Little directly It would have been a very different book then though Content warnings domestic abuse cancer death racism homophobia It s A Constellation of Vital Phenomena like we re in some fucked up rom com I said It sike we re both fucked up rom com villains Maybe it s my fault for hyping myself too much but I found Memorial to be a wee bit disappointing First of all the ack of uotations marks So many authors are using this techniue that it now seems pass And what does this stylistic choice accomplish If we really wanted to write as realistically as possible we wouldn t bother with punctation marks or with noting heshe said Set in Houston Memorial follows a Benson and Mike who ive together 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 teacher The everyday challenges of cohabitation and their different attitudes towards monogamy money and work result in a rather rocky relationship Arguments give away to tense silences and the two begins to uestion whether being together still make senseWhen Mike announces that he will be Sextasy: Master the Timeless Techniques of Tantra, Tao, and the Kama Sutra to Take Lovemaking to New Heights leaving America to reconnect with his dying father who owns a bar in Tokyo Benson isn t happy Worst still Mike s mother Mitsuko who has just flown to Houston will be staying with Benson in their apartmentBoth Benson and Mike s narratives are interspersed with short snippets from their past We gain a sort of impression of their familyife as well as reading of their previous sexual partners and of the early days in their relationshipDuring this time apart Benson grows close to another man and reconnects with his own father an alcoholic who isn t too enthused by his son s sexual orientation Mitsuko begins to teach him how to cook and while the two don t get on particularly well they get used to each otherMike instead struggles to get along with his father He begins to work alongside him in his bar and while he doesn t seem particularly keen on the job or the clientele he sort of adjusts to his new environmentI didn t particularly care for Benson nor Mike They share the same kind of nondescript personality they are the type of people who shrug a Still Life with Chickens lot Their voices were almost interchangeable which didn t really benefit their characterisation The sex scenes were either predictably awkward perfunctory or frantic I guess Washington wanted to depict realistic sex but he almost goes overboard so that his sex scenes verge on the ridiculous I mean gruntingike otters against a dingy dented stall To be fair however there was once instance 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 not that I don t care for dying fatherson Stories In Which The Two in which the two I Still Life with Chickens: Starting Over in a House by the Sea loved Medicine WalkSadly I found this underwhelming This is the kind of novel that tries too hard to be a real and unfiltered story about modernovebut I don t know The characters spend a ot of the time watching dots on their 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 t say that these issues were explored with any particular depthJust because Washington style didn t work for me doesn t mean that I thought that Memorial was a bad novel If you enjoyed Exciting Times you might actually find this 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 Mike two young guys iving together in Houston s Third Ward Mike is a Japanese American chef at a Mexican restaurant and Benson s a Black day care teacher and they ve been
together for a few years good years but now they re not sure why they re still a for a few years good years but now they re not sure why they re still a There s the sex sure and the meals Mike cooks for Benson and well they ove each other But when Mike finds out his estranged father. 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 across the world to say goodbye In Japan he undergoes an extraordinary transformation discovering the truth about his family and his past Back home Mitsuko and Benson are stuck iving together as unconventional roommates an absurd domestic situation that ends up meaning to each of them than they ever could have predicted.
Bryan Washington ñ 1 REVIEWIs dying in Osaka just As His Acerbic Japanese Mother his acerbic Japanese mother arrives in Texas for a visit Mike picks up and flies across the world to say this book is fucking beautiful full review forthcoming There s this phenomenon that you STFU, Parents: The Jaw-Dropping, Self-Indulgent, and Occasionally Rage-Inducing World of Parent Overshare ll get sometimes but not too often if you reucky where someone you think you know says something about your gayness that you weren t expecting at all Ben called it a tiny earthuake I don t think he was wrong You re destabilized is the point How much just depends on where the uake originates the fault ines For my first time reading Bryan Washington s work this was one helluva first impression Memorial is a beautifully ayered debut novel one I ve spent days wrestling with over a proper rating but it is so deserving of the fifth starWith his debut novel Memorial Bryan Washington illustrates a hilarious yet heartbreaking portrait of two gay men of color one Black the other Japanese trying to salvage the bones of their dysfunctional relationship and affection for each other Even as the injuries of Syncopated: An Anthology of Nonfiction Picto-Essays loss and separation threaten to tear them apart Washington shows us there is no power invincible than that of trueove In all my Are All Guys Assholes?: More Than 1,000 Guys in 10 Cities Reveal Why They're Not, Why They Sometimes Act Like They Are, and How Understanding Their ... Will Solve Your Guy Drama Once and For All life I can t say I ve discovered a book that so open heartedlyays bare the fondness that can exist discovered a book that so open heartedly What a Lass Wants lays bare the fondness that can exist gay men and the fathers who forsaken them What Washington achieves in Memorial is a drop dead beautiful story that speaks poignantly to the fear ofetting go of the ones we ove mostI have so much to say so please bear with me Comprehensive review to come Thank you Riverhead friends for allowing me to read this book in advance UICK TAKE this book is unbelievable A complicated complex story of relationships that absolutely blew me away I oved the alternating POV between Benson and Mike and thought Washington did an excellent job writing beautiful funny heartbreaking characters The story is small and intimate and I couldn t put it down This isn t the sort of book I normally go for but I Mexican Hooker loved the cover and was intrigued by the premise so I reuested it on netgalley Well I suspect I should be reading of this type of book I was absolutely hooked by Memorial from the beginning and read it in 2 days The characters are honest and interesting multi faceted and flawed but somehow also veryikeable I enjoyed watching the story play out but the real star here is the writing which is just beyond beautiful Memorial made me think and at the end it made me cry I know it will stay with me for a The League for the Suppression of Celery long time It s an absolutely brilliant book and I would recommend it to 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 the place you are in as a reader or your own bias But all authors deserve to be read again and their stories must be toldThough not a fan of Bryan Washington s Lot in that spirit I picked up his newest novel Memorial coming out on October 6th 2020 by Riverhead Books I was taken by the maturity as a storyteller that is evident from Lot to Memorial his humor and how accurately he portrays domesticity in relationships the struggles to make a relationship work and howove is not always so clear
This is a novel to be dissected analysed and discussed by book clubs there is so much food for thought so many issues to be discussed from race multiculturalism identity ove marriage commitment Mike and Benson try to figure out their relationship their bond to each other as they discover who they are and who they want to be and their different ethnic and economical backgrounds family histories play a role in how the relate to one another and the outside world The fact that the story is told intermittently from each of their point of view shows the reader how in relationships there are gaps in communication assumptions on how the other person feels or what heshethey think and so many things eft unsaid that contribute to creating fractions It is really a fascinating story about Suspicion at Seven: A Lois Meade Mystery love and relationships and finding a way to make it all work I cannot recommend it enough. Without Mike's immediate pull Benson begins to push outwards realizing he might just know what he wants out ofife and have the goods to get itBoth men will change in ways that will either make them stronger together or fracture everything they've ever known And just maybe they'll all be okay in 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 supposed to be and the imits of o.Cut This Is A