The Lamentable Journey of Omaha Bigelow into the Impenetrable Loisaida Jungle

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The Lamentable Journey of Omaha Bigelow into the Impenetrable Loisaida Jungle
Vega Yunqué, Omaha Bigelow, cover.jpg
First edition
Author Edgardo Vega Yunqué
Cover artist from Getty Images
Language English
Genre picaresque, magic realism, metafiction
Published 2004 (The Overlook Press)
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 352
ISBN 978-1-58567-630-9

The Lamentable Journey of Omaha Bigelow into the Impenetrable Loisaida Jungle is a 2004 novel by Edgardo Vega Yunqué.[Note 1]

The novel follows Omaha Bigelow, a 35-year-old failure, with whom Maruquita Salsipuedesa, a 15-year-old bruja, falls in love. She has her mother perform a "Ceremony of Enlargement" that makes him frequently irresistible to women, and picaresque, magic realist, erotic adventures follow.

Omaha Bigelow's[1][Note 2] narrative is frequently interrupted by authorial commentary, on topics including baseball, literary ethnic ghettos, racism, and U. S. warmongering.

Regarding the title: "Loisaida" is the Nuyorican pronunciation of "Lower East Side".

Reception[edit]

Reviews were positive in general, although some criticized the authorial intrusions.

Such intrusions become recurrent ...—but always exhibiting a biting sense of humor and always intricately related to the ongoing narrative. This is a novel without precedent, a challenge for critics but also a pleasure for the attentive reader.[2]

—Naomi Ayala, The Washington Post Book World

How does he make the connection between American life and politics and tell the tale of an underendowed punk-rocker and an unlucky-in-love bruja? I promise you, he makes it work.[3]

—Helen Ubinas, The Hartford Courant

[T]his wild and wonderful novel should hit home with its dark humor and its bittersweet humanity.[4]

—Robert Friedman, The San Juan Star

Vega Yunqué has a keen intelligence, an ear for dialogue and a flair for zany passages of magic realism, but this sprawling, digressive book sinks under the weight of its snazzed-up style.[5]

—?, Publisher's Weekly

Vega Yunqué’s lavish comic imagination fills the narrative with wonderfully offbeat characters .... But the novel collapses into metafictional mannerisms as Vega Yunqué inserts his opinions into the text ad nauseam ....[6]

—?, Kirkus Reviews

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ This name uses Spanish naming customs; the first or paternal family name is Vega and the second or maternal family name is Yunqué.
  2. ^ This short form of the title appears in several reviews and is used by the author himself.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vega Yunqué, Edgardo. "Author's Note". The Lamentable Journey of Omaha Bigelow into the Impenetrable Loisaida Jungle. p. 352. 
  2. ^ Ayala, Naomi (2005-03-13). "Full of surrealistic surprise ...". The Washington Post. 
  3. ^ Ubinas, Helen (2004-12-12). "It's Yunqué’s world, and welcome to it". The Hartford Courant. p. G3. 
  4. ^ Friedman, Robert (2005-05-01). "Journey—Into Loisaida". The San Juan Star (Puerto Rico). p. P-5. 
  5. ^ "The Lamentable Journey of Omaha Bigelow into the Impenetrable Loisaida Jungle". Publisher's Weekly. 2004-11-01. 
  6. ^ "The Lamentable Journey of Omaha Bigelow into the Impenetrable Loisaida Jungle". Kirkus Reviews. 2004-10-01.