Hardcover è Mitko PDF/EPUB Þ

Hardcover è Mitko PDF/EPUB Þ


Mitko ❰Download❯ ✤ Mitko Author Garth Greenwell – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk On an unseasonably warm autumn day an American teacher enters a public bathroom beneath Sofia’s National Palace of Culture There he meets Mitko a charismatic young hustler and pays him for sex He re On an unseasonably warm autumn day an American teacher enters a public bathroom beneath Sofia’s National Palace of Culture There he meets Mitko a charismatic young hustler and pays him for sex He returns to Mitko again and again over the next few months drawn by hunger and loneliness and risk and finds himself ensnared in a relationship in which lust leads to mutual predation and tenderness can transform into violence As he struggles to reconcile his longing with the anguish it creates he’s forced to grapple with his own fraught history the world of his southern childhood where to be ueer was to be a pariah There are unnerving similarities between his past and the foreign country he finds himself in a country whose geography and griefs he discovers as he learns of Mitko’s own narrative his private history of illness exploitation and disease What Belongs to You is a stunning debut novel of desire and its conseuences With lyric intensity and startling eroticism Garth Greenwell has created an indelible story about the ways in which our pasts and cultures our scars and shames can shape who we are and determine how we love.

  • Hardcover
  • 195 pages
  • Mitko
  • Garth Greenwell
  • English
  • 07 July 2014
  • 9780374288228

About the Author: Garth Greenwell

Garth Greenwell is the author of What Belongs to You which won the British Book Award for Debut of the Year was longlisted for the National Book Award and was a finalist for six other awards including the PENFaulkner Award the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice it was named a Best Book of by over fifty pub.



10 thoughts on “Mitko

  1. Kelli Kelli says:

    This story cannot be fiction If this is truly fiction this author ranks among the best There is too much here for it not to be based in truth The story is so human The writing is dense and rich with long sentences littered with punctuation that demand to be read and re read Sentences masterfully crafted each packed with information and emotion There are no wasted lines Skip just one and you will be clambering backwards trying to piece things together Every chapter ends in a way that is either intentional or sheer magicI will let you decideThe narrator deftly describes every piece of himself his surroundings and this uniue surreal relationship built on foreign words that have than one meaning sustained by desire and mutual needs that couldn't be different This story epitomizes the viscosity that comes from a relationship that is impossible to clearly define The author masterfully depicted the challenges of communicating in a foreign language when it comes to relationships Regardless of skill level there are nuances and mysteries that simply cannot be translated to the non native speaker and coupling that with cultural differences there is an enormous challenge presented in a perfect world My heart broke for Mitko this child of the post Soviet era doing whatever it took to survive in a place no doubt unrecognizable even to himbut my heart also broke for our narrator and his scars that could not and will not heal At the end I hung my head and cried right along with him This book is uietly brilliant and difficult to forget 5 stars

  2. Adam Dalva Adam Dalva says:

    Gorgeous fascinating debut which is made all the remarkable in its links to Greenwell's CLEANNESS out this week The expository middle section a lengthy paragraph ruminating on coming of age as gay in the American South contrasts wonderfully with the Bulgarian liasons of the narrator and Mitko a charismatic hustler on a downward track that sandwich it Recommended

