"becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien...."

"No matter what its name or provenance, it is believed that the arrival of Europeans on Hispaniola unleashed the fuku on the world, and we've all been in the shit ever since." -- p. 1

So, friends have selected the new book club book, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which I keep mistaking for a book about a long-dead and hilarious poet, but which is actually, apparently, the tale of Oscar, "a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd, a New Jersey romantic who dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love." (Says Time magazine. And we all know Time magazine is always right.)

Or, as my friend describes it: It's a fictional account of a sad-sack Dominican-American boy named Oscar that traces his family's path through the history of the Dominican Republic. It's also a love story. Furthermore, it won a Pulitzer Prize, so if you find yourself not liking it and want to quit, say to yourself "Self, have I ever won a Pulitzer Prize?" and the answer, I think, will be no, so soldier on.

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