Real Life – by Brandon Taylor

The really abridged version of this review is “I don’t think this was written for me or maybe even my age group.” 

Real Life
By Brandon Taylor
2021 /
Read by Kevin Free 9h 25m
Rating: 4/ 21st cent fiction

Stupid.  I’m allergic to books actually “about”  sex and romance and GLBTQ books get the same measure.  Taylor apparently thinks that because gay (or homosexual, or queer, or by whatever name) people have thoughts and feelings about these things they’re new.  I think it’s a new generation is gaining awareness and insight.  
The major characters here all seem terribly immature to me –  they’re angry with their parents and trying to establish themselves as adults. The first person narrator is so self-absorbed and self-pitying it was almost nauseating at times.  That and he’s too regularly saying things like,  “I’m sorry,” “I’m sorry,” “I’m sorry.”  And then blaming someone or something else.  –  immature!  
Oh well; because I just never got terribly interested. Actually, I’m more interested in reading books about old geezers gaining awareness – or having adventures – or whatever – and no, I do NOT want to read about the self-pity of senior citizens – lol! 

Sorry,  but if this book were about straight folks there are parts which would be so clichéd as to be trash.  Yes, Taylor can frequently write nicely – (nothing particularly special but …) and he writes about things which are kind of original (I suppose – guys having a pissing contest about who’s more gay than the other might be original?) 

 The truth is that I was simply bored numb well before half-way through.  I kept reading though because sometimes my books, literary or crime, don’t get going until 1/2 way through or later.    (And unless something is really off the wall gross, I want to try to keep up with the Booker Prize Lists – and fwiw,  I’ve had to flat ditch some short-listers but not many. 

Bottom line, I think I’m just too old for the subject matter which is “real life,” I guess.  This was something which might have interested me at age 22 – when I was discovering that different people (even foreigners) had similar (or universal?) ideas and emotions about many things and that there were authors who could really write about these things.  

Does that mean they could write so well that I identify? That I recognize the people, places, and things is realism – that I recognize the emotions is basic identification? –  I don’t know.  I think I’m a couple decades past 50 – lol.  
 I’ve been reading introspective stuff for 50 years now.  Sex has been “hot stuff since James Joyce and D.H. Lawrence and those guys were before my time.  I don’t need a new generation to open my mind and heart –  lol.  The only new thing here is that gays are people too at mainstream level.  OMG!  Really??? –   (sigh). Oh Lord love the young who think they are inventing it all – Go read the last chapter of Ulysses – “Molly Bloom’s Soliloquy.”   (They have a lot more sexual energy and interest than I do and it shows in this book and my reaction to it.) 

****Sometimes I need reviews to articulate what I am feeling.  For instance, during and after reading this book (Chapter 6 was the first time). The WaPo said that Taylor makes a point of noticing “white people,” undermining the unspoken rule of much realist fiction that race need only be mentioned when it’s other than white. 

I’d noticed that but couldn’t or didn’t really “think” it.  No articulation of the impression it made. 

P.S.   I have been attracted to men but I have never (ever) blamed the guy for it.  LOL!   I think this must be a male thing – gay, straight, trans, queer, homo, faggot or whatever.  

Sorry this is so long – I guess I went on a rant.

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