Remembrance of Things I Forgot
By Bob Smith
(University of Wisconsin Press, Hardcover, 9780299283407, 263pp.)
Publication Date: June 2011
List Price: $26.95*
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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, 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.
InSight Out Book Club, featured selection
Bob Smith named one of Instinct magazine's Leading Men 2011Winner, Barbara Gittings Literature Award/Stonewall Book Awards, American Library Association
Finalist, Over the Rainbow Selection, American Library Association
Finalist, Green Carnation Prize, international prize for LGBT Literature
Amazon Top Ten Gay & Lesbian Books of 2011
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association of School Librarians
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the Public Library Reviewers
“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