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What Belongs to You: A Novel par Garth…
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What Belongs to You: A Novel (original 2016; édition 2016)

par Garth Greenwell (Auteur)

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6002532,220 (3.74)29
"A haunting novel of erotic obsession by a major new talent On an unseasonably warm autumn day, an American teacher walks down a stairwell beneath Sofia's National Palace of Culture, looking for sex. Among the stalls of a public bathroom he encounters Mitko, a charismatic young hustler. He returns to Mitko again and again over the next few months, and their trysts grow increasingly intimate and unnerving as the enigma of this young man becomes inseparable from that of his homeland, a country with a difficult past and an uncertain future. What Belongs to You is a stunning debut about an American expat struggling with his own complicated inheritance while navigating a foreign culture. Lyrical and intense, it tells the story of a man caught between longing and resentment, unable to separate desire from danger, and faced with the impossibility of understanding those he most longs to know"--… (plus d'informations)
Membre:reelbigschmidt
Titre:What Belongs to You: A Novel
Auteurs:Garth Greenwell (Auteur)
Info:Picador (2016), Edition: Reprint, 208 pages
Collections:Votre bibliothèque, World Fiction (on Calibre)
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Mots-clés:fiction (world contemporary)

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What Belongs to You par Garth Greenwell (2016)

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» Voir aussi les 29 mentions

Garth Greenwell’s elegant, vivid and evocative writing makes this a stand-out novel. The novel engages the reader in strong emotions, sometimes of passion and longing, and other times of despair, hopelessness, aversion and regret.

The novel is written in first person, and the name of its narrator is never revealed, an accomplishment seldom achieved in first-person narratives.
The story is set in Bulgaria,a pathetic yet sometimes beautiful country which has been dominated and ruled by foriegn nations throughout most of its existence. This setting itself serves as a sort of character in the novel. The various locales and surroundings of each of the novel’s episodes impact what occurs in the setting as well as the moods and behaviors of the characters. In fact, Bulgaria itself is a country that has not yet achieved its own sovereignty, its own national identity, just as the two primary characters in this book cannot fully achieve their fullness, their independence from one another.

The narrator of the book finds a young man, Mitko in a rest room frequented by men looking to hook up with other men. It is the reason the narrator was in the rest room and Mitko is the one to sell his services to the older man.

The business relationship between the two men quickly grows into something bigger, yet is doomed to never be the deep and meaningful relationship the narrator longs for, even though he himself does not recognize that longing.

It is a powerful book, an emotional journey into desire, obsession and yearning, where neither man can admit his own desire for commitment to and feelings for the other man.

To say that the book ends on a tragic way is not to spoil or reveal its ending because the book is a tragic story all along. The two meet in tragic desperation, one for money, the other for companionship. The affair and relationship is misbegotten from the outset and can never grows beyond each man’s inability to be other than who they are.

This is not a standard romance, nor a tragic love story. It is a deep psychological exploration of two very different characters and their impacts on each other’s lives.

Most books about male relationships with other men are, surprisingly, both written by and read by women. As such, the stories they portray can only be what the female authors imagine a homosexual relationship to be. When an author is both male and gay himself, he is able to portray a mood, feeling tone and level of authenticity not possible from authors lacking those qualifications.

Greenwell is qualified to tell a story like this, not just because he a a gay male writer himself, but also because he is an extremely talented writer with the skill and experience only an experienced poet is able to display. ( )
  PaulLoesch | Apr 2, 2022 |
"What Belongs to You" is a riveting story. Garth Greenwell created an evocative and pitiable character in Mitko. The joy and sadness surrounding this tale really tugged at this reader's heart strings. ( )
  Jeremias75 | Jan 3, 2022 |
The original novella -- the first half of the book -- was deeply moving, an inevitably-broken travelogue pseudoromance that untangled the fine line of falling for someone you're paying to sleep with. The writing was subdued, evocative, hyperaware of the ways in which the smallest of human gestures and interactions can reveal deep insecurities. The main character evoked Ben Lerner's character in Leaving the Atocha Station in how separated he felt from the new European world around him and in how his inner thoughts juxtaposed with his outer interactions; he also was falling in a love that approximated Call Me By Your Name in how surprising, foreign, and unavoidably failed it was.

Then -- a long and awful stream-of-consciousness digression in the middle about the character's Midwestern upbringing, his father's rejection of him, his sisters' damaged psyches, etc. Yawn. Why do writers feel like en media res backstory is always good? It usually reads as gratuitous filler, a diversion from the pull of the concrete present to an abstract, peripheral, unwanted past.

The last third -- Mitko's fall from grace, nod to one Balkan neighbor -- was also prolonged (I am not especially interested in reading accounts of STD testing horror stories in post-Soviet states), but at least returned to the same observant and delicate voice of the first third. It was quite sad, but also echoed the hollowness of the romance.

I can't wait for the author to write about a real love someday, without all the childhood digressions.

( )
1 voter Gadi_Cohen | Sep 22, 2021 |
Meh. Didn't live up to the hype at all for me, not even close. ( )
  Septima | Aug 21, 2021 |
meh ( )
  rosscharles | May 19, 2021 |
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Nom de l'auteur(e)RôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
Greenwell, Garthauteur(e) principal(e)toutes les éditionsconfirmé
Anweiler, JustineConcepteur de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Freeman, MaxAuthor photographerauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
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For Alan Pierson and Max Freeman and for Luis Muñoz
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That my first encounter with Mitko B. ended in a betrayal, even a minor one, should have given me greater warning at the time, which should in turn have made my desire for him less, if not done away with it completely.
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"A haunting novel of erotic obsession by a major new talent On an unseasonably warm autumn day, an American teacher walks down a stairwell beneath Sofia's National Palace of Culture, looking for sex. Among the stalls of a public bathroom he encounters Mitko, a charismatic young hustler. He returns to Mitko again and again over the next few months, and their trysts grow increasingly intimate and unnerving as the enigma of this young man becomes inseparable from that of his homeland, a country with a difficult past and an uncertain future. What Belongs to You is a stunning debut about an American expat struggling with his own complicated inheritance while navigating a foreign culture. Lyrical and intense, it tells the story of a man caught between longing and resentment, unable to separate desire from danger, and faced with the impossibility of understanding those he most longs to know"--

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813.6 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 21st Century

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