  3. Larry H Larry H says:

    Some books dazzle you with plot twists and action yet some books can truly wow you with the power of their storytelling their language and their imagery Garth Greenwell's debut novel What Belongs to You definitely falls into the latter category It's stunning emotional lyrical and it uietly grabs you and doesn't let go One unseasonably warm afternoon in October our narrator an American teacher living in Bulgaria goes to a restroom in Sofia's National Palace of Culture This is a restroom where men go to have sexual encounters and he is aware of this but meeting Mitko a young hustler takes him by surprise He pays Mitko for sex and finds himself immensely drawn to him so he returns to that restroom over and over And although he knows inherently that Mitko is going through the motions with him as he probably does with his other friends he still hopes that he might find his way into Mitko's hearthow helpless desire is outside its little theater of heat how ridiculous it becomes the moment it isn't welcomed even if that welcome is contrivedHe comes to terms with the fact that while Mitko may enjoy their encounters ultimately Mitko sees him as a source for money and there is a fine line between knowing you're being used and fearing you may be harmed as a result As he tries to decide what to do with Mitko an urgent message forces him to confront his own childhood and the mistreatment and veiled disgust with which he was treated once he accepted his sexuality He also tries to decipher the patterns in his behavior that has led him to the same situations time and time again always I feel an ambivalence that spurs me first in one direction and then another a habit that has done much damage What Belongs to You is a novel about desire and the desire to be wanted It's about the struggle between following your heart and your libido instead of your head and both the conseuences and triumphs that come from doing so It's also about how the hardest thing to do is reconcile your own issues with self esteem and finally realize only you can be responsible for your happiness and satisfactionGreenwell's talent is evident from the very first lines of this book and his poetic use of language and storytelling ability sustains through the book's entirety I truly cared about the narrator and worried what would become of him hoping against hope that Greenwell wouldn't abandon the purity of his story for the sensational and was so pleased he didn't This is a beautiful magnificent deeply felt book and I felt privileged to read it I can't wait to see where Greenwell's career takes him—I know I'll be following

  4. Michael Michael says:

    Self conscious and brooding What Belongs to You sketches the shallow inner life of a gay expat The unnamed American narrator is a teacher who has long since fled his conservative Southern hometown leaving behind his estranged father for the distance of a life abroad in war torn Bulgaria At the start of the story he’s just begun what will become a years long relationship with Mitko a brash but charming Bulgarian hustler with a mysterious past; the narrator alternates between charting the rise and fall of the affair and musing about his fraught relationship to his dying dad and his ueerness Greenwell writes lyrical prose stuffed with beautiful images and purple euphemisms and the story has no direction the characters little depth; for such a slim novel the work feels long and disjointed

  5. Richard Derus Richard Derus says:

    Rating 4 of fiveThe Publisher Says On an unseasonably warm autumn day an American teacher enters a public bathroom beneath Sofia’s National Palace of Culture There he meets Mitko a charismatic young hustler and pays him for sex He returns to Mitko again and again over the next few months drawn by hunger and loneliness and risk and finds himself ensnared in a relationship in which lust leads to mutual predation and tenderness can transform into violence As he struggles to reconcile his longing with the anguish it creates he’s forced to grapple with his own fraught history the world of his southern childhood where to be ueer was to be a pariah There are unnerving similarities between his past and the foreign country he finds himself in a country whose geography and griefs he discovers as he learns of Mitko’s own narrative his private history of illness exploitation and want What Belongs to You is a stunning debut novel of desire and its conseuences With lyric intensity and startling eroticism Garth Greenwell has created an indelible story about the ways in which our pasts and cultures our scars and shames can shape who we are and determine how we loveMy Review The sentences are lovely the affect on me was about that of graphene aerogel I am too old I think to find novelty in what seems to me a perfectly ordinary young gay man's exploration of being gay He met his lust object in the bathroom gasp He PAID him clutching of pearlsSo what? Anybody out there read OUR LADY OF THE FLOWERS UERELLE CORYDON? How about DANCER FROM THE DANCE NOCTURNES FOR THE KING OF NAPLES? I read them all and a boatload of Gordon Merrick's salacious sudsers early enough in life so as not to be gobsmacked by these themesBut this book is marketed to grown ups not teens and stylistically it's a pretty arabesue but so wispy and pale as to vanish up its own tailpipe so to speak; I think it's a disservice to 17 year olds not to let them read the ungraphic sex scenes and a disservice to experienced readers to call this pretty puff of smoke stunning intense or erotic the publisher's copy says all threeFour stars all for handsomely carved phrases and beautiful descriptive scene setting But if you're over 35 maybe this should be a library borrow

