The fantastical elements of the novel take place in both New Jersey and in the Dominican Republican, this establishes a real world setting for these events which blends the natural with the supernatural, another attribute of Magical Realism. Both political critique and metafiction are typical features of Magical Realism. Historically, the mongoose was imported from Asia during the 18th century. Mongooses were imported to tropical islands such as the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Hawaii.
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And perhaps I think that's why I enjoyed the book as much as I did. One thing that I think might turn a lot of people off to this book is the use of Spanish thrown into the dialogue and the narrative. If I had never taken a single Spanish class in my life, I think that I might have had a much more difficult time getting into the story when given information that I can't even understand.
But hey And speaking of background knowledge, any science fiction fan would also have a blast catching all the references here and there. There were a few that I didn't quite get, but knowing what fantasy and sci-fi is all about, I think I caught the gist of it. Finally, there was the lack of quotation marks. Most books, I would find that really troublesome. It's really meant to help the reader get the flow of the narrative and not get confused when characters are talking to one another.
However, Junot Diaz does a wonderful job doing getting the dialogue across without the necessity of these bulky quotation marks. Why populate the novel with such trivial pieces? His prose and voice is distinct, I felt, and the lack of quotation marks actually helped the flow of the overall book. For a wonderful read about the brief, wondrous life of Oscar Wao, give this one a try.
Most helpful negative review 1 customers found this helpful Average rating:2out of5stars, based onreviews I enjoyed the history I enjoyed the history lessons from the footnotes, but didn't enjoy the story very much -- despite the fact that I understood many of the fantasy references and many of the Spanish words. The ending was tragic and without any redemptive features, maybe that's just be a personal preference See more I enjoyed the history lessons from the footnotes, but didn't enjoy the story very much -- despite the fact that I understood many of the fantasy references and many of the Spanish words.
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