Great novel despite the social commentary and recap of historical events Definitely a magical story. This is one of the best books I ve ever read.Other folks have remarked that the author intrudes on the work, as if he s a kid who just can t stop himself from gorging on something bad for him Yunque is not just a kid with a bad habit, but a writer in full control of his literary techniques Yes, it s a rather experimental device, but it s just that an intentional device This novel is not what the first couple of chapters might lead you to expect That is, it s not a hipster action novel with a big vocabulary a la Warren Ellis, but a rumination on the nature of storytelling and of American hegemony If you like Delany when his stories are barely a step away from lit crit, you ll love this If the very thought makes you annoyed, this probably isn t the book for you. From One Of The Most Powerful Voices In Contemporary Fiction Comes A Fantastic Adventure Through The Concrete Jungle Of New York City Failed In All His Career Aspirations, Recently Laid Off From Kinko S, And Burdened With A Frustrating Anatomical Shortcoming, Omaha Bigelow Finds Salvation On The Streets Of New York City S Lower East Side In The Form Of A Nuyorican Homegirl Equipped With An Array Of Powers To Cure His Problems Their Misbegotten Romance Transforms Him From A Perpetual Loser To An Overnight Success, But Fame Comes With A Hefty Price Omaha Must Soon Struggle To Remain Faithful As He Becomes Entangled With An Irresistible WASP Law Student And A Sinister Ex CIA Agent Who Happens To Be Her Father Writing With A Perfect Pitch Ear For The American Idiom, And Vividly Capturing The Cultural Landscape Of Post SeptemberNew York, Edgardo Vega Yunqu Challenges The Received Wisdom Of Contemporary Life And Its Politics With Vitality, Humor, And An Abiding Affection For Pop Culture, Youth, And American Optimism Ok I was that close holding up two fingers pinched close together to finishing this book The books fantasy aspect of a secret Puerto Rican society controlling the social structure of the world and use of animal transforming witches was just too overwhelming for moi comprehend There was no background structure to hold it together and the structure offered was itself a strange manifestation Men In Black the movie did a much better job of connecting the viewer to an almost believable fantasy alien world among the boringly everyday weave of our worldly society Yes I do believe Micheal Jackson was an alien The only thing that kept me going on the book was the belief that something this bad could get better and the brief sexual encounters in the book Well the book did not get better, it got worse, and I finally got a girlfriend so I didn t need the sex in print I gave it 1 star for the sex and that is that Now I don t know what to do with the book I know my library won t take it Hell, they might even turn me into the Freak Police I will have to bury it in the back yard with my Beta copy of John Water s, Pink Flamingos. the author is so wildly full of himself that his dialogues with the reader, which make up roughly half the book, quickly become intolerable the story itself is very fine and creative, but he frequently suggests that if you just want to get back to the plot then you re only interested in trash fiction and not real literature the many fine authors he cites as example of real literature, however, manage to tell THEIR stories without constant interruption to explain obvious plot devices and metaphors this book would have been great if he had managed to do the same, but instead he grossly underestimates the intelligence of his readers. This book made my eyes burn with ick The first half is well written, gripping and fast paced However, inexcusably sexual material in it is disgustingly vivid It just seems as if the author wrote down whatever he wanted about all things gross The second half of the book is evenexcruciating because it abandons all snappy plot points in exchange for silly dialogues between the author and protagonists If that weren t deeply annoying enough, we also get Vega s senseless political musings in every chapter So.skip this book The first 100 pages are fine, but disturbing I can always spoil the ending for you and you won t have missed a thing. Over the top gratuitous, it s like Christopher Moore and Tom Robbins mixed together with some salsa merengue Interesting, a bit too sexual at times, but a good read. yunque tears it up in this experimental piece of fiction, with all kinds of surreal twists and turnsmuch of it taking place in post 9 11 