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Lot

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  3,610 ratings  ·  591 reviews
Stories of a young man finding his place among family and community in Houston, from a powerful, emerging American voice.

In the city of Houston - a sprawling, diverse microcosm of America - the son of a black mother and a Latino father is coming of age. He's working at his family's restaurant, weathering his brother's blows, resenting his older sister's absence. And di
...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published March 19th 2019 by Riverhead Books
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Harold Millican It's an adult fiction text. However, it can be recommended to gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered youth because the principle narrator of the tex…moreIt's an adult fiction text. However, it can be recommended to gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered youth because the principle narrator of the text explores sexuality, masculinity, and identity. The book definitely explores latinx, African-American, and drug culture. I'm about a third of the way through it now. If you're still unsure read it. If you're doing a book display it's definitely African-American literature.(less)

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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  3,610 ratings  ·  591 reviews


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Larry H
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
"It didn't take long to see that there's the world you live in, and then there are the constellations around it, and you'll never know you're missing them if you don't even know to look up."

Lot , Bryan Washington's new story collection, is raw, potent, and packs a powerful, emotional punch.

Taking place in Houston before and after Hurricane Harvey, many of the stories focus on one young man, the son of an erstwhile Latino father and a black mother, as he grows into adulthood, confronts the pre
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Michael
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, 2019
I read and reviewed this book for Lambda Literary, where my full review can be found.

Introspective and understated, Lot gives voice to the silenced pain of Houston’s Black and Latinx working class. The collection of thirteen linked short stories alternates between tracking an unnamed narrator’s coming of age and exploring the diverse experiences of the boy’s fellow Houstonians. In terse prose, author Bryan Washington fully renders the inner lives of gay men struggling to endure the hardships of
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Richard Derus
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
2020 UPDATE Won a Lambda Literary Award in the Gay Fiction category. The Awards were announced on 31 May 2020.

Real Rating: 4.8* of five

The Publisher Says: Stories of a young man finding his place among family and community in Houston, from a powerful, emerging American voice.

In the city of Houston - a sprawling, diverse microcosm of America - the son of a black mother and a Latino father is coming of age. He's working at his family's restaurant, weathering his brother's blows, resenting his old
...more
Edward Lorn
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Bayou" and "Navigation" are high points in this fantastic collection. The only miss here is the longest selection, "Waugh", which I never connected with. "Elgin" was the best possible tale to end with. This is one of the best written debuts I've read. I'll be watching out for future releases by this amazing author.

You can find my video review here: https://youtu.be/ohuROftVFfM
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Thomas
Kudos to Bryan Washington for writing a powerful, gritty short story collection that centers Black and Latinx working class queer voices. The stories honor the impact of racism, gentrification, and poverty on the characters’ wellbeing, while still ensuring that their individual stories and connections with one another take center stage. I most appreciated how Washington honors the difficulty of existing within a system designed to keep you down, as well as how he portrays the nuanced emotions th ...more
Book of the Month
Why I love it
by Mat Johnson

I’m the greediest kind of fiction reader, because I want it all. I want a book that grabs me in a headlock and won’t let me put it down without a fight. I want a book with characters and conflicts that pull me in. I want a book that haunts me long after I’ve read its final page. I want it to let me see the world in a fresh way that’s been there the whole time yet has eluded me so far. And I got all this, and more, from Bryan Washington’s Lot.

Lot is a linked collection
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Lisa
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
[3.4] These gritty, linked stories set in Houston are hard to read. I often felt like an outsider, looking in. My favorite stories are the those about the unnamed narrator and his family. There is a tenderness and a yearning underneath his tough edges. And finally, in the last story, my favorite, we hear his name spoken, with love.
Maxwell
[3.5 stars]

A moving and unique collection of stories set in Houston, TX. I enjoyed that nearly half or more of the stories were told from the perspective of one character, while the others sprinkled throughout gave glimpses into the lives of various types of people around him in the city. At times I found myself a bit disconnected, and a few of the stories were not very memorable. But the ones that did hit me the right way really stand out. And as a debut this was pretty solid.
Traci at The Stacks
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Some great stories in this book. Half follow one family, the other half follow their neighborhood. Black and brown and queer and poor and great. Kind of dark kind of fun. Really well done and accessible. Great use of language and slang. So good.
Eli
Mar 14, 2019 rated it liked it
(I received this book for free via this site's giveaway program.)

