One reason I read less so called literary fiction hese days is hat so much of it feels Fred Dibnah - Made in Britain the same The same characters inhe same places doing Still Open All Hours the samehings But with MEMORIAL everything is refreshingly different it is A Catered Fourth of July the rare literary novel where I felt like I recognizedhe places and people I saw I didn read any of he jacket copy but I assumed from The Complete History of the Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe the cover anditle hat his would be a real downer It isn Fast Glamour though it s not a happy book either but Family Tradition: Three Generations of Hank Williams the sadness was balanced enough for me noto feel like I was reading something bleak Even hough honestly if you look at he overarching plot it s pretty bleakMike and Benson live Vampire Voles together butheir relationship has been on he rocks for a while Instead of addressing it here is an unusual set of events Mike finds out his estranged father is dying back in Japan He Twinkle: Sharing Your Faith One Light at a Time then invites his mothero come Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment to Houston from Japano stay with him And Short Stories in Spanish: New Penguin Parallel Text then immediately leaveso care for his father leaving Benson and Mike s mother Mistuko Dreams Take Flight to sharehe one bedroom apartment for an undetermined period of ime During his The Bath Monster time we see both Benson and Mike s point of view ashey work hrough he present and hink about he past Neither seems o be sure if hey want The Rules of Acting to stay inhe relationship but neither seems Boomerang (Part One: Chapters 1 - 19) to be ableo summon he energy o end it either They are Uncovering Her Secrets thrust from one kind of limbo into anotherAs a ueer novel I was very pleased with it It is not a book of ueer Sufferinghough both Mike and Benson s sexuality has had negative impacts on Pacar Kiriman their relationships withheir parents Benson s kicked him out in his youth and now hey like o pretend hat never happened While Mike and his mother s relationship is less rocky his romantic life is mostly out of bounds Benson is HIV positive which he book War and Government in Habsburg Spain, 1560-1620 treats withhe same casualness The Atomic Bazaar: The Rise of the Nuclear Poor that many gay menoday would Benson works with kids and no one cares I am rying o remember if I ve ever seen a man working in childcare in a novel before even The Safeguard of the Sea: A Naval History of Britain, 660-1649 though I have seen many ofhem in real life Mike and Benson s attitude The Prodigy's Cousin: The Family Link Between Autism and Extraordinary Talent towards cheating is low key andheir relationship is maybe kind of open sort of Sex is described in some detail and sometimes it is sexy and sometimes it isn Bittersweet t at all It all feels very accurate andrue Termination Orders to life it is not concerned withrying o make grand pronouncements about he gay experience which is exactly why it is so good about portraying gay lifeFor me The Escape this was a little under 4 stars because of my personal preference I always struggle with books wherehe prose is broken up into very small pieces While hey can combine o give you a full picture he stop and start of it can be hard for me o feel like I am getting into a sustained rhythm I give extra points o any book with a strong sense of place hat is NOT New York City o be honest and I loved he way Washington writes about Houston I lived in Sins, The Gita Karma the Houston area for a while not long enougho be able o recognize all of Washington s landmarks but definitely enough o recognize how well he portrays what a diverse place it is changing from neighborhood o neighborhood dividing on class and any of other measures There are hardly any white people in his book and it is better off for it This book was not for me The story follows Mike and Benson as hey ry o sort out heir dysfunction relationship Mike is Japanese and Benson is Black and hey have been in a relationship for close o 4 years and hey are finding it is dwindling The novel is split between he prospect of Mike and Benson Very early on in he novel Mike goes o Japan Tangled Sheets, Tangled Lies to see his father as he has just found outhat he is Beautiful Day terminally ill The day before Mike goeso Japan his mother arrives from Japan So Benson and Mike s mother are forced o spend ime Goodnight Sweetheart together whilsthe one connection hey have is in Japan he whole situation was weird and stilted I couldn fathom he point of heir relationship at all but at least in he end hey come o Deception So Deadly tolerate each other Benson also deals with family issues inhe book however again it feels stilted Mike basically gets The Prayers and Meditations of St. Anselm The Proslogion to know his Dad again and ofc his Dad who he hasn seen in over 17 years is a grump and wonders why Mike has even come The issue with his book is he characters are boring And I Cannot Understand I cannot understand after finding out he ins and outs of heir relationship why either of The Dragon Token them isrying o salvage it I also use rying loosely because hey both show in each of heir perspectives Comics, Comix Graphic Novels: A History Of Comic Art that perhapshis relationship isn The Appeasement of Radhika: Radhika Santawanam t actually forhem I simply couldn Lucia, Lucia t understand why one would struggleo find meaning in a relationship when it seemed How to Be a Capitalist Without Any Capital: The Four Rules You Must Break To Get Rich there was barely any meaning inhe first place They seemed My Life: A Spoken Autobiography to have gottenogether out of convenience and laziness rather han lust and passion As a result it didn leave me rooting for
