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Remembrance of Things I Forgot: A Novel Hardcover – June 9, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press; 1 edition (June 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0299283402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0299283407
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #199,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“If H. G. Wells had been funny and Oscar Wilde obsessed with time travel they might have mated and produced Bob Smith, who has written the funniest and wildest ride imaginable through the recent past and near future.”—Edmund White



“His characters are brilliantly drawn, the dialogue is Preston Sturges deft, the political satire is damning without being shrill, and you will absolutely cry when you read the last line. How did Smith do that? I didn’t think it was possible to be a bigger fan of Bob Smith’s than I already was, but I am.”—David Rakoff, author of Fraud



“An extraordinary novel: smart, funny, fiendishly inventive, often moving and ultimately profound. I've never read anything like it. Bob Smith combines the ingenuity of science fiction with the emotional weight of autobiographical fiction. He then adds politics—in the form of the greatest villain of recent American history. This is a comic novel, but reading it can be a life-altering experience, like falling through a rabbit hole in space/time, and coming out the other side a better person.” —Christopher Bram, author of Gods and Monsters



"Wildly comic political satire mixes with cutting comedy, social commentary, and a touch of sf in this seriously entertaining summer read."—Booklist



“Bob Smith’s Remembrance of Things I Forgot is a delightful, moving portrait of a man who is given the rare opportunity to literally revisit his past, and the novel will likely be considered one of the year’s best.”— Christopher Verleger, Lambda Literary



“A beautifully written and well-paced comic sci-fi extravaganza, a true page turner yet pregnant with deep social and human insight. . . . Take this book to heart: it will absorb you, change you, and—in the clincher of the last sentence—move you to tears.”—Richard Canning, The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide



“It is abundantly clear that Smith mixed the funny with the sad in Remembrances of Things I Forgot, and he has literally turned that ‘genre of life’ into a tangible reflection of the time it takes for humans to forget their life experiences, big and small, sweet and sorrowful; and in the end how remembrance of all things could actually change the world.”—Tony Hobday, QSaltLake



“Bob Smith aims high and succeeds.”—Band of Thebes

Book Description

“It’s safe to say your relationship is in trouble if the only way you can imagine solving your problems is by borrowing a time machine.”

            In 2006 comic book dealer John Sherkston has decided to break up with his physicist boyfriend, Taylor Esgard. This decision comes on the very day Taylor announces he’s finally perfected a time machine for the U.S government. John travels back to 1986, where he encounters “Junior,” his younger, more innocent self. When Junior starts to flirt, John wonders how to reveal his identity: “I’m you, only with less hair and problems you can’t imagine.” He also meets up with the younger Taylor, and this unlikely trio teams up to plot a course around their future relationship troubles, prevent John’s sister from making a tragic decision, and stop George W. Bush from becoming president.
            In this wickedly comic, cross-country, time-bending journey, John confronts his own—and the nation’s—blunders, learning that a second chance at changing things for the better also brings new opportunities to screw them up. Through edgy humor, time travel, and droll one-liners, Bob Smith examines family dysfunction, suicide, New York City, and recent American history while effortlessly blending domestic comedy with science fiction. Part acidic political satire, part wild comedy, and part poignant social scrutiny, Remembrance of Things I Forgot is an uproarious adventure filled with sharp observations about our recent past.
 

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Customer Reviews

Truly laugh out loud funny and a page turner.
Avid Reader
Smith has written a book full of round characters - flawed, yet funny.
W. C. Stroud
Stop reading this review and buy the book already!
Rob Stauffer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rob Stauffer on May 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bob Smith has long been a treasure of the LGBT community. He is deservedly loved among comics both gay and straight. Remembrance of Things I Forgot: A Novel is Smith's second novel, and the first to be made available on Kindle. My fingers are crossed that the rest of his books, (novel and essays) will quickly follow suit! (Hello? Amazon? Are you seeing this?)