I'm going to say something about this book that sounds like a compliment, but I don't mean it that way. So, if you're reading this review, you should feel free to interpret what I'm about to say however you like. If you think that it's a compliment, well, then maybe this is a book that you'd like. If you think that it's not a compliment, then maybe this is a book you should pass on.

With that said, here's my very brief take on "Lot"
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Bobbieshiann
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“You bring yourself wherever you go. You are the one thing you can never run out on”.
Have ever read a book that you finally get into and in the end, you don’t know how to review it?? Well that is me with the book LOT. It really gave me insight but also made think of how we receive others. Overall, I enjoyed the structure of the book. It focuses on a direct family but gives voices to their neighborhood as well. There is much power, strength, and survival in these short stories. Well worth the rea
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Heather
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
**I received this book as part of a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway.**

I enjoyed the stories in this book. About half of them were connected, and it was very interestingly done. They're all about coming of age, and coming out, while being a POC. I would like to read more about all the characters. Especially Nic. So, if anyone knows the author, tell him we need a whole book about Nic and his goings on! ;)
Jenny (Reading Envy)
My first read from the new Tournament of Books 2020 long list is a book recommended by a Houston-based previous podcast guest, Elizabeth. Each story in this book takes place in a different Houston neighborhood and includes all sorts of characters (and lots of drugs.) I was impressed by how quickly Bryan Washington can develop characters and give the reader deep insights into their lives.
Jaclyn Crupi
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am very much on the hunt for short stories by and about minority voices and this was perfect. I don’t know Houston but I feel like I do now. Inter-connected short stories make for a particularly satisfying collection. Every story here shines.
Jenna Bookish
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
The tone was very rambling and conversational, and the stories just didn't hold my interest.

Parts of it felt like a poor imitation of Junot Díaz's work. Overall, a flop for me.
Darryl Suite
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
That review is coming. Just you wait.
Here it is:

Lot is a kaleidoscopic and dizzying work of art. It is very reminiscent of Junot Diaz’s writing. And for that reason, I almost had no choice but to love it. But I’m here to say that Washington is doing his own thing, and it’s magical.

Lot tackles themes of family, poverty, homosexuality, fatherhood, unrequited love, community, and Houston. O Houston, O Houston. Washington’s description of Houston is so sticky and all-consuming, I felt like I was ph
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Matthew Quann
If there's one thing made clear by Bryan Washington's debut short story collection, Lot, it's that he's a big fan of Junot Diaz. Indeed, much of this collection seems inspired by Diaz's work: a recurrent narrator, bilingual dialogue, and a focus on persons of colour. Despite what, for me, seemed like pretty obvious inspiration, I was down to read similar stuff since I'm a pretty huge fan of Diaz. Unfortunately, Lot ended up being a fairly mixed bag for me.

The stories that revolve around our cent
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Aja Gabel
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is as good as everyone says it is. Haunting and powerful.
Conor Ahern
Like "There, There" but with Houston instead of Oakland, and queer Latinx and Black people instead of Native folk, "Lot" is beautifully written and extremely poignant. It tells variations on the tribulations of poverty and being non-white in modern America, with the added twist that the protagonist is always (or almost always) a queer man.

These stories were relentless--brutal, violent, unhappy. And I couldn't stop listening, as uncomfortable as they often were. I will be evangelizing for this o
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Doug
Jul 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5, rounded down.

