Reviews

Drown, by Junot Díaz

jkilmer's review against another edition

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3.0

I’m not usually a big reader of short stories, and I only read this one for class, but I liked some of the individual stories in it. Diaz’s writing, as usual, is compelling and funny, beautiful and anger-inducing, and every character feels real. I enjoyed how the stories both connected and didn’t, with familiar characters, including the usual Yunior but, surprisingly, I didn’t completely love any of them. Probably because I read a couple at a time, back to back, rather than one every few days. It was good but, after Oscar Wao, I think I like his longer fiction more.

mikcarrington's review against another edition

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4.0

I knew a little about this book, but I had no idea how difficult (emotionally) it would be to read.
Powerful stuff

sweetasastory's review against another edition

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1.0

Don’t read this book. Don’t give money to this man. It’s written by an abuser about abuse. It presents the same perspective you’ve probably heard a thousand times. His relationships are messed up. He hits his girlfriend and she hits him back. He’s happy when he’s picking on anyone weaker than himself. But of course, he can’t change who he his, right? All his behavior is pre-determined by his childhood trauma and his circumstances! He doesn’t need to take any personal responsibility for anything that happens in his life!

tldr: don’t waste your time on this book and don’t give your money to a rapist.

idontkaren's review against another edition

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4.0

"Edison, NJ" was especially good.

renatasnacks's review against another edition

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3.0

I'm filing this along with Julia Alvarez under Books that Are Improved by Reading them in the Dominican Republic.

I mean it was good, but it didn´t leave me raving about it or anything.

jessk789's review

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challenging dark emotional reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

misterjt's review against another edition

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4.0

I didn't love Drown as much as I did, and do, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. It has nothing to do with Díaz's writing style. All of the things I appreciate and admire about his work are there: his sense of pace and atmosphere; his gift with dialogue and language. He still provides an inside look at world's we may think we know but don't. He exposes the layers and complexity of people living in two worlds, of two minds, in between cultures without that ever taking over the real stories of the human condition. Of the absurdities and oddities of life.

No, my problem was not with any of the writing. My problem was that, as I went with breakneck speed through the stories, we spent less and less time with Rafa and Yunior and their world and more time with Mami and especially Papi—f'n Ramon—who, after the revelations of the early vignettes, I could give two shits about. I didn't want to empathize with this kind of father. I didn't want to know why he did the things that he did or feel compelled to forgive him. For all intents and purposes, Ramon could kiss my ass.

But, Díaz doesn't walk away from these tales. He doesn't give Ramon a pass. He doesn't even suggest we should understand him. We should just know him. He deserves to be known.

Okay. I'll give him that.

It's a lightning fast read and highly recommended.

sharppointysticks's review against another edition

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3.0

This was included as a bonus feature at the end of the audiobook version of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

bhanson24's review against another edition

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1.0


50 Books, 50 States -- New Jersey

reviewsmayvary's review against another edition

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4.0

The hard thing about reading this collection of short stories was not being totally sure when each story ended and the next began. However, the stories were interesting tales of life on the island or immigration to the states.