  6. Elyse Walters Elyse Walters says:

    Update I read this book awhile ago I'm happy to see it made the list of 2016 National Book AwardsHe only stood there an instant before he propelled himself forward and fell on top of me and I must have flinched I must have shut my eyes so it wasn't a blow I felt on my face but his mouth his tongue as it sought my own mouth which I opened without thinking I let him kiss me though it didn't seem like a kiss his tongue in my mouth it was an expression not of tenderness or desire but of violence as was the weight with which he bore down on me pinning me to the bed as he ground his chest and then hiscrotch against me; and then he grabbed my own crotch with one hand gripping it not painfully but commandingly and I thought whatever happens next I will let happen But nothing happened next he was on me unbearably present and then he sprang off thebed and was gone without taking anything or speaking another word though of course he could've taken whatever he wantedI had wanted to give without taking but it must have been humiliating for him not to have anything to bargain with and I'm wondering now if I liked his humiliation if that was the pleasure I took in my generosity that I was humiliating him and giving him what he needed while claiming not to need anything backWOW Simply exuisiteThe minute I finished the last sentence I wanted to start from the beginning and read this again The author debut?can't be possible'masterfully' captures the 'internal' world from his two main characters The realism is so intensely accurate that it hurts Explicit sex gay sex hunger lust longing mystifying perplexing

  7. Thomas Thomas says:

    An American teacher in Bulgaria meets a charismatic young hustler Mitko in a public bathroom beneath Sofia's National Palace of Culture He soon develops a heated intimate relationship with Mitko one built on desire and danger and fear As our narrator struggles to navigate the fraught intensity he shares with Mitko he re encounters dark secrets from his southern childhood memories that occupy him even when he lives a country awayI wish I could agree with they hype on this one I enjoyed some aspects of What Belongs to You our narrator's difficult dance with culture and language the ache of unfulfilled desire spanning familial and romantic relationships and the underlying emphasis on the importance of how we choose to treat ourselves Garth Greenwell writes with depth and elouence His sentences while long carried much meaning and style that only a few times turned prosaicBut I fail to see what elevates this book above its peers Nothing surprised me or really held my attention not the typical story line about a gay man feeling unaccepted in his childhood not the melodramatic vacuous relationship between Mitko and our narrator and not the plot's disjointed flow I appreciated Greenwell's genuine attempt to capture angst and despair However nothing about our narrator or his story told me anything new nor did it re envision any past plots in an innovative wayA decent book that does not hold a candle to Hanya Yanagihara's A Little Life Several of my friends on Goodreads have lauded What Belongs to You so perhaps consider their reviews for a second opinion

  8. Julie Christine Julie Christine says:

    I've been reading Rilke's On Love and Other Difficulties and find myself gasping in recognition at his discourse on the nature of love lust desire and how we the primal creatures that we are seek to weave all these together into something that resembles a relationship At bottom no one in life can help anyone else in life; this one experiences over and over in every conflict and every perplexity that one is alone And never is one alone than in the throes of helpless sexual desire–so often confused with love for someone who cannot will not love you in return An American teacher newly arrived in Sofia Bulgaria meets a broad shouldered soft lipped hustler in the bathroom of the National Palace of Culture and after one intense encounter spirals into a years' long obsession that takes shape in series of bleak psychologically dense and disturbing vignettes The American narrator recounting his story in somber rueful first person remains unnamed but the Bulgarian in all his pathetic sensual allure is known simply as Mitko Even as the narrator recognizes the impending disaster that he invites in by allowing Mitko access to his body his heart his life desire overcomes reason The result is hard to read and impossible to look away from What Belongs To You is a profound psychological expedition rendered by a curiously detached narrator But stay with this short brutally intense novel and you will understand this man's need to hold himself at arm's length His past rises to the surface like a corpse in a swamp thick with sludge and you will understand the self loathing that makes a man run headlong into humiliation Wound upon wound to forget to the pain beforeGreenwell's style is classic unhurried rich—a Proustian exploration of the soul His sentences some running on in thick blocks broken by the occasional semicolon are the very antithesis of snappy ironic prose that seems to be the darling of contemporary literary fiction The lush styling allows room for the soul to expand for eroticism to blossom for the morass of human behavior to suck the reader in and hold her fast The narrator tells us when explaining his inability to become whole I know they’re all I have these partial selves true and false at once that any ideal of wholeness I long for is a sham It's just as Rilke said in every conflict and every perplexity one is alone

