Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Wao" not a WOW for me

My boss recommended this book to me, loaned me her copy and, many weeks later, I'm giving up on it. Aaargh.

Yes, I do feel like a failure giving up on a Pulitzer winner, "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" by Junot Diaz (2007, 340 pp., Riverhead Books. $24.95).
Evvvvverybody else, including my well-read boss, Nancy March, has read the book and marveled at its wit, depth and overall awesomeness.

Me? Not so much.

I've taken this borrowed paperback novel on several cross-state trips, pored over it lakeside while watching my nieces and nephew splash around, picked it up on countless nights from my own nightstand and FOUND IT TO BE A SNOOZE.
Literally, it puts me to sleep. I find the footnotes tedious, the jumping around in time annoying. I did like the Spanish ("Spanglish") references. And I'll admit, some of it was hilarious - inspired. It just didn't catch on for me.

I got about 200 pages in before giving up. I'd really like to find something awesome to read next: The kind of book you finish in days - not weeks.

Check out this glowing New York Times book review, "Dreaming in Spanglish."

If you've read "Wao" and loved it, I'd love to hear why. As for me, while there may be some shame in giving up on a novel, I think after a certain point, you've got to cut your losses and move on.

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