"Their Love Story I Really "love story I really Bipolar Breakthrough: The Essential Guide to Going Beyond Moodswings to Harness Your Highs, Escape the Cycles of Recurrent Depression, and T they would have been better apart I found both characters just. A funny sexy profound dramedy aboutwo young people at a crossroads in Taste Test: Horns Halos their relationship andhe limits of loveBenson and Mike are Cardio Strength Training: Torch Fat, Build Muscle, and Get Stronger Faster two young guys who liveogether in Houston Mike is a Japanese American chef at a Mexican restaurant and Benson's a Black day care eacher and hey've been Season of Valor (Battles of Destiny together for a few years good years but nowhey're not sure why The Uncollected David Rakoff: Including the entire text of Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish they're still a couple There'she sex sure and Rodale's 21st-Century Herbal: A Practical Guide for Healthy Living Using Nature's Most Powerful Plants the meals Mike cooks for Benson and wellhey love each other But when. Felt like reluctant people and whole story just felt so disjointed and
*random The Duke's Daughter too and I couldn find single character I liked and *too and I couldn find a single character I liked and didn enjoy he overall story I also really don enjoy he no speech marks hing it very much reminds me of Sally Rooney and I m just not here for it Thanks o Riverhead Books for he free advance copy of his book MINI REVIEW What I liked The prose is clear and delicate A close look at he complicated relationships we have with our parents as adults I ve never been Temporary Rancher to Houston but I could feelhe city in his book Not all ueer relationships are happy and safe and as painful as Mike and Benson s relationship sometimes was I m glad he ueer *Canon Is Broadening What I Didn T *is broadening What I didn White Devil: Das Grauen Kehrt Zurück t Speaking of painful relationship I do wishhe characters had acknowledged he mutual abuse a little directly It would have been a very different book hen hough Content warnings domestic abuse cancer death racism homophobia It s like we re in some fucked up rom com I said It s like we re both fucked up rom com villains Maybe it s my fault for hyping myself oo much but I found Memorial Original Minds to be a wee bit disappointing First of allhe lack of uotations marks So many authors are using his echniue Betti on the High Wire that it now seems pass And what doeshis stylistic choice accomplish If we really wanted o write as realistically as possible we wouldn bother with punctation marks or with noting heshe said Set in Houston Memorial follows a Benson and Mike who live ogether and are sort of dating Mike who is Japanese American works as a chef at Mexican restaurant while Benson who is black is a dare care eacher The everyday challenges of cohabitation and Spin Control their different attitudesowards monogamy money and work result in a rather rocky relationship Arguments give away Level Up Your Life: How to Unlock Adventure and Happiness by Becoming the Hero of Your Own Story toense silences and The Hoarder in You: How to Live a Happier, Healthier, Uncluttered Life thewo begins o uestion whether being ogether still make senseWhen Mike announces Smart Health Choices: Making sense of health advice that he will be leaving Americao reconnect with his dying father who owns a bar in Tokyo Benson isn Feel for the Game: To Brookline and Back t happy Worst still Mike s mother Mitsuko who has just flowno Houston will be staying with Benson in Spellcast (Maggie Graham their apartmentBoth Benson and Mike s narratives are interspersed with short snippets fromheir past We gain a sort of impression of Spellcast their family life as well as reading ofheir previous sexual partners and of Up, Up, Up, Down! the early days inheir relationshipDuring Hello, World! Ocean Life thisime apart Benson grows close o another man and reconnects with his own father an alcoholic who isn The Buried too enthused by his son s sexual orientation Mitsuko beginso Generous Thinking: A Radical Approach to Saving the University teach him howo cook and while Zbig: The Strategy and Statecraft of Zbigniew Brzezinski thewo don get on particularly well hey get used Thin Air (Jessica Shaw, to each otherMike instead struggleso get along with his father He begins o work alongside him in his bar and while he doesn seem particularly keen on he job or he clientele he sort of adjusts o his new environmentI didn particularly care for Benson nor Mike They share Linux TCP/IP Stack: Networking for Embedded Systems the same kind of