  9. WILLIAM2 WILLIAM2 says:

    What Belongs to You is a tragic story exuisitely told We step backwards into the tale First we hear of the nameless young American a teacher who falls for a hustler in Sofia Bulgaria in the present day Then we get the nameless young man’s backstory his family dysfunction a portrait of his horrible father and his extramarital affairs the young man’s first love coming to terms with his sexuality Then we go back farther back to the great grandparents and their loose daughter the narrator’s grandmother her many out of wedlock children the family violence This grandmother in her youth threw herself at bad trade with regularity violent men The reason she did so was to punish her father the narrator’s great grandfather for an act of violence so brazen that I was reminded of Joe Christmas killing his step father on the dance floor in William Faulkner’s harrowing Light in August Mitko is the name of the uneducated hustler here who breaks our narrator’s heart I can't think of a debut this exciting since Dale Peck’s Martin and John which ironically is about a hustler falling for a plague stricken client in 1980s New York Part III about which I’ll say nothing returns to present day Sofia A dark story not for the faint of heart deeply moving

  10. Meike Meike says:

    Garth Greenwell is a true master when it comes to conveying ambiguous feelings doubts and insecurities he finds such nuanced words and intricate images to describe emotional complexity it's simply awe inspring This ladies and gentlemen is ART In his debut novel Greenwell tells the story of an unnamed American who works as an English teacher at a prestigious school in Sofia Bulgaria In a cruising bathroom this teacher meets Mitko a poor young man prostituting himself and has sex with him Afterwards they meet again and again and a difficult relationship unfolds Yes the teacher is smitten with Mitko but their relationship is transactional and Mitko is homeless and an alcoholic Due to the circumstances they cannot see eye to eye it never becomes entirely clear whether Mitko would spend time with the teacher if he didn't have to sell himself for money This shaky power imbalance the teacher has the money but Mitko is the one desired by the teacher becomes and unbearable until the teacher tells Mitko that he does not want to see him again cut to part 2 of the narrative Here Greenwell elaborates on the parallels between the teacher's youth in Kentucky and the situation of ueer people in Bulgaria illumanting that in both cases ueer people arewere taught that their lives have no dignity no meaning and how that affects whole lives Btw Greenwell himself was born in Kentucky and worked as a school teacher in you guessed it BulgariaWhile the teacher as an American has the means and opportunities to take control of his life Mitko is trapped and has to deal with social and economic circumstances that aim to render him as a ueer person with no financial means invisible This is the topic of part 3 of the novel where Mitko and the teacher meet again plus we encounter R who will play a central role in Greenwell's next book Cleanness The focus of Greenwell's novel makes all the difference Not the narrator the for Bulgarian standards wealthy American is the central character but Mitko the only person in the whole text who has a full name Mitko remains somewhat mysterious the reader's perspective is limited to that of the teacher who is well meaning and intelligent but at the end of the day a Westerner who only has an abstract idea of the hardships of Mitko's life This doesn't mean though that Mitko is only a victim yes he is unjustly deprived of chances but Greenwell does not employ him simply to make a point; rather he shows him as three dimensional person he grants him the dignity his society tries to deny him by making his life and his destiny countThis is a highly impressive poetic book written by an author who has a keen eye for human behavior Now I'm a little mad that I already had to privilege to read an ARC of Cleanness because I wish I could read it again for the first time Oh well let's just hope Greenwell is aiming for a trilogy

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10 thoughts on “Mitko

  1. Kelli Kelli says:

    This story cannot be fiction If this is truly fiction this author ranks among the best There is too much here for it not to be based in truth The story is so human The writing is dense and rich with long sentences littered with punctuation that demand to be read and re read Sentences masterfully crafted each packed with information and emotion There are no wasted lines Skip just one and you will be clambering backwards trying to piece things together Every chapter ends in a way that is either intentional or sheer magicI will let you decideThe narrator deftly describes every piece of himself his surroundings and this uniue surreal relationship built on foreign words that have than one meaning sustained by desire and mutual needs that couldn't be different This story epitomizes the viscosity that comes from a relationship that is impossible to clearly define The author masterfully depicted the challenges of communicating in a foreign language when it comes to relationships Regardless of skill level there are nuances and mysteries that simply cannot be translated to the non native speaker and coupling that with cultural differences there is an enormous challenge presented in a perfect world My heart broke for Mitko this child of the post Soviet era doing whatever it took to survive in a place no doubt unrecognizable even to himbut my heart also broke for our narrator and his scars that could not and will not heal At the end I hung my head and cried right along with him This book is uietly brilliant and difficult to forget 5 stars

