Oscar, All is Forgiven
I wrote a few weeks ago beating up Oscar Wao. I was struggling to love this book. Actually, even like this book.
But the truth is I just can’t really quit a book. It is so unsatisfying that I will hang on to the dullards to the end and just hope.
And this persistence paid off. I liked Oscar Wao.
I won’t completely flip-flop on you and say it was the BEST ever. But here’s what happened. Around p. 150, I finally figured out who the narrator was. (Diaz does this intentionally, I don’t think it is because I am exceedingly dim.) And this big unknown, frankly, was pissing me off.
And then I figured it out. That sneaky narrator came clean–and all was forgiven. I was able to understand his relationship to Oscar, to Beli and Lola. That his observations about this family were credible, and appreciated. And I could finally imagine a height, sex, personality, look with the narrator in my imagination.
I guess with the ambiguity behind me, I finally got to enjoy the story.
And JF asked me: but don’t you think it was fascinating that the author decided to do that?
Well, uh, no. I wouldn’t go that far. I am sure it is a stroke of brilliance in all literary circles… (she pointed out other Pulitzer Prize winners are usually intellectually challenging that way), but it kind of kabashed my first 100+ pages. I want them back again, please. But alas, it’s time to move on.
So, the question remains: would I recommend this book?
Well–lame as it is–I guess that really depends. For you creative and go with the flow people (do I know any of those?)—yes, you will really like it. You Type As? Ping me and I’ll give you the cheating shortcut on the narrator. Then you can just get down to business, and enjoy a good book. ; )