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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensibly Unapologetic and Seductive
This explosive collection of ten amazing stories vividly chronicling the Dominican immigrant experience is starkly realistic and daring. The stories are not necessarily pleasant, but are certainly captivating tales of the resilience of the human soul and of the will to survive in the face of horrendous odds. Diaz is intense and powerful, yet he possesses what I personally...
Published on Sept. 13 2003 by Alan Cambeira

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Afloat
The string of short stories in Drown is pretty cool. It throws together the Dominican and new American experience from the POV of youth . This book is not just Dominican book, but a book of youth. It is hard to look back in that place called youth and Diaz does so with what appears to the reader, with ease.
The stories range from Jersey project living to San Juan...
Published on Aug. 1 2002 by Brendan


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensibly Unapologetic and Seductive, Sept. 13 2003
By 
Alan Cambeira "author of Azucar's Trilogy" (Dominican Republic, author of Tattered Paradise...Azucar's Trilogy Ends) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Drown (Paperback)
This explosive collection of ten amazing stories vividly chronicling the Dominican immigrant experience is starkly realistic and daring. The stories are not necessarily pleasant, but are certainly captivating tales of the resilience of the human soul and of the will to survive in the face of horrendous odds. Diaz is intense and powerful, yet he possesses what I personally find to be a calculated calm in his mesmerizing prose. Moreover, he is totally unapologetic ---and that's a plus. I thoroughly enjoyed every piece in this stunning collection. Junot Diaz is at the top of my list. You are missing a rare literary experience if you fail to read him.
Very Highly Recommended !
Alan Cambeira
Author of AZUCAR! The Story of Sugar (a novel)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An important voice in literature, Feb. 13 2003
By 
Debbie Lee Wesselmann (the Lehigh Valley, PA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Drown (Paperback)
Junot Diaz writes fiction without flourish. His words are stark, edgy, direct - and his stories cut through stereotype right to the quick of the truth. DROWN pulses with the rhythms of Spanish and New Jersey accents as it explores lives in both The Dominican Republic and Jersey City. Mostly adolescents and young adults, the characters struggle against a dimming or obscured future, and tend to live for the moment, even as they hope for something better. The most compelling stories are "Ysrael," "Aurora," "Edison, New Jersey," and "How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie." This is a brief book, only ten stories and a few over 200 pages long, but it packs power with its brevity.
I highly recommend this book for those with an interest in Latino and/or multicultural fiction, and for those who enjoy short story collections.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great book!, Dec 11 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Drown (Paperback)
This is one of my favorite story collections. These stories will stay with you, and these are stories that you will want to re-read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars I Love This Book, Dec 10 2003
This review is from: Drown (Paperback)
. . . but I hate Junot Diaz. I have been waiting like six years now for his novel to come out. When you read Drown, you will have to agree that he is one of the best of the young writers. You LIVE the Dominican epxerience through his words. The best story in the collection would have to be DROWN, which is a bit longer than the rest, but the humanity and honesty in that piece leaves you feeling as though you had just read an entire novel. We move from innocence to understanding to anger, regret, and longing all in one breathy, sexually risky passage in the middle of the piece that allows us to encapsule the whole work. The word "drown" takes on new meaning after that. I read both the English and Spanish versions, and the Spanish makes more sense because of the word play potential, but in the abstract the Engish is good, too. Come on, Junot Diaz, gives us a novel, man. You are the greatest!
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5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book, but now what?, Nov. 23 2003
By 
Heraldo Ramos (Bloomoington, In.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Drown (Paperback)
I loved this collection. It's from the heart. I read this eight years ago. Mr. Diaz hasn't written much since. A novel would be great. Junot if you read this, please don't live of this book any longer, write, write something new. Please.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and stunning, May 21 2003
By 
This review is from: Drown (Paperback)
This book is a most honest and basic portrayal of humanity. Diaz's language is simple yet beautiful, and his themes are universal yet deeply challenging. The book follows the lives of different people, mostly Dominican, but it's characters relate to the reader's most basic human soul in the same way that Holden Caulfield does. A Brilliant Work
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Immigrant Experience, Aug. 20 2002
By 
A. Ross (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Drown (Paperback)
This exceedingly strong debut collection of stories is set in the ghettos of the Dominican Republic and New Jersey, but most of all in the invisible psychic landscape of the immigrants who move from the first to the latter. Six of the ten stories here may be familiar to readers of The New Yorker, Story, or other well-regarded literary mags in whose pages they previously appeared. Díaz's stories offer grimly matter-of-fact accounts of harsh childhoods in harsh environments where fathers are either feared or absent and mothers are exhausted and resigned to their fate.