  2. Adam Dalva Adam Dalva says:

    Gorgeous fascinating debut which is made all the remarkable in its links to Greenwell's CLEANNESS out this week The expository middle section a lengthy paragraph ruminating on coming of age as gay in the American South contrasts wonderfully with the Bulgarian liasons of the narrator and Mitko a charismatic hustler on a downward track that sandwich it Recommended

  3. Larry H Larry H says:

    Some books dazzle you with plot twists and action yet some books can truly wow you with the power of their storytelling their language and their imagery Garth Greenwell's debut novel What Belongs to You definitely falls into the latter category It's stunning emotional lyrical and it uietly grabs you and doesn't let go One unseasonably warm afternoon in October our narrator an American teacher living in Bulgaria goes to a restroom in Sofia's National Palace of Culture This is a restroom where men go to have sexual encounters and he is aware of this but meeting Mitko a young hustler takes him by surprise He pays Mitko for sex and finds himself immensely drawn to him so he returns to that restroom over and over And although he knows inherently that Mitko is going through the motions with him as he probably does with his other friends he still hopes that he might find his way into Mitko's hearthow helpless desire is outside its little theater of heat how ridiculous it becomes the moment it isn't welcomed even if that welcome is contrivedHe comes to terms with the fact that while Mitko may enjoy their encounters ultimately Mitko sees him as a source for money and there is a fine line between knowing you're being used and fearing you may be harmed as a result As he tries to decide what to do with Mitko an urgent message forces him to confront his own childhood and the mistreatment and veiled disgust with which he was treated once he accepted his sexuality He also tries to decipher the patterns in his behavior that has led him to the same situations time and time again always I feel an ambivalence that spurs me first in one direction and then another a habit that has done much damage What Belongs to You is a novel about desire and the desire to be wanted It's about the struggle between following your heart and your libido instead of your head and both the conseuences and triumphs that come from doing so It's also about how the hardest thing to do is reconcile your own issues with self esteem and finally realize only you can be responsible for your happiness and satisfactionGreenwell's talent is evident from the very first lines of this book and his poetic use of language and storytelling ability sustains through the book's entirety I truly cared about the narrator and worried what would become of him hoping against hope that Greenwell wouldn't abandon the purity of his story for the sensational and was so pleased he didn't This is a beautiful magnificent deeply felt book and I felt privileged to read it I can't wait to see where Greenwell's career takes him—I know I'll be following

  4. Michael Michael says:

    Self conscious and brooding What Belongs to You sketches the shallow inner life of a gay expat The unnamed American narrator is a teacher who has long since fled his conservative Southern hometown leaving behind his estranged father for the distance of a life abroad in war torn Bulgaria At the start of the story he’s just begun what will become a years long relationship with Mitko a brash but charming Bulgarian hustler with a mysterious past; the narrator alternates between charting the rise and fall of the affair and musing about his fraught relationship to his dying dad and his ueerness Greenwell writes lyrical prose stuffed with beautiful images and purple euphemisms and the story has no direction the characters little depth; for such a slim novel the work feels long and disjointed

  5. Richard Derus Richard Derus says:

    Rating 4 of fiveThe Publisher Says On an unseasonably warm autumn day an American teacher enters a public bathroom beneath Sofia’s National Palace of Culture There he meets Mitko a charismatic young hustler and pays him for sex He returns to Mitko again and again over the next few months drawn by hunger and loneliness and risk and finds himself ensnared in a relationship in which lust leads to mutual predation and tenderness can transform into violence As he struggles to reconcile his longing with the anguish it creates he’s forced to grapple with his own fraught history the world of his southern childhood where to be ueer was to be a pariah There are unnerving similarities between his past and the foreign country he finds himself in a country whose geography and griefs he discovers as he learns of Mitko’s own narrative his private history of illness exploitation and want What Belongs to You is a stunning debut novel of desire and its conseuences With lyric intensity and startling eroticism Garth Greenwell has created an indelible story about the ways in which our pasts and cultures our scars and shames can shape who we are and determine how we loveMy Review The sentences are lovely the affect on me was about that of graphene aerogel I am too old I think to find novelty in what seems to me a perfectly ordinary young gay man's exploration of being gay He met his lust object in the bathroom gasp He PAID him clutching of pearlsSo what? Anybody out there read OUR LADY OF THE FLOWERS UERELLE CORYDON? How about DANCER FROM THE DANCE NOCTURNES FOR THE KING OF NAPLES? I read them all and a boatload of Gordon Merrick's salacious sudsers early enough in life so as not to be gobsmacked by these themesBut this book is marketed to grown ups not teens and stylistically it's a pretty arabesue but so wispy and pale as to vanish up its own tailpipe so to speak; I think it's a disservice to 17 year olds not to let them read the ungraphic sex scenes and a disservice to experienced readers to call this pretty puff of smoke stunning intense or erotic the publisher's copy says all threeFour stars all for handsomely carved phrases and beautiful descriptive scene setting But if you're over 35 maybe this should be a library borrow