nondescript personalityhey are he ype of people who shrug a lot Their voices were almost interchangeable which didn really benefit heir characterisation The sex scenes were either predictably awkward perfunctory or frantic I guess Washington wanted A Good Enough Mother to depict realistic sex but he almost goes overboard sohat his sex scenes verge on he ridiculous I mean grunting like otters against a dingy dented stall To be fair however here was once instance Knights of the Razor: Black Barbers in Slavery and Freedom that made me chuckle We fucked It suckedThe dialogue was okay sort of mumblecore esue The secondary characters felt kind of flat They both have separated parents with brokenbrusue fathers and sardonicdirect mothers Mike s whole section with his father felt very schmalzy nothat I don care for dying fatherson stories in which he wo reconnect I loved Medicine WalkSadly I found his underwhelming This is he kind of novel hat Black Cross triesoo hard Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women's Fight for Their Rights to be a real and unfiltered story about modern lovebut I don know The characters spend a lot of The whites of gold: a novel theime watching dots on heir screen which yeah it s kind of relatable but it soon gets repetitive The story does incorporate discussions about race class and sexuality but I can say hat hese issues were explored with any particular depthJust because Washington style didn Talent Level 3 Class Audio CDs (3) t work for me doesn mean The Bluffer's Guide to Chocolate that Ihought Pig Manual: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Keeping Pigs that Memorial was a bad novel If you enjoyed Exciting Times you might actually findhis Essential Poker Math: Fundamental No Limit Hold'em Mathematics You Need To Know to be a highly satisfying readRead reviews on my blog View all my reviews on Goodreads MEMORIAL is a multi perspective and nonlinear joy of a narrative we follow Benson and Mikewo young guys living ogether in Houston s Third Ward Mike is a Japanese American chef at a Mexican restaurant and Benson s a Black day care eacher and Alfred Nobel they ve beenogether for a few years good years but now Clear Bright Future: A Radical Defence of the Human Being they re not sure whyhey re still a couple There s he sex sure and he meals Mike cooks for Benson and well Seven Bad Ideas: How Mainstream Economists Have Damaged America and the World they love each other But when Mike finds out his estranged fat. Mike finds out his estranged father is dying in Osaka just as his acerbic Japanese mother Mitsuko arrives in Texas for a visit Mike picks up and flies acrosshe world o say goodbye In Japan he undergoes an extraordinary ransformation discovering Made to Play! (Disney/Pixar Toy Story 4) (Disney/Pixar Toy Story 4) (Step into Reading) theruth about his family and his past Back home Mitsuko and Benson are stuck living Το Τονικό Μουσικό Σύστημα - Η Θεωρία της Μουσικής together as unconventional roommates an absurd domestic situationhat ends up meaning Days of Blood Starlight to each ofhem The Hyena Who Lost Her Laugh thanhey ever could have predicted. .
Her is dying in Osaka just as his acerbic Japanese mother Mitsuko arrives in Texas for a visit Mike picks up and flies across A Tale Dark Grimm the worldo say goodbye In Japan he undergoes an extraordinary Black Hawk: The Story of a World Class Helicopter transformation discoveringhe Addiction Treatment: Science and Policy for the Twenty-first Century truth about his family and his past Back home Mitsuko and Benson are stuck livingogether as unconventional roommates an absurd domestic situation Jewish Doctors Meet the Great Physician that ends up meaningo each of hem han hey ever could have predicted Without Mike s immediate pull Benson begins o push outwards realizing he might just know what he wants out of life and have Tim Greens Football Collection the goodso get itThere was so much complexity and depth o he characterization of both Mike
*And Benson And I Particularly *Benson and #I particularly Confessions of a Recovering Slut: And Other Love Stories the wayhe relationship between Mitsuko and Benson was developed #particularly In the Presence of Horses: A Novel the wayhe relationship between Mitsuko and Benson was developed was an endearing feel Playing Through: A Guide to the Unwritten Rules of Golf toheir initial awkwardness and Sinful Rewards 6: A Billionaires and Bikers Novella the wayhat Three Beastly Kendra Chronicles their *mutual love for mike andheir bonding over *love for Mike and A Duke to Remember their bonding over and shared mealshat was joyful And Still I Rise: Black America Since MLK to read I also foundhe representation of a HIV positive character and A Thoroughly Modern Princess the wayhis was explored in parts of he narrative really impactfulLike Washington s short story collection Lot I found he use of dialogue a particular strength of One Hundred Spaghetti Strings the narrative It is sharp and so well layered alongsidehis parallel language of food and cooking and Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore the wayhis plays such a communicative role across he narrative Similarly he way Washington captures he complexities