Juno Diaz’s novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is an extremely entertaining piece of literature. It tells the story of Oscar Wao, an awkward and overweight New Jersey nerd from the ghetto who dreams of being published as a science fiction author and finding love. His family came from the Dominican Republic, bringing with them the superstitions, stories, language, and customs of their heritage. Oscar has a hard time putting himself out there and living a bold, purposeful life. Most of the time he stays shut up inside with his video/computer games and sci-fi. Surprisingly though, he has rare victories and experiences few know about.
Diaz has developed a very matter-of-fact and conversational voice. The story is filled with humor and heartbreak, history of the Dominican Republic, memories and sentiments from the authors own life, and several profound observations regarding human nature. All is woven together seamlessly in this dynamic and brilliant novel.