"The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" by Junot Diaz

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Junot Diaz's first full-length fiction is a fully-realized piece, heartfelt, compassionate, and memorable. Our protaganist Oscar is a young Dominican living in New Jersey who is a "ghetto nerd": hopelessly overweight, endlessly focused on writing fantasy fiction. Unfortunately, Oscar is also completely smitten every time he sees even an average-looking woman.

This is a good novel because of the author's diction: it's hip, poetic in its rhythms, and startlingly effective. It puts us directly in the line of fire. Told from a friend's first-person point of view, "Oscar" wends its way from urban New Jersey to the third-world Dominican Republic. Oscar touches all he knows somehow - whether it's his friend's exaspertation or his sister's devotion. He's the final, living result of a curse on his family, and his realization of this is one of the driving forces behind the narrative.

This is promising stuff from Diaz. I look forward to future entries.
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