Language swings and dances in this short story collection by Junot Diaz. He’s probably been popular at least since 2007 but I never wanted to buy him. Day before I finally did and today I polished off the last couple of chapters, licked my lips and am now greedily considering buying another of his books.
Haha, no but seriously what if I don’t like the next one? The thought just gives me the heebee geebees. The collywobbles. Umm, ok sorry, it just makes me anxious. So I think I won’t, at least for a while.
The book mostly etches episodes in the life of the fictional character Yunior (I am dying to know how much of Yunior was based on Junot!) . It catches the character at deeply unflattering moments as each story seems to describe how he cheated on some one or displayed poor judgment and consequently seemed to lose out on life experience. Now and then he seems to do a good thing. But mostly he just sabotages his own happiness and also treats people he loves or likes not well at all as he cheats on them to gloriously staggering proportions. The last chapter ties together most of the stories which I was beginning to think were unrelated, becos the fiance (similar to the fiance character from the first chapter) discovers his cheating ways albeit through different means and then after he loses her, he basically tries to work himself back into a state of grace through writing a book based on the premise of creating the cheater’s guide to love. Idiota. But so, so good and readable, and fun. When was the last time writing was fun and good? Good yes, great yes, and every one says it’s really smart, but also so, so fun? NEVER. So this is the one for me. I think you get literary guys usually, but it’s rare to get a naturally colloquial writer who can turn from richly slangy to concise formality all so easily you never notice what is happening.