7. “Holes” by Louis Sachar & “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz
Both “Holes” and “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” read as modern mythology, featuring two curse-afflicted protagonists who can’t catch a break. They’re tales of misfits and survival, and the cruelty that Oscar faces as an overweight Dominican-American teen obsessed with sci-fi is just as harsh and alienating as that of Stanley Yelnats’ prison camp.
Do you agree these were good compliments? What did you think of the books themselves?
Note: I have linked my reviews to each of the respective books as the titles in the beginning of this post. Also, if you have not read the books, I will likely have spoilers below so watch out!
I can somewhat see how these books were compared to each other and yet, I can’t quite make the connection. Stanley Yelnats is an endearing character that you’re rooting for the whole time. Oscar is definitely did not have the same kind of impact on me. Overall, I found him exasperating, but also tugging at my sympathy at other times.
“Holes” is ultimately about hope and history resulting in a success whereas “Oscar Wao” is ultimately about hope, history and tragedy. So yes, there are parallels, but I don’t buy “Oscar Wao” being a grown up version of “Holes”. Instead, I would say they’re compliments in a twisted and depressing version of the world that I don’t want to agree exists. This may be idealism, but I’m going to stick to it!