Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Book Review: This is How You Lose Her

You must be a good writer if a book that's a bit of a let-down is still a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award. At least that's my take on This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz: a bit of a let-down. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is an incredible book (reviewed previously!) and elements of what I loved about that show through in this collection of short stories occasionally, but there's just not enough history or nerd-lit in this to make it as surprising and, well, wondrous as the novel. There's some powerful moments in it but there's also some moments that aren't quite as powerful as they should be, and sometimes I felt buried under an avalanche of trivialities and superficial events. Also, the characters just aren't as likable, and I know, they aren't supposed to be likeable but it sure helps to move things along if they are. On the level of literature Diaz is still the excellent writer he always was -- but I have to admit if this was the first book by him I read, that I probably wouldn't read another. Still, Oscar Wao was such a revelation I will definitely read the next novel by Diaz, and I'm sure that'll be worth it.

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