  6. Elyse Walters Elyse Walters says:

    Update I read this book awhile ago I'm happy to see it made the list of 2016 National Book AwardsHe only stood there an instant before he propelled himself forward and fell on top of me and I must have flinched I must have shut my eyes so it wasn't a blow I felt on my face but his mouth his tongue as it sought my own mouth which I opened without thinking I let him kiss me though it didn't seem like a kiss his tongue in my mouth it was an expression not of tenderness or desire but of violence as was the weight with which he bore down on me pinning me to the bed as he ground his chest and then hiscrotch against me; and then he grabbed my own crotch with one hand gripping it not painfully but commandingly and I thought whatever happens next I will let happen But nothing happened next he was on me unbearably present and then he sprang off thebed and was gone without taking anything or speaking another word though of course he could've taken whatever he wantedI had wanted to give without taking but it must have been humiliating for him not to have anything to bargain with and I'm wondering now if I liked his humiliation if that was the pleasure I took in my generosity that I was humiliating him and giving him what he needed while claiming not to need anything backWOW Simply exuisiteThe minute I finished the last sentence I wanted to start from the beginning and read this again The author debut?can't be possible'masterfully' captures the 'internal' world from his two main characters The realism is so intensely accurate that it hurts Explicit sex gay sex hunger lust longing mystifying perplexing

  7. Thomas Thomas says:

    An American teacher in Bulgaria meets a charismatic young hustler Mitko in a public bathroom beneath Sofia's National Palace of Culture He soon develops a heated intimate relationship with Mitko one built on desire and danger and fear As our narrator struggles to navigate the fraught intensity he shares with Mitko he re encounters dark secrets from his southern childhood memories that occupy him even when he lives a country awayI wish I could agree with they hype on this one I enjoyed some aspects of What Belongs to You our narrator's difficult dance with culture and language the ache of unfulfilled desire spanning familial and romantic relationships and the underlying emphasis on the importance of how we choose to treat ourselves Garth Greenwell writes with depth and elouence His sentences while long carried much meaning and style that only a few times turned prosaicBut I fail to see what elevates this book above its peers Nothing surprised me or really held my attention not the typical story line about a gay man feeling unaccepted in his childhood not the melodramatic vacuous relationship between Mitko and our narrator and not the plot's disjointed flow I appreciated Greenwell's genuine attempt to capture angst and despair However nothing about our narrator or his story told me anything new nor did it re envision any past plots in an innovative wayA decent book that does not hold a candle to Hanya Yanagihara's A Little Life Several of my friends on Goodreads have lauded What Belongs to You so perhaps consider their reviews for a second opinion

  8. Julie Christine Julie Christine says:

    I've been reading Rilke's On Love and Other Difficulties and find myself gasping in recognition at his discourse on the nature of love lust desire and how we the primal creatures that we are seek to weave all these together into something that resembles a relationship At bottom no one in life can help anyone else in life; this one experiences over and over in every conflict and every perplexity that one is alone And never is one alone than in the throes of helpless sexual desire–so often confused with love for someone who cannot will not love you in return An American teacher newly arrived in Sofia Bulgaria meets a broad shouldered soft lipped hustler in the bathroom of the National Palace of Culture and after one intense encounter spirals into a years' long obsession that takes shape in series of bleak psychologically dense and disturbing vignettes The American narrator recounting his story in somber rueful first person remains unnamed but the Bulgarian in all his pathetic sensual allure is known simply as Mitko Even as the narrator recognizes the impending disaster that he invites in by allowing Mitko access to his body his heart his life desire overcomes reason The result is hard to read and impossible to look away from What Belongs To You is a profound psychological expedition rendered by a curiously detached narrator But stay with this short brutally intense novel and you will understand this man's need to hold himself at arm's length His past rises to the surface like a corpse in a swamp thick with sludge and you will understand the self loathing that makes a man run headlong into humiliation Wound upon wound to forget to the pain beforeGreenwell's style is classic unhurried rich—a Proustian exploration of the soul His sentences some running on in thick blocks broken by the occasional semicolon are the very antithesis of snappy ironic prose that seems to be the darling of contemporary literary fiction The lush styling allows room for the soul to expand for eroticism to blossom for the morass of human behavior to suck the reader in and hold her fast The narrator tells us when explaining his inability to become whole I know they’re all I have these partial selves true and false at once that any ideal of wholeness I long for is a sham It's just as Rilke said in every conflict and every perplexity one is alone

