Wednesday, December 10, 2014

"As soon as you start thinking about the beginning, it's the end"

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diáz
"A person doesn't mourn forever"
I just finished reading This Is How You Lose Her (2012) by Dominican-American writer and writing professor Junot Díaz. The short story collection was recommended to me by the goold old algorithm, which did a great job bringing up 13 Reasons Why to me last year, making me more than willing to give it a try.

Expecting a bittersweet, John Green-esque tale about love and relationships, I dove in.

Oh Boy - Mickey Mouse

The skinny

Main character Yunior, who is the link between all 9 short stories the book is composed of, goes through women like most people go through socks. As we learn about Dominican culture and Yunior's immigrant life in the United States,  adulterous father, and brother's battle with cancer, our protagonist's downward spiral invokes a little sympathy, but don't think for a second that all the heartbreak/remorse/alienation/loss gets to him in the least.

The review didn't quite knock it out the ballpark on this one. Sure, This Is How You Lose Her occasionally presents an insightful observation about love, life and loss, but, overall, Díaz's harsh writing simply didn't bode well with me. I found it very difficult to sympathize with main character Yunior, whose mysoginistic views and utter unwillingness to better himself became almost nauseating. Now, it's very possible that I know too little about Hispanic culture to appreciate Díaz's portrayal of it, and I did like how the book had a terrific flow, so it's hard for me to figure out if I hate this book or love it.

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