of Houston and its varied personalities across he geographic sprawl His Guilt the way it becomes a character in it own right was masterfully done particularly interesting exploration of gentrification in parts ofhe city It s possible The Second Death (Los Nefilim, to drive from one hub of Houstono another only The Second Death to end up feeling like you re in a whole different country Bellaireo Sugar Land Jeunes et dangereuses to Katyo midtown o downtown o River Oaks Finding Samuel Lowe: China, Jamaica, Harlem to Montroseo Mainstreaming The Poverty Reduction Agenda: An Analysis Of Institutional Mechanisms To Support Pro Poor Policy Making And Implementation In Six African Countries (Ids Research Report) the Heightso East End American Fisherman: An Angler's History of the USA tohe Third Ward o he Warehouse District and backMany hanks o Riverhead for Prairie Girl: The Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder the opportunityo read an advance ebook The Finishing School this book is fucking beautiful full review forthcoming There shis phenomenon Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus that you ll get sometimes but notoo often if you re lucky where someone you The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck think you know says something about your gaynesshat you weren A Ghostly Demise t expecting at all Ben called it ainy earthuake I don Bard of the Deal think he was wrong You re destabilized is The Trump Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Living Through What You Hoped Would Never Happen the point How much just depends on wherehe uake originates Dire Steps the fault lines For my firstime reading Bryan Washington s work Vanessa's Design Dilemma this was one helluv UICK TAKEhis book is unbelievable A complicated complex story of relationships hat absolutely blew me away I loved he alternating POV between Benson and Mike and hought Washington did an excellent job writing beautiful funny heartbreaking characters The story is small and intimate and I couldn put it down This isn The World Weavers the sort of book I normally go for but I loved Honor the cover and was intrigued byhe premise so I reuested it on netgalley Well I suspect I should be reading of Inside the World of Die for Me thisype of book I was absolutely hooked by Memorial from Falling for Leigh (A Brookhollow Story, the beginning and read it in 2 days The characters are honest and interesting multi faceted and flawed but somehow also very likeable I enjoyed watchinghe story play out but he real star here is he writing which is just beyond beautiful Memorial made me Four Weeks, Five People think and athe end it made me cry I know it will stay with me for a long ime It s an absolutely brilliant book and I would recommend it o anyoneI m so grateful for my free copy Thank you I am firm believer in second chances Sometimes a book is not for you because of Just Desserts / Green Eggs Sam (Harlequin Duets, the place you are in as a reader or your own bias But all authors deserveo be read again and heir stories must be oldThough not a fan of Bryan Washington s Lot in hat spirit I picked up his newest novel Memorial coming out on October 6th 2020 by Riverhead Books I was aken by Riding the Wave: Seven Leaders of Change the maturity as a storytellerhat is evident from Lot o Memorial his humor and how accurately he portrays domesticity in relationships he struggles Last Chance for Baby to make a relationship work and how love is not always so clear cut This is a perfect novelo be dissected analysed and discussed by book clubs Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Biography there is so much food forhought so many issues Maqbool to be discussed from race multiculturalism identity love marriage commitment Mike and Bensonry Rider of Garuda to figure outheir relationship From Home to House their bondo each other as Mulla Nasruddin. by Sampurna Chattarji they discover whohey are and who Goddess of Fire they wanto be and heir different ethnic and economical backgrounds family histories play a role in how he relate All About Bacteria to one another andhe outside world The fact The Spy Who Lost Her Head thathe story is Apradhini: Women Without Men told intermittently from each ofheir point of view shows Lovers Like You and I the reader how in relationshipshere are gaps in communication assumptions on how he other person feels or what heshethey hink and so many Delicate Indecencies things left unsaidhat contribute Desperate Husbands to creating fractions It is really a fascinating story about love and relationships and finding a wayo make it all work I cannot recommend it enough. Without Mike's immediate pull Benson begins o push outwards realizing he might just know what he wants out of life and have he goods Existence to get itBoth men will change in wayshat will either make hem stronger ogether or fracture everything Unlucky for Some they've ever known And just maybehey'll all be okay in Miss Muriel Matters: The Australian Actress Who Became One of London's Most Famous Suffragists the end Memorial is a funny and profound story about family in all its strange forms joyful and hard won vulnerability becoming who you're supposedo be and he limits of lo.