This is a good book. I'm English, not merely old but "old school", so a full-length novel written in "hip" American ghetto slang and liberally peppered with Spanish terms and phrases unknown to my large Collins Spanish Dictionary, and with a heavy reliance on references to science and fantasy fiction and comic books (all of which I despise), I would not usually touch with a barge-pole, but I loved this one and neglected my other duties until I had finished it.
I have read most of the ninety-odd reviews of the book on Amazon UK and US and I think that many readers miss the point when they complain that the title is a misnomer because only a small part of the book describes Oscar's "life" and that while he may be a physically well-rounded person his character is flat and clichéd. The title surely is ironic. Oscar has really neither a life or a personality to speak of. He is just a peg on which to hang an analysis of Dominican society on the island and in New York, which the author perceives to be generally nasty. It is Dominican "culture" itself which is the "fukú" and bad things and bad people will inevitably surface because the whole fabric is built on rotten foundations of ignorance, greed and racism. You could almost say that the heart of the book is in its historic footnotes.