Lukas Anthony's Reviews > What Belongs to You

What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell
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Oh look, another book where a well-educated, middle class man falls in love with a street hustler!

I'd heard some really good things about this novel in my group of friends, most praised the writing while a few spoke of how well the author interweaves character moments in reflections of things happening around the character as opposed to what is actually happening to him. On these points I firmly agree.

The writing is wonderful, and while some some of the descriptions go on to long, and become a bit heavy handed to the point where you're saying 'Okay, I get it', it's still a nice read.

My main issue is the story itself. I just don't see anything new here, it's like a checklist for gay literature.

Parental issues? Check.
Monogamy vs casual sex? Check.
Falling in love with a street hustler? Check.

I've read quite a lot of these stories by now and while some are up to the level where I can look passed their lack of originality, this just isn't one of them. The main reason is that I just don't understand the characters motivations, or why he feels this way about Mito. I wanted to, but there's just no connection as to why Mito is so alluring, I found him quite tiresome, and the story with him can get repetitive.

I enjoyed the scenes of our main character trying to establish an identity in a foreign country, his trouble with the language, an amusing visit to a foreign sexual health clinic. These were all good, it's just a shame these weren't the main plot as opposed to the side plots.

Overall, not a bad book, but it just doesn't stand out in a genre full of similar tales.
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Reading Progress

July 5, 2016 – Shelved
July 6, 2016 – Started Reading
July 8, 2016 –
61.0% "This is well written, but I'm sort of over the gay literature cliche of falling love with hustlers etc. I don't know why so many of these stories exist."
July 10, 2016 –
July 10, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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Rian Spot on. This is exactly how I feel about this book.

Lukas Anthony Yes, I don't understand why we have a whole book built around the obsession of someone who isn't worth obsessing about in the slightest.

Sketchbook Horny gay Amerikuns had best stay home! You nailed it here. 2 stars for me.

Eugene Galt Your review is well put. I kept thinking that I had read the same story several times before and that the author had only superficially freshened it with references to things like Skype.

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