The stories set in the DR are from a youth's perspective, and have the unmistakable whiff of the autobiographical about them. In "Ysrael", the narrator and his brother are sent to the campo for the summer to live with relatives. There, they are casually cruel to a local boy whose face was disfigured by a pig. The boy later turns up as the subject of "No Face", which attempts to delve into his mind, with lesser effect than almost all the other stories. A third story, "Arguantando" follows the family from "Ysrael" as they wait to hear from their father, who has moved to the US. The final and longest story in the collection, "Negocios", explains the father's journey to the US and his many trials and tribulations before he can bring his family over.
The stories set in the US follow the young boy as he grows older in New Jersey-where shoplifting, drug dealing, and eventually work replace the poverty of the slums of Santa Domingo. "Fiesta, 1980" is the best car-sickness story you're likely to read and "How To Date" is a quick guide to interracial dating, perhaps overly flip when compared to the other stories. In "Aurora", a teenage drug dealer (the young boy grown older?) daydreams about a normal life with a crack-addicted girl. The same character reappears in "Drown", describing a former close friend's homosexual advances and his own ambivalence.
My favorite two stories were "Boyfriend" and "Edison, New Jersey". The first is a very brief story about a young man overhearing his downstairs neighbor's breakup, and working up the courage to eventually speak to her. The second is about a young man who helps deliver and assemble pool tables for a living and his well-meaning attempt to help a Dominican girl escape a life of sexual service. Both stories contain a wistful nostalgic air that's both dead on and haunting. All of Díaz's stories are immensely satisfying, and taken as a whole, they form an excellent picture of the Dominican immigrant experience. It's been six years now since this collection came out, and hopefully we'll be seeing something new soon from him.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Modern, Authentic, and Edgy-- New Caribbean Voice, Aug. 12 2002
By 
Nadine Seide "nyseide" (MIAMI, FL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Drown (Paperback)
Before I purchased the book I read an on-line interview of Diaz by Edwidge Danticat. In this interview Diaz said that he didn't like it too much when readers thought that the book was autobiographical in nature. In the sense that it meant he wasn't creative enough to write pure fiction. I have to admit that half way through the book I thought that it must be part autobiography because the stories were so personal and the emotions bare and exposed. My favorite is "Aurora". Readers who expected romanticized Latina writing might be disappointed, but that is really just too bad. Diaz' style is authentic, modern, and edgy. On a personal level, it gave me a glimpse of daily life on the other side of my island. I absolutely loved this book and I recommend it whole-heartedly.
Enjoy!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Afloat, Aug. 1 2002
This review is from: Drown (Paperback)
The string of short stories in Drown is pretty cool. It throws together the Dominican and new American experience from the POV of youth . This book is not just Dominican book, but a book of youth. It is hard to look back in that place called youth and Diaz does so with what appears to the reader, with ease.
The stories range from Jersey project living to San Juan slum living. And the life from each facet explodes in a vibrance of pure phosphorescence. At times the stories are heartbreaking with their relentless truth, like in "Negocios". At other times stories are funny, like the government cheese bit in "How To Date A Browngirl...". But underlying everything is the sadness of the reality of poverty.
We are dealing with real people in these stories. They are so real they come off the page and talk to you. Diaz has created characters so real that we actually empathize and eventually care for them. Therein lies Diaz's strongest gift in the field of writing.
All of the stories are top notch, but the one that stands out the most is "Negocios".
If the narrative voice of Raymond Carver were the guy sitting on the bar stool next to you, the voice of Junot Diaz is that of illegitamite latino brother you are meeting for the first time, you and your brother both having had a life of poverty. Both authors write smooth as an oral storyteller. Each in a friendly, enticing, inviting voice.
Check this book out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars He writes magnificently, July 31 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Drown (Paperback)
Truly, a must read, great language, great imagery, harsh realities set next to bright dreams. The honesty with which he shares this story I find fascinating. Truly a gem, though bitter and dark sometimes, but that's the way life is I suppose. It unravels like a ball of yarn and comes out as this amazing scarf of intensity at then end. Once you think you've understood his message, you get to the last story in the book and are mesmerized by the layers of truth unimaginable in the life of one family.
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Drown
Drown by Junot Diaz (Paperback - April 16 2002)
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