  9. WILLIAM2 WILLIAM2 says:

    What Belongs to You is a tragic story exuisitely told We step backwards into the tale First we hear of the nameless young American a teacher who falls for a hustler in Sofia Bulgaria in the present day Then we get the nameless young man’s backstory his family dysfunction a portrait of his horrible father and his extramarital affairs the young man’s first love coming to terms with his sexuality Then we go back farther back to the great grandparents and their loose daughter the narrator’s grandmother her many out of wedlock children the family violence This grandmother in her youth threw herself at bad trade with regularity violent men The reason she did so was to punish her father the narrator’s great grandfather for an act of violence so brazen that I was reminded of Joe Christmas killing his step father on the dance floor in William Faulkner’s harrowing Light in August Mitko is the name of the uneducated hustler here who breaks our narrator’s heart I can't think of a debut this exciting since Dale Peck’s Martin and John which ironically is about a hustler falling for a plague stricken client in 1980s New York Part III about which I’ll say nothing returns to present day Sofia A dark story not for the faint of heart deeply moving

  10. Meike Meike says:

    Garth Greenwell is a true master when it comes to conveying ambiguous feelings doubts and insecurities he finds such nuanced words and intricate images to describe emotional complexity it's simply awe inspring This ladies and gentlemen is ART In his debut novel Greenwell tells the story of an unnamed American who works as an English teacher at a prestigious school in Sofia Bulgaria In a cruising bathroom this teacher meets Mitko a poor young man prostituting himself and has sex with him Afterwards they meet again and again and a difficult relationship unfolds Yes the teacher is smitten with Mitko but their relationship is transactional and Mitko is homeless and an alcoholic Due to the circumstances they cannot see eye to eye it never becomes entirely clear whether Mitko would spend time with the teacher if he didn't have to sell himself for money This shaky power imbalance the teacher has the money but Mitko is the one desired by the teacher becomes and unbearable until the teacher tells Mitko that he does not want to see him again cut to part 2 of the narrative Here Greenwell elaborates on the parallels between the teacher's youth in Kentucky and the situation of ueer people in Bulgaria illumanting that in both cases ueer people arewere taught that their lives have no dignity no meaning and how that affects whole lives Btw Greenwell himself was born in Kentucky and worked as a school teacher in you guessed it BulgariaWhile the teacher as an American has the means and opportunities to take control of his life Mitko is trapped and has to deal with social and economic circumstances that aim to render him as a ueer person with no financial means invisible This is the topic of part 3 of the novel where Mitko and the teacher meet again plus we encounter R who will play a central role in Greenwell's next book Cleanness The focus of Greenwell's novel makes all the difference Not the narrator the for Bulgarian standards wealthy American is the central character but Mitko the only person in the whole text who has a full name Mitko remains somewhat mysterious the reader's perspective is limited to that of the teacher who is well meaning and intelligent but at the end of the day a Westerner who only has an abstract idea of the hardships of Mitko's life This doesn't mean though that Mitko is only a victim yes he is unjustly deprived of chances but Greenwell does not employ him simply to make a point; rather he shows him as three dimensional person he grants him the dignity his society tries to deny him by making his life and his destiny countThis is a highly impressive poetic book written by an author who has a keen eye for human behavior Now I'm a little mad that I already had to privilege to read an ARC of Cleanness because I wish I could read it again for the first time Oh well let's just hope Greenwell is aiming for a trilogy

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