Standard disclaimer: I don't read a lot of short stories and it's NOT a format I generally enjoy; no matter how accomplished the writer, there always seems to be a disparity in quality in even the most terrific collection. And so it is with THIS group of 13 stories, the odd numbered ones of which are interlinked, and the other 6 stand-alones, although all of them take place in (and are named after sections of) Houston. [Side note: the Chamber of Commerce is never gonna give any
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Jaime
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Most readers like to past up on short stories. Don't be that reader cause you are missing out on some gems. Lot is one of them. This is an amazing collection. Bryan Washington's writing is stellar and precise. Another big thing I loved about this collection is the construction of the novel. The narrative shifts from the family to the neighborhood. Sense of place is a very strong theme and I love the author plays on words (he drops the word lot a few times). Every story is important. Bryan Washin ...more
Hayley Stenger
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
I started off really enjoying and excited by this book. By the time I was finished, it felt like a book I had read before, one that I didn't particularly like. I felt the set-up had great potential, but didn't follow through.
Ben
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous. Reminded me of Junot Díaz but without the straightguy bravado.
Makeda / ColourLit
Lot is a collection of 13 short stories set in Houston. The opener ‘Lockwood’ introduces us to an unnamed boy and his family (Black mother, Latino father and siblings Jan and Javi). Almost every other story returns to the boy; charting his journey from youth to adulthood. The other stories offer a sneak peak into the lives of those considered ‘other’ (poor, brown, black, etc.), covering a range of themes including the migrant experience, sexual discovery (and self-disclosure), adultery, the HIV ...more
chantel nouseforaname
Bomb. It was the bomb.

The way these stories intersect and play off each other, the fact that they're all segments of the same story just made it dope. To have young black and brown characters live that every day struggle together and exemplify real life; no matter where they're situated. I loved this. The longing, the searching and misplaced rage, anger, hurt. The joy in the small things, like a newborn baby. It was a great read.

Bryan Washington is a great writer. I was inspired to read this r
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Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was my most anticipated release for 2019 and it did not disappoint!

This collection captures some of the intersections of Houston life, with each title referencing a different geographic part of the city. The stories focus on young male voices coming of age against backdrops of class and race and sexuality. The voice is immersive and the first person perspective transports you into kitchens and bedrooms and relationships that these men inhabit. The language is perceptive and rich in its bre
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Uriel Perez
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
In “Lot,” Bryan Washington explores the myriad experiences of families and friends in the margins of the Houston-area. These interconnected stories follow an unnamed narrator as he navigates an adolescence of poverty while confronting his own identity as a gay man. Meanwhile, in the periphery, we encounter unfaithful spouses, scorned lovers, drug dealers, sex workers and witness the indelible effects of gentrification on those on the lowest rungs. “Lot” is a little bit like “Jesus’ Son” with som ...more
Krista Regester
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Your eyes will show you what they want to, or whatever they think you should see.
Erik
Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poc-authored, lgbt
"Lot," a collection of interwoven short stories by Bryan Washington, is a collection that pulls back the curtain on inner city life, queer life, and immigrant life all in one fell swoop.

In alternating stories, Washington focuses on Nic and his family living in urban Houston and the various other people, from hustlers to baseball players to drug dealers, who populate the ever gentrifying neighborhoods of this Texan city. Nic, a young, gay biracial boy, finds himself absent a father and with a bro
...more
Charlotte
I’ve listened to this on audio and was captivated by his astute and powerful observations of race, class, and sexuality in Houston. I think Bryan Washington is a promising writer but not a great narrator and the stories might have benefitted from the rest of the cast of narrators reading them as well (like Bahni Turpin whom I love).
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Goodreads Librari...: Combine Editions - "Lot: Stories" by Bryan Washington 2 11 Dec 01, 2019 08:50PM  
Literary Fiction ...: Review of Lot 3 34 Jun 30, 2019 08:13AM  
Book of The Month: Lot 2 29 May 09, 2019 09:56AM  

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“Your eyes will show you what they want to, or whatever they think you should see.” 3 likes
“But the neighborhood’s changed. With our not-legals shuffling in, people who don’t have time for the violence, people whose only reason for bouncing was to get away from the violence, we’ve mellowed out, found our rhythm. Slowed down. You can raise a kid in the complex. Start a garden or some shit.” 1 likes
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