Remembrance of Things I Forgot: A Novel combines sci-fi, gay romance, politics, and family dysfunction with comedic timing honed on the stage, and now brilliantly carried over into the written word. The book is perfectly paced, the characters are three dimensional and vibrant, the story is thoughtful, fast, surprising, and just downright funny as hell. Additionally, it's very clear that Smith has done his political research. In lesser skilled hands, this could have denigrated into a liberal tirade. Smith handles this by making John, the protagonist, so real that his anger toward the Republican party is a natural extension of who he is. Had John not expressed such strong and heartfelt feelings, both political and personal, his character would have rung false. Instead, Smith gives us living, breathing characters that continue to live on long after the final page. Remembrance of Things I Forgot: A Novel is a comedic work of art that will stay on your Favorites List and be enjoyed over and over again.

Stop reading this review and buy the book already! Go!

P.S.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Arthur L Mahoney on June 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bob Smith is a master storyteller and this tale is one you shouldn't miss! When I finished it, I started to read it all over again. I enjoyed that second read so much I'm reading it for a third time!

Remembrances runs the gamut of human experience: love, lust, familial discord, compassion, wit, humor, sarcasm, innumerable evils and righteous indignation. With a mix like this, a book could tip over into any one of these emotions, become overblown and lose its way, yet the balance is perfect from beginning to end. The result is a glorious read whose moments linger well after the final page.

The story never flags as it integrates a gay aesthetic into a tale of family dynamics, romantic disappointments and heinous political machinations that may well haunt the Bush legacy from now on. One simply can't help but ask "What if?"

Bob Smith writes with easy grace, flawlessly guiding the reader towards an ending worthy of Jane Austin.

Buy this book!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia Dunn on September 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I only read the first and last paragraphs of book reviews. For some reason lately, reviewers will tell you the whole plot of the book. The first paragraph reveals the smallest nugget of what the book is about and then the last will tell me if I should bother reading it. I am not a writer nor a book reviewer so I will get to the last paragraph right away and tell you that I loved this book. As I said in the title it made me laugh, cry and think. The dialogue is witty and sharp. Plus it's not really a science fiction book which had made me nervous about reading it. It's just enormously clever. If you don't buy it because of this so-called review, it's worth buying just for the marvelous cover and title.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mo on August 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
this book is an excellent read. the way the author kept the reader involved by making you feel as thought you were actually experiencing everything was great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Wallace on January 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book reminded me of Truman Capote's response to Jack Kerouac's "On The Road" as '"that's not writing, it's typing.'"
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bob Lind on June 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's 2006, and comic book dealer John Sherkston travels back twenty years, in a time machine created by his soon-to-be-ex boyfriend Taylor for the Bush administration. He wants to try to change George W. Bush's path to the presidency, but also has personal goals, to possibly alter alcohol abuse of his father and the dangerous descent into depression of his sister. To accomplish his goals in 1986, he recruits his younger self and inadvertently introduces him to Taylor, years before they would otherwise have met. Unfortunately, he is followed back into the past by someone who turns out to be the real enemy of democracy, and gets involved in his wacky blackmail plot.

Think of it as a gay "Back to the Future," crossed with a brilliant political satire and featuring numerous droll observations about the world in which we live. Smith, who got his start as a stand-up comic, shows his unique sense of humor here, as well as his obvious skill as a novelist. One of the most original and edgy gay-themed works of fiction I have ever read. A full five stars out of five.

- Bob Lind, Echo Magazine
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. Clark on June 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was really intrigued when I read the premise of the book. It sounded like ridiculous fun. It's a shame the author treats his subject way too seriously. The entire story is really a downer. I'm all for embracing the impossible but at least get there logically. Things happen that aren't really explained and there are several factual things the author just got wrong. It really started to annoy me. I stuck with it to see if there was anything redeeming in the end but there wasn't. This might be the stupidest book I've read in years. Also, all the characters are way more self-aware than people actually are. Don't waste your time.
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