Greene's poignant new novel of the South takes its reader through the life of an unnamed narrator over a period of successive summers spent in Charleston, South Carolina. An unsettling, totally moving portrait of a man trying to grow up and come to terms with his sexual identity in often overwhelming circumstances....
|Title||:||What The Dead Remember|
|Number of Pages||:||105 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
What The Dead Remember Reviews
This book is very hard to review. Plots are easy to write about and can be just descriptive. This book is about more than plot. In fact the plot is simple enough and is described succinctly enough on the cover. What is not so easily described is the way the author conveys the thought processes of the boy/man and the atmosphere of Charlestown those three summers. One line describes the heat in the house hiding beneath the floorboards and nearly every line has something poetic in it. It's beautifully written.I have read beautifully written books in the past but found there was no substance to them and was left mellow but none the wiser. This is not one of those books. This will leave you mellow, touched and a little bit spooked. Especially the final few pages. As a boy on the outside of life as it was lived on the beaches of Charleston at the time he is finally able to connect with the other boys. How that is done is only hinted at but is obvious reading between the lines. The derelict slave building serving as the place for another form of slavery. He is able to move beyond the wall of glass he has to live behind by connecting with Stevie the retarded older boy living on the poorer part of the island but - as Wilde said - we often destroy the thing we love. Stevie is a prominent character in the book providing another way for him to connect. Again, this comes at a high price for both of them.Some reviewers have said this is a book about Aids. I find that hard to believe. It's like saying the Titanic is about engineering. The Aids part shows its head in the last page or so and is mentioned only in passing in one other passage. Also, and this is only personal, I think that it is used as a metaphor for something that joins him to other human beings - an issue that runs through the novel as the man as boy always feels outside the common run of childhood. Past and present meet up in a surprising way at the end and give him the connection he wanted but at a price.If you can get a copy of this book take it. It isn't a long book but it is deep and will stay with you. A lot more than can be said for a lot of gay novels which are nothing but chewing gum for the mind.
he narrator at the age of thirteen spends the summer with his aunt and uncle in Charleston. Overweight and by nature withdrawn, he makes friends with Stevie a retarded local boy. But he is secretly fascinated by men in underwear. Eventually a group of local lads who are always on the beach and initially ignore him accept him into their circle, and initiate him in the delights of boy love.Latter the narrator returns to Charleston as a man and takes up again with Stevie and becomes his carer of sorts. He also finds a lover, but there are surprising connections with the young boys he befriended on his previous visit and some nasty shocks in store too.An honest, at times very sad, at others heart-warming, coming of age story, strangely coy at times, but well written creating an almost haunting atmosphere; worth reading. I would add thought that in retrospect I find the ultimate fate of the narrator, and more particularly how it is sealed, very disturbing. Perhaps that is why I generally avoid AIDS themed stories.
Harlan Greene has delicately crafted a novel with lyrical language that gives a deep inner voice to a complex, very imperfect narrator. "What the Dead Remember" is a rather low key examination of life, longing and making one's place in the world.The actual story is minimalistic and rather heavy on old ideas. All the characters besides the unnamed narrator feel very distant, which is probably the point. The narration is pure subjectivity of a character out of place, dissociated from the community around him.The novel is especially accomplished in depicting the protagonist as a child. He is cruel, selfish, unempathical, yet oddly complex and ambiguous instead of being repulsive. And as the character grows older, he gains even more complexity and depth.The ending felt a bit contrived, but even that gives a reasonably new approach to the era of the AIDS epidemic. The last few pages are quite haunting, with their own kind of dark poetry to enforce the overall effect of the novel.
One of the darkest books I've ever read but so beautifully written and profoundly poetic. "And I wonder if it is their regrets the dead remember or is it their dreams they muse on eternally? It is the latter I think, for as the heat reached up and I fall asleep, everything else falls away. I feel buoyant and floating; I want to cry out with the panorama of happiness I see opening in front of me." -- Harlan Greene
Although it's not the type of book I would recommend because I prefer happy uplifting gay themed books. I felt this was well written and keep me intriqued throughout the entire book. This was me stepping outside my box and reading something that I would not normally read. It's worth reading!
This almost reminded me of To Kill Mockingbird. Although, it wasn't as good. It did have rare bird metaphors though. I didn't force myself through this, but it wasn't a page turner either.