The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Audiobook, by Junot Díaz Play Audiobook Sample

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The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Audiobook, by Junot Díaz Play Audiobook Sample
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Author: Junot Díaz Narrator: Jonathan Davis, Staci Snell Publisher: Penguin Audio Audio Length: Release Date: September 2007 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781429587150

Publisher Description

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. Tolkien and, most of all, finding love. But Oscar may never get what he wants. Blame the fukú—a curse that has haunted Oscar’s family for generations, following them on their epic journey from Santo Domingo to the USA. Encapsulating Dominican-American history, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao opens our eyes to an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and explores the endless human capacity to persevere—and risk it all—in the name of love.

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Quotes

  • “Díaz’s novel...has a wild, capacious spirit.”

    - New York Times Book Review
  • “Díaz made us wait eleven years for this first novel and boom—it’s over just like that...So brief and wondrous, this life of Oscar. Wow.”

    - Washington Post Book World
  • “Junot Díaz’s Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is a wondrous, not-so-brief first novel that is so original it can only be described as Mario Vargas Llosa meets Star Trek meets David Foster Wallace meets Kanye West. It is funny, street-smart, and keenly observed...An extraordinarily vibrant book that’s fueled by adrenaline-powered prose...[Díaz has] written a book that decisively establishes him as one of contemporary fiction’s most distinctive and irresistible new voices.”

    - New York Times
  • “Weirdly wonderful...Díaz’s sentences [are] each rolled out with all the nerdy, wordy flair of an audacious imagination and a vocabulary to match.”

    - Washington Post
  • “Panoramic and yet achingly personal. It’s impossible to categorize, which is a good thing. Díaz’s novel is a hell of a book. It doesn’t care about categories.”

    - Los Angeles Times
  • “Genius...a story of the American experience that is giddily glorious and hauntingly horrific...The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao [is] something exceedingly rare.”

    - San Francisco Chronicle
  • “Superb, deliciously casual and vibrant, shot through with wit and insight. The great achievement of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is Díaz’s ability to balance an intimate multigenerational story of familial tragedy…The past and present remain equally in focus, equally immediate, and Díaz’s acrobatic prose toggles artfully between realities, keeping us entralled with all.”

    - Boston Globe
  • “This was the most dynamic, entertaining, and achingly heartfelt novel I’ve read in a long time. My head is still buzzing with the memory of dozens of killer passages that I dog-eared throughout the book. The rope-a-dope narrative is funny, hip, tragic, soulful, and bursting with desire. Make some room for Oscar Wao on your bookshelf—you won’t be disappointed.” 

    - Amazon.com editorial review
  • “In a story that moves back and forth between the Dominican Republic and Paterson, New Jersey, Díaz illuminates the tragic arc of Dominican history (especially under the brutal Trujillo regime) in the lives of Oscar’s sister, mother, grandmother, and aunt. Shot through with witty cultural footnotes, scabrous slang, and touches of magic realism, this heartbreaking family saga is a work of brave originality.”

    - Barnes & Noble editorial review
  • “Astoundingly great.”

    - Time
  • “Díaz finds a miraculous balance. He cuts his barnburning comic-book plots with honest, messy realism, and his narrator speaks in a dazzling hash of Spanish, English, slang, literary flourishes, and pure virginal dorkiness.”

    - New York Magazine
  • “Terrific...High-energy...It is a joy to read, and every bit as exhilarating to reread.”

    - Entertainment Weekly
  • “Díaz’s writing is unruly, manic, seductive…In Díaz’s landscape we are all the same, victims of a history and a present that doesn’t just bleed together but stew. Often in hilarity. Mostly in heartbreak.”

    - Esquire
  • “With The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Díaz has cemented his place in the literary stratosphere...Fans of literary fiction should dive right in.”

    - Bookmarks magazine
  • “This fierce, funny, tragic book is just what a reader would have hoped for in a novel by Junot Díaz.”

    - Publishers Weekly
  • “Exposing both the raw, carnal explorations of young protagonists and the environments that molded them, Davis and Snell work hard at portraying the intentions of each character...Well done and realistic.”

    - AudioFile
  • “Writing in a combustible mix of slang and lyricism, Díaz loops back and forth in time and place, generating sly and lascivious humor in counterpoint to tyranny and sorrow...Propelled by compassion, Díaz’s novel is intrepid and radiant.”

    - Booklist (starred review)
  • “A remarkable debut novel...Highly recommended.”

    - School Library Journal
  • “A rich, impassioned vision of the Dominican Republic and its diaspora, filtered through the destiny of a single family...A first novel that bursts alive in an ironic, confiding, exuberant voice.”