new york he s the puerto rican tom robbins The beginning of this book is amazing, especially if you have a connection to New York s lower east side The magical realism Puerto Rican witches and animal transformations and bohongo enlargments all actually make sense if you ve felt the energy of the LES But the momentum kind of tapers off and the story gets bogged down in all the characters, and to an annoying extent, the author interjecting himself upon the action At first the author as character as cute, but then it just got old And then you find out the whole book is about 9 11, and it sort of falls apart, kind of like this review Never forget. from my 2005 review in The San Juan Star Wassup with the Nuyoricans on the Lower East Side Well, homegirls are morphing into squirrels and monkeys and seagulls to get around the neighborhood, and occasionally startling an onlooker by fully feathering into magnificent peacocks The homeboys, who slouch around the projects in baggy clothes by day, are honing in by night on radar, sonar, electronics, navigation and all the other specializations needed for the Puerto Rican Navy being formed to preserve and protect la isla When the concrete jungle gets the tenement dwelling Nuyoricans down, those with the magic touch transform their crummy apartments into the enchanted island, where they wade in the warm, emerald blue waters and relax on the sandy, palm studded beach of Luquillo, or receive blessings from the Ta no god Yukiy on the primordial El Yunque mountain top Meanwhile, 15 year old Maruquita Salsipuedes, a juvenile Jennifer L pez lookalike, falls for punk rocker Omaha Bigelow, a simp tico Gringo loser who, unfortunately, is less than well endowed on the anatomical front Maruquita calls on her family s brujer a witchcraft background to shape up Bigelow down below Omaha is now a big boy with a growing ego He gives thanks to Maruquita by fulfilling her desire for a Gringorican baby then cheats on her by impregnating four other Loisaida ladies But nobody monkeys with Maruquita, the good witch of the Lower East Side Omaha Bigelow, who the 15 year old Maruquita considers her pet, gets his comeuppance in terms both figuratively and literally poetic Read it and weep Or laugh Or whatever It s all happening in Edgardo Vega Yunqu s magically realistic, highly raunchy and deeply resonant novel, The Lamentable Journey of Omaha Bigelow into the Impenetrable Loisaida Jungle, published by Overlook Press And that s not even the half of it You ve got the writer and his characters trading thoughts and opinions on how things are turning out in the novel The marvelous Maruquita goes from down home Spanglishisms What for it gotta be like that Papito, wassup when she s in character during the narrative, to sophisticated polisci speak when she addresses the author in asides about where the novel is going is this some sort of metaphysical affirmation of the hegemonic power of the United States juxtaposed against the destiny of the hemisphere You ve got the writer commenting in mini essays on the very unmagical reality of Puerto Rican politics and the plight of the people, and of the sorry state of American life and politics, not to mention the country s fast decaying tastes in literature The author slices into the heart of conservative America and is on target when he says it often seems that Americans learn geography by bombing places You want ferinstances How about Kosovo, Fallujah, Samarra, et al The author s poetic imagination swingsthan his political prose he sprofound and gives us deeper insights when he s riffing on the human comedy And there are intimations of the meaning and or meaninglessness of it all, with takes on Oedipus Rex to Waiting for Godot, from Greek god Zeus to, well, Geraldo And Bill Clinton, Bush the Younger, the CIA and Vieques also are wrapped into the satirical package What you ve got is an exceptional American writer of Puerto Rican descent taking chances with both the content and structure of the novel, and bringing most of it home beautifully Whether you re from Bayam n or the Bronx and maybe even Omaha, Nebraska this hilarious and heart felt novel should hit home with its dark humor and its bittersweet humanity The Puerto Rico Rico born, New York raised Ed Vega passed away in August, 2008, but his wild and wonderful prose keeps on going on in Omaha Bigelow, and in his many other works.
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- 350 pages
- The Lamentable Journey of Omaha Bigelow Into the Impenetrable Loisaida Jungle
- Edgardo Vega Yunqué
- 22 August 2019 Edgardo Vega Yunqué