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How I Learned to Hate in Ohio: A Novel af…

How I Learned to Hate in Ohio: A Novel (udgave 2021)

af David Stuart MacLean (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1421,189,201 (4.33)1
Titel:How I Learned to Hate in Ohio: A Novel
Forfattere:David Stuart MacLean (Forfatter)
Info:Harry N. Abrams (2021), 272 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek, Læst, men ikke ejet

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How I Learned to Hate in Ohio: A Novel af David Stuart MacLean


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How I Learned to Hate in Ohio tells the story of Barry (Baruch) Nadler as he goes from a much-bullied adolescent in high school and ends when he’s a young adult. His father is a college philosophy professor and his mother travels a lot looking for new sites for Marriott Hotels. He’s relentlessly bullied until a new kid moves to town and becomes his best friend. His friend is named Gurbaksh (Gary) Singh and he is a Sikh. He is self-confident and instantly popular and Barry becomes more popular in his wake.

However, it soon becomes clear that Gurbaksh’s father had ulterior motives in moving to Ohio and Barry’s family is profoundly affected. It all comes to a crescendo when Barry’s dad throws a party, a party where Barry loses the girl, his best friend, and his mother.

How I Learned to Hate in Ohio is an excellent book. It is rich in character and a sense of place. It is full of humor and a love of humanity, a deep empathy that does tell us a lot about human emotions. It does not, however, explain how racism develops and festers. This is a story about Barry, not about the racists who plagued him and whose acts led to so much devastation. Barry does not become a racist. Yes, Barry learns to hate, but it’s personal, not the dehumanizing hate of racism. Barry does not lose his humanity, even when he fails Gary, even when he shames himself, his motivation is not from the dehumanizing hate of racism. So, if you’re looking for an explainer about how racism develops, you won’t find it. You will find, however, that hate comes in many forms, and Barry does learn to hate.

I received an e-galley of How I Learned to Hate in Ohio from the publisher through NetGalley.

How I Learned to Hate in Ohio at Abrams Books
David Stuart MacLean

https://tonstantweaderreviews.wordpress.com/2021/02/08/9781419747199/ ( )
  Tonstant.Weader | Feb 8, 2021 |
How I Learned to Hate in Ohio by David Stuart MacLean is a novel which take places sometime in the 1980s about a friendless teenager and his foreign friend. Mr. MacLean is a an award-winning writer from Chicago, this is his debut novel.

Baruch “Barry” Nadler is a freshman in high school with the impossible goal of finishing his high-school career unnoticed. When a new kid shows up, a Sikh teenager named Gary (Gurbaksh), the two become friends.

Unlike Barry, Gary is outgoing and mischievous. However, Barry begins to see how classmates, family, and the town people react to a Sikh family in town.

I didn’t know what to expect from How I Learned to Hate in Ohio by David Stuart MacLean, but I figured a novel set in the 80s, which I remember too fondly, revolving around racism and xenophobia, which I remember not fondly, will be interesting. The story is told from the point of view of a bullied American teenager, whose eyes are suddenly opened to the hidden character of those around him.

The novel could be considered a dark comedy for the most of it. Barry is nicknamed “YoY o Fag” by his classmates, and just exists for the sake of finishing school in one piece and leaving. When Gurbaksh, the Sikh shows up, Barry’s life changes and they boys face issues they chose to previously ignore.

The book is very enjoyable and easy to read. The chapters are short and poignant capturing the mentality of a teenager unsure about himself, learning about life, sees his parents in a different light, and starting to realize that the girls are even more mysterious than they seem previously.

This is a book that’s meant to be discussed, there are many issues which, unfortunately, we see playing out in real time during 2020. The book puts a spotlight on issues none of us want to believe exist, but we know that they do. The story could be told in any small-town, not just Ohio. Could be in New Jersey, California, Texas, or the Dakotas.

The book’s first part is clever and tight. The second part of the novel becomes darker as it moves along dealing with homophobia, racism, and xenophobia in a small American town. This would be an excellent choice for a book club since there are many themes that could be discussed. ( )
  ZoharLaor | Feb 3, 2021 |
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