Book Review: Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

by practicalspactical

Thoughts on:

Geekdom, and the particular attraction such subcultural escapism affords the young middle-class-or-less male impresario who dreams of power and beauty in a world lacking in both. I can dig that, white as I am — the harsher social strictures placed on liminal communities — the strangness of being Subject to yourself, but Other to others —

A paradise, a diaspora, an entire epic history of a people, acted out in the shadows of America’s Monstrosities, the Steel Behemoths of New York City, and the decaying industrial landscape of that City’s outer reaches, in Paterson, in Newark, in the Bronx.

Trujillo, bloody dictator, never knew of. Dark secrets, and the disappeared. Rule by thug. Every society sits close to the precipice — ready to be taken over by those who are willing to die and kill. Got him eventually, surely. But how many others —

And perhaps — legacies of bloodloss persist, webs of gangsterism, structures of thugrule — persist and remain even after the King Spider has been pierced by the True Lance and has fallen into absyssal bottomless depths —

Oscar Wao — and finally — true love — the true love that one day happens — in which we find that we are exceptions, that while we are the rule for most people, to one person we are the exception, that in having lived our lives on the sidelines (as the cliche goes) for a certain span of years, we now find ourselves thrust mercilessly into the heart of the story, and this story is Divine Touched, this story is Real and it has teeth.