it was just kind of pathetic…which I guess when you look at Oscar through the rest of the book, it’s kind of a fitting end.
I got this one in hardback through my local library.