    - Kirkus Reviews
  • "Dark and exuberant. . . this fierce, funny, tragic book is just what a reader would have hoped for in a novel by Junot Díaz.

    - Publishers Weekly
  • "Genius. . . a story of the American experience that is giddily glorious and hauntingly horrific. And what a voice Yunior has. His narration is a triumph of style and wit, moving along Oscar de Leon's story with cracking, down-low humor, and at times expertly stunning us with heart-stabbing sentences. That Díaz's novel is also full of ideas, that [the narrator's] brilliant talking rivals the monologues of Roth's Zuckerman—in short, that what he has produced is a kick-ass (and truly, that is just the word for it) work of modern fiction—all make The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao something exceedingly rare: a book in which a new America can recognize itself, but so can everyone else.

    - San Francisco Chronicle
  • Astoundingly great. . . Díaz has written. . . a mixture of straight-up English, Dominican Spanish, and hieratic nerdspeak crowded with references to Tolkien, DC Comics, role-playing games, and classic science fiction. . . In lesser hands Oscar Wao would merely have been the saddest book of the year. With Díaz on the mike, it's also the funniest.

    - Time 
  • "Superb, deliciously casual and vibrant, shot through with wit and insight. The great achievement of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is Díaz's ability to balance an intimate multigenerational story of familial tragedy. . . The past and present remain equally in focus, equally immediate, and Díaz's acrobatic prose toggles artfully between realities, keeping us enthralled with all.

    - The Boston Globe
  • "Panoramic and yet achingly personal. It's impossible to categorize, which is a good thing. There's the epic novel, the domestic novel, the social novel, the historical novel, and the 'language' novel. People talk about the Great American Novel and the immigrant novel. Pretty reductive. Díaz's novel is a hell of a book. It doesn't care about categories. It's densely populated; it's obsessed with language. It's Dominican and American, not about immigration but diaspora, in which one family's dramas are entwined with a nation's, not about history as information but as dark-force destroyer. Really, it's a love novel. . . His dazzling wordplay is impressive. But by the end, it is his tenderness and loyalty and melancholy that breaks the heart. That is wondrous in itself.

    - Los Angeles Times
  • Díaz's writing is unruly, manic, seductive. . . In Díaz's landscape we are all the same, victims of a history and a present that doesn't just bleed together but stew. Often in hilarity. Mostly in heartbreak.

    - Esquire
  • The Dominican Republic [Díaz] portrays in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is a wild, beautiful, dangerous, and contradictory place, both hopelessly impoverished and impossibly rich. Not so different, perhaps, from anyone else's ancestral homeland, but Díaz's weirdly wonderful novel illustrates the island's uniquely powerful hold on Dominicans wherever they may wander. Díaz made us wait eleven years for this first novel and boom!—it's over just like that. It's not a bad gambit, to always leave your audience wanting more. So brief and wondrous, this life of Oscar. Wow.

    - The Washington Post Book World
  • Terrific. . . High-energy. . . It is a joy to read, and every bit as exhilarating to reread.

    - Entertainment Weekly
  • "Now that Díaz's second book, a novel called The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, has finally arrived, younger writers will find that the bar. And some older writers—we know who we are—might want to think about stepping up their game. Oscar Wao shows a novelist engaged with the culture, high and low, and its polyglot language. If Donald Barthelme had lived to read Díaz, he surely would have been delighted to discover an intellectual and linguistic omnivore who could have taught even him a move or two.

    - Newsweek
  • Few books require a 'highly flammable' warning, but The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz's long-awaited first novel, will burn its way into your heart and sizzle your senses. Díaz's novel is drenched in the heated rhythms of the real world as much as it is laced with magical realism and classic fantasy stories.

    - USA Today
  • An extraordinarily vibrant book that's fueled by adrenaline-powered prose. . . A book that decisively establishes [Díaz] as one of contemporary fiction's most distinctive and irresistible new voices.

    -  Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
  • Díaz finds a miraculous balance. He cuts his barn-burning comic-book plots (escape, ruin, redemption) with honest, messy realism, and his narrator speaks in a dazzling hash of Spanish, English, slang, literary flourishes, and pure virginal dorkiness.

