Junot Diaz is a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and professor at MIT. He also speaks English with a native Dominican accent. These two facts make his latest novel, This is How You Lose Her, an unusually good choice for audiobook.
The stories, which surround the life of a Dominican man at different points in his life, are well-written. They are on themes of infidelity, friendship, love found, and love lost. There are sentences like “The half-life of love is forever.” When Diaz speaks these sentences on the audiobook from the perspective of the man, he does so with intensity — especially when it’s a lewd reference or expletive. There are probably a dozen Spanish sentences scattered throughout, and Dominican musical beats separating each chapter.
You can listen to a sample on Audible.com. Here’s the Amazon hardcover link.
So far, my algorithm for listening to audiobook (vs. print or e-book) has been “something I probably won’t need to reference later.” This recent experience has led me to modify that criteria: I’ll also seek audiobook when it’s read by someone with a voice that truly upgrades the reading experience in authentic way.
One other point on audiobooks: I’m buying CDs now for the car because it’s too damn hard to download MP3s and sync across iTunes and control the start/stop functions while also using phone’s GPS. Old school works.
3 comments on “Audiobook Review: This is How You Lose Her”
I’m reading this book right now, so it was fun to see it come up on your blog. How can you write a review of this book and not say that he might be the best writer about lust for women since DH Lawrence.
But also, Diaz’s use of time is incredible. He is able to unfold the story at the pace of a snail, and then all of a sudden jump fifteen years, and then go back again to a snail. His use of time drags us into his messy stories by forcing us to participate in the writerly act of filling in blank space with what’s in our head. I love that.
I just finished Oscar Wao a few days ago. Apparently all the cool kids are reading Diaz these days.
I’ll throw out that the David Sedaris audiobook experience is better than the print version. He’s great at accents and has awesome comedic timing. Obama is wonderful on audiobook as well, but naturally, that requires a certain predisposition to the guy.
Very entertaining book, great to see that you an Penelope like it. I’ll be very interested in reading a blog post from Penelope about it since Junot like her, speaks his mind like no other person I know.