2010
11.11

I really like Junot Diaz.

Since having read Diaz’s novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao for one of my courses last semester, I’ve been a fan of Diaz’s work, in particular his writing style.  Though a bit intimidating at first, because of frequent use of spanish words and phrases and references to Dominican culture, I find that once accustomed to these elements I am able to comprehend the basic meaning of these words and the significance of his references.  Beyond that, I feel that Diaz has an incredibly cinematic style of writing.  With each passage I cannot help but envision these scenes and see these characters living and breathing and interacting.  What is even more impressive about this is that Diaz is a very minimal writer, in the sense that in his descriptions we only get small pieces of these characters and environments, never a fully realized representation.  In spite of this, Diaz makes these characters and their interactions so authentic that I find myself drawing from my own thoughts to aid in the completion of his characters and settings.

His narrative style in Drown is a bit more haphazard than what I had experienced in Oscar Wao, which, for the most part, followed a linear path. However, his rapid delivery, subtle language, and ability to grab and hold my attention is very much the same.  Though only halfway through this collection, I can see the connections occurring and the possible trajectory of these characters before me.  Much of this credited to Diaz’s ability to never reveal too much about his subjects, only just enough to keep interest so that a revelation can occur made in a later story or at the completion of the book.  His style is so unique, so entrancing, and so fresh that I cannot help but be taken ahold by his writing.

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  1. 2nd evaluation: three stars

    I so admire and enjoy your entries, your attentiveness to the blogs of others, your intelligence and consistency.

  2. I also became a fan of Diaz after reading Oscar Wao, and I too had a problem with his overusage of Spanish words and phrases–in Oscar it’s much worse, and there were pages where I had absoluetly no idea what was flying. Drown was a little easier, becasue I have this very useful Googe Tranlslate app. I know the author is shooting for realness, but in an English book for an American audience, you’d think the publishers would at least want to put some form of translation in Italics. I guess if you know Spanish, it would make it a much greater experience–like when I read Michael Chabon’s Yiddish Policemen’s Union a few years back, I understood and enjoyed the Yiddish phrases while I’m sure many were tearing their hair out.

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