    - New York Magazine

Awards

  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, September 2007
  • Winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
  • Winner of the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
  • A New York Times bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly bestseller
  • Winner of the 2008 Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize
  • A 2007 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Fiction
  • New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction, 2007
  • A 2007 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Fiction

Customer Reviews

Write a Review
  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

    " I did not like this book and believe me I would have not finished it I disliked it that much. The best part was the last 50 pages or so. Throughout the book were lots of sentences in Spanish, I think, which I could not understand. Pulitzer Prize why? "

    - Chris, 2/11/2014
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " This book was recommened to me because of how it was written and the story line behind it. I enjoyed reading this book and imaging this boys life and what it was that he went throught all the time. It kept you interested throughout the whole book. "

    - Nicole, 2/7/2014
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " I give it a solid three stars. Once I was into it, I had to finish it to see what happened to Oscar. I'm glad I read it, but wouldn't necessarily recommend it. I may not be the type of person that enjoys Pulitzer Prize books . . . "

    - Julie, 2/5/2014
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I loved this book. I was on vacation when i started it and read it in two days. Sad and beautiful. "

    - Rosemary, 1/31/2014
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " I hope you like footnotes! This book has everything - it's funny, it's nerdy, it's smart, it's coy. Beautifully done. "

    - Sara, 1/30/2014
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " The history of DR was extremely interesting and perfectly integrated with footnotes. The family relations between characters were a bit tricky to keep straight a first, but it all ties together to paint a full picture of the entire family. "

    - Kelsey, 1/12/2014
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " A great book, at the beginning i found the footnotes distracting but then it was not a problem, i liked the way the story is divided in each characters life coming together to explain oscars "

    - Armando, 12/30/2013
  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " Very disturbing book. Seems more about serious depression issues than nerdiness. I never could tell who was narrating, until the slutty boyfriend at the end. It was interesting to learn about the DR - i feel bad that as a tourist I've been to the beach there without a thought to their politics. "

    - Brette, 12/28/2013
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " I get why it's an award-winner, but the content wasn't for me. It took some additional research for me to understand the themes and literary value. And it brought out some lively discussion in my bookclub! "

    - Krista, 11/20/2013
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " I enjoyed the way the history of Trujillo is weaves into this story but I also found this story a bit discombobulated. Oscar's story was the least interesting of it all. "

    - Marisol, 10/18/2013
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Best book I've read in the last 10 years. Loved the footnotes. "

    - Tia, 4/11/2013
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " This is an amazing book - historical, political, visceral, hilarious, and well-written! "

    - Scott, 2/18/2013
  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

    " Extremely crude, and distasteful book. Although I keep an open mind when I read that we are in the age of profanity, however I couldn't make it beyond 100 pages of this. "

    - Elly, 7/12/2010
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " It was slightly confusing at times but overall I enjoyed it. "

    - Randi, 7/3/2009
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " This book took me into a different culture and into different lives that were difficult for me to read about. In the end this book brought me to prayer. Not every book does that. "

    - Darleen, 2/25/2009
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " The craftsmanship of this story and its telling is nothing short of brilliant. "

    - Bo, 2/16/2009
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " The book is a real page turns from the beginning, until the stories become repetitive and predictable. It's a good depiction of the difference between Latino culture in America vs the culture in Latin America. "

    - Bryan, 5/13/2008
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " I read this because some list rated it in the top 50 books you must read before you die. I'm afraid I do not rate it nearly so highly. "

    - Richard, 12/22/2007

About the Author

Junot Díaz is the author of several critically acclaimed books, including The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and This Is How You Lose Her, a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist. He is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, PEN/Malamud Award, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, and O. Henry Award. A graduate of Rutgers College, he is fiction editor at Boston Review and the Rudge and is the Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

About the Narrators

Jonathan Davis has been inducted into the Audible Narrator Hall of Fame. A three-time recipient and fourteen-time nominee of the Audie Award, he has earned accolades for his narration from the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, the American Library Association, Booklist, the Audio Publishers Association, AudioFile magazine, and USA Today. He has narrated a variety of bestsellers and award-winners for top publishing houses. He also narrated over forty titles of the Star Wars franchise for Lucasfilm Ltd./PRH Audio, including several iconic movie tie-ins, has participated with Star Wars Celebration, and has built a significant fan base. His work as a narrator includes films and programming for National Geographic Television, NOVA, PBS, VH1, and Francis Ford Coppola. He grew up in Puerto Rico and speaks Spanish, Portuguese, and Hebrew.

Staci Snell has worked in radio and as an elementary school teacher. She lives in Los Angeles where she works as an actor. Her television credits include The Shield, The Division, and various commercials. As an audiobook narrator, her numerous titles include Sandra Brown’s Demon Rumm; Ann Rule’s Kiss Me, Kill Me; Sharon Rocha’s For Laci; and Jill Smolinski’s The Next Thing on My List.