How dare I forget The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao?
This I picked up in the airport on the way to Ethiopia and read in and around our trip. It may be the most interesting book I’ve read in a long time, though I’m not sure if I liked it exactly. I certainly won’t reread it anytime soon, but Junot Diaz has a compelling voice. I couldn’t put it down and adored the footnotes. If I wrote a recipe for this book, it might look something like this:
1 cup Don Quixote
2 cups 100 Years of Solitude
2 cups loose mixture of Catcher in the Rye, Kite Runner, This Boy’s Life, Geeks, Angela’s Ashes and How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents
1/2 cup history of Dominican Republic
1/2 cup political manifesto
Stir, cook over high heat. Season to taste with Tolkien allusions.
It’s that good. Seriously.
And as for the Tolkien allusions: it is possible to read the book without knowing them, but truthfully if you’re not familiar with the LOTR cannon, you’ll miss almost as much as you miss by being unfamiliar with basic Spanish.