Sunday, August 16, 2009

Book Club - Our first official meeting (eventually!)

So it took us long enough but finally the book club managed to set a date and get together to discuss 'The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao'.
Over lots of nibbles and a few glasses of wine we sat and dissected Junot Diaz's Pulitzer wining novel. Overall the feedback was very favourable as most had thoroughly enjoy the book, citing both Oscar himself and Lola his sister as favourite characters. Many also showed a great interest in the historic elements of the footnotes in the book, which deepen the readers understanding of the history and folklore of the Domincan Republic, including the most dreadful of curses, the fuku, which plagues Oscar's family.
These footnotes however, also caused some of us some problems, as they were deemed a major distraction to most of the girls. I myself had no problems with them and found them enlightening as I knew absolutely nothing about the history of the country and its dictator Trujillo.
One of the girls also complained about the level of spanish in the book, the novel is peppered with spanish slang words and she felt she could make out their meaning due to the context but wished she understood the direct translation. I think that I had not forseen this problem , when I suggested the book to the group, as I loved all of the spanish slang because I could understand it (I studied the language at college). In hindsight I can understand why a few of the girls said it took from their enjoyment of the novel.
Yet overall we all totally agreed that it is well worth a read. It's a very engaging story that sucks you in, with characters you really care about and a great plot that spans generations and countries, 'The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao' was for the most part a hit with the book club!
Our next title has already been decided upon by Orna. We will be reading 'American Wife' by Curtis Sittenfeld. This book is reviewed elsewhere in the blog and looks great, I can't wait to get my teeth in to it. I'm off to Village Books to pick up my copy now!!

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