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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 15 October 2013
Nine stories comprise This Is How You Lose Her, all but one about Yunior, a Dominican-American sex hound. The stories certainly open a new world, complete with offensive street slang. We also meet Rafa, a misogynistic brother, an even more despicable character than Yunior. The best parts occur when Yunior journeys to the Dominican Republic and describes the people and places there. I suppose the book could serve as instruction; however many, I fear, will think Yunior cool and miss the entire point.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 December 2012
Following on from his successful The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Dìaz now brings us a slight tease of a book. Loosely interlinked narratives, chronologically random, not quite short stories, not quite a novel. There's no doubt the guy can write; thrillingly, in fact.

Essentially, the book is about the main narrator's many love affairs which inevitably end badly after a string of broken promises. But it's the death of his brother that is at the book's heart, betraying a rueful tenderness beneath the laugh out loud moments, of which there are many.

Be aware: there's a lot of Dominican Spanish slang in this book. A glossary would have been handy. But on the other hand, perhaps it's all part of the author's brilliant plan to leave the reader feeling somewhat out of the loop - much as the Dominicans themselves feel like outsiders in New York. It's easy enough to catch the meaning, though, and it certainly adds an unusual piquancy to the flavour.
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on 10 June 2014
The narrative voice here is incredible - electric, engaging, fun, sad... Unfortunately I didn't much get on with the content. This is essentially a collection of short stories on a theme (infidelity and crumbling relationships), and it feels a bit too repetitive and bitty to get fully involved with many of the characters. Am very tempted to read his other books though...
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on 29 October 2013
Wonderful, Diaz writes the way people make you feel, you cannot book this book down and then you just have to pick up the stories and start again.
The string of stories about Rafa and his family are raw and touching.
If this is this first time you have read Diaz then proceed straight to Drown !
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on 11 June 2013
What you'd expect from a collection of Junot Diaz short stories. If you haven't read them before you should. A full size novel would be great but the short stories are always very insightful and intimate yet funny and readable. Really lively writing, brilliant author.
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on 6 April 2016
Captures life in the DR from its oppressive political climate to its beautifully painful romances. Couldn't put this one down, an almost perfect synthesis of words to draw out your deepest emotions.
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on 7 September 2014
I loved this book and I have recommended it to all of my friends. The protagonist is difficult to love but a total work of genius from the author. Junior is not the kind of you would want to date.
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on 19 October 2012
(this review is by David's wife, we both use this account)

Like DROWN, this collection of linked short stories chronicles the life of Yunior, a Dominican emigre to the USA. THIS IS HOW YOU LOSE HER picks up the story up during Yunior's twenties, painting a portrait of a guy with no visible anchor when it comes to relationships with women.

It's not for lack of trying, merely that he has only the most rudimentary grasp of what he's looking for, as though he's periodically asking, and then misunderstanding, 'what are women for'. His wit, serious character and island charisma mean that he's never short of female company, he knows how to attract the easy girls and the generous girls and even the ones who won't give it up so easy.

Yunior just doesn't know how to keep them. It's kind of funny but also heartbreaking to see how the only lesson he keeps learning is: THIS is how you lose her.

For a book that did only this, with the brutal honesty and charm of this collection, you'd give 5 stars. But where THIS IS HOW YOU LOSE HER transcends is in the clever portrayal of the experience of being part of the Dominican diaspora, and specifically, in the cold, unfriendly climes of New Jersey and then the (surprisingly!) blithe racism of Boston.

This is territory in which Junot Diaz has consistently excelled; it's also where his own, not entirely dissimilar life experience has been pure gold. By going back to Yunior's childhood, with tales like 'Invierno', and 'Miss Lora', and the stories about his evil brother's death from cancer, Diaz gently suggests reasons for why Yunior may have been set, inexorably, upon the path to perdition.

You feel for Yunior and want him to succeed, for his bruised heart to find love and understand how this time, to keep it.

Seriously, seriously good.
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on 5 October 2012
Junot Diaz's second short story collection takes up where Drown, the first set, left off. More stories about Dominicans in New York, particularly Yunior, from his earliest arrival in the US, through adolescence and stories focussing on his brother, to the final - and perhaps best - story in the book - about how he came to write The Cheater's Guide To Love. Indeed that is what the whole book is about - Yunior's continual yielding to the temptation to treat the women he loves very badly - and his regrets about what he's done.

Diaz has a highly distinctive narrative voice, and writes of a culture wholly unfamiliar to me. His stories all have the ring of truth, and often the ring of comedy, albeit comedy likely only to raise a wry smile, as we engage with the vitality of his characters, even as their actions sometimes appal us, and also as they suffer. I'd strongly recommend this - though perhaps The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is better. This story collection is a little inconsistent, though at its best it is brilliant.
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on 2 November 2013
Everyone bears the scars of old relationships, but not everyone can share the pain easily enough to empathize with the writer, even when he was in the wrong!
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