Cover Image: The Weddings

The Weddings

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Member Reviews

The Weddings is the fourth short story I have read from the Amazon Inheritance Series.
Jack Cho is a forty something gay man, who after attending two weddings with his partner Caleb, realizes that marriage is not out of the scope of possibilities. The first marriage is between 2 gay men who have been together ten years. The second is a straight wedding, with the groom  being an old friend of Jack’s and also someone he has always had a crush on.
It was a story about revisiting memories nad looking forward!
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I have been trying to figure out what to write about this short story for multiple weeks now but I just can't come up with anything. This is the only thing I have read by Chee and it did not make me want to read more of his writing. I did not find anything interesting about this story. It was only about 30 pages but it took me a long time to finish it. I was bored and did not care about these two men. 
This really wasn't my thing but others will probably like it.
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This is the fifth short story in the Amazon Original Stories Inheritance Collection and is by far my favorite of the three I have read. 

Jack is a forty-ish Korean gay man who is dating 32-year-old Caleb, a white man. Gay marriage has just been legalized. Jack and Caleb attend their first gay wedding, an obviously new concept to Jack, which gets him thinking if that is something he would eventually like. A bit later the couple attends a second wedding, this one a heterosexual wedding between Jack’s close college friend Scott (a man who still occupies a significant place in Jack’s heart, particularly after a short sexual affair) and a Korean woman. This wedding has an entirely different and much more entangled effect on Jack.

This tale really struck a chord with me, and I quickly connected with Jack. Over a short time frame we are privy to Jack’s inner workings as he tries to figure out his complex feelings surrounding Caleb, Scott, ethnicity, homosexuality, misunderstandings, and the meaning of his relationships. I do wish the author had devoted a whole novel to this character—I found him fascinating and didn’t want the story to end. 

Mr. Chee is a wonderful writer. I immediately went to his author page to see what else he has written as I definitely want to read him again. Thanks to the Amazon Original Stories Inheritance Collection for introducing me to this author.
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I loved the other stories in this collection, but this one was just ok. The writing was mediocre and the story just wasn’t very engaging.
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Jack and his boyfriend attend two weddings. The first wedding is between a couple of gay friends taking advantage of a change in the law.
This wedding is joyful and relaxed and leads Jack to wonder whether he might now consider getting married, possibly to his present boyfriend, Caleb.

The second wedding is a little more confusing. The groom is an old college friend but a little more. Scott is straight but years previously he and Jack had a one night stand and ever since Jack has been slightly bewildered as to the nature of their relationship.
Adding more confusion to the mix is the fact that although Scott is white he is more than a little obsessed with Koreans, seemingly trying to becoming Korean by constantly surrounding himself with Korean friends.
Unsurprisingly, Scott’s bride is Korean and he is marrying into a large, traditional Korean family.

As Jack observes the other quests he feels from his Korean Heritage. When he looks at the Korean guests and family on the bride’s side of the aisle he wonders how he has ended up on the ‘white side’ of the aisle and realizes that the distance from is heritage is not just due to his parents desire for their children to assimilate but also his rejection by conservative Korean society for being gay.

Although Jack is in his 30s this is almost a coming of age story a journey of self-discovery. Jack is forced to confront some of his memories, examine his assumptions about certain relationships and reassess his cultural identity.

This is an interesting, well told story but it took a little while after I had finished reading to process Jack’s reactions.
I enjoyed it even more once I had mulled it over.
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This is my last novella in the Inheritance collection, and this was one of my favorites (The other one being The Lion's Den). I’ve not read anything by Alexander Chee before, but I’m sure this will not be my last as I really liked his writing. This short felt fresh, and the voice of the main character very authentic. I especially liked the focus on and descriptions of the characters. Unlike most of the other shorts I felt like this was a complete story and I connected with Jack, which is amazing for a book of 49 pages.
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Although this book took a few chapters for me to really get into it I did end up enjoying it. This is one of those books that just requires a little bit of investment but is worth it in the end.
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Once again this is an author I am reading for the first time.

Revolving around the gay relationships, cultural differences, marriages and love, this story narrates something intricate which is known but not said often.

Jack, with his boyfriend Caleb attends two weddings, first a gay wedding who is Caleb's friends and second a hetero-sexual one who is Jack's old friend. Jack sit back and thinks back about the stuff that happened and compares his life when he knew this friend whose wedding he is attending to now where his life is with Caleb.
A kind of self discovery and amazingly narrated.


Thanks to Amazon Original Stories and NetGalley for ARC in exchange of honest review.
Happy Reading!!!
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So nice to meet you???   Ha!  The story of the Buffalo wedding...a memory worth repeating for our protagonists.

After the first wedding they attended, Jack thinks Caleb is the one, but Caleb isn't quite into marriage.  Then a surprise call and a second wedding invitation from one of Jack's past close  friends....a friendship that still brings back fond feelings......and more than one dark secret, as it turns out, for the newly married straight groom. 

My fourth read in the Inheritance Collection; another entertaining short read.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Amazon Original Stories for the complimentary ebook in exchange for review.
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3.5 stars

The Weddings by Alexander Chee is a short story.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Amazon Original Stories, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 
My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

Jack Cho, a gay Korean-American, considers marrying for the first time, now that it is legal.  Caleb, his boyfriend, is not yet on the bandwagon.

When Jack is invited to the wedding of his straight college room-mate Scott, who he had crushed on, his mind wanders.  Jack ruminates about marriage in general, about his love for this room-mate, and if, perchance, he still actually loves him.  He wonders about Caleb, about the fact that he hadn't really told Caleb much about Scott.


My Opinions:  

This is one of five stories (all by different authors), in the "Inheritance" Collection of Amazon Short Stories.  They are all about secrets within families, and the consequences that come from those secrets.

The story is about love,  about marriage, about culture, and simply about fear of the unknown.  It was well-written, showing the range of emotions Jack goes through while exploring his regrets, his guilt, his fears, his love.

Overall, it was a good story.
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I received an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

This book is short but very thought prevoking. It makes you question past relationships and loves and of they are truly as special as you think they were. 
I loved this short story and since it is part of a collection I will definitely be checking out the other books within it.
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Alexander Chee's The Weddings was the fifth and final book of the Inheritence collection.    The books in this collection are short, and can be read in a single sitting.     Each has been written by an established author and they're a great way to either reacquaint yourself with a favourite author or to provide an introduction to the writing of an author you hadn't yet tried.   This book fell into the latter category for me and I liked Chee's style.

Jack is a Korean American gay man in his early forties.   He's in a relatively new relationship with Caleb and this story opens with them attending their first gay wedding.      This function starts Jack  pondering a range of marriage related issues he's never previously had cause to consider.   The second wedding they attend together provides more food for thought as Jack reflects upon his  friendship with Scott the groom.       Jack & Scott's backstory and the possible reasons Jack and various other guests were invited was the fodder for the remainder of the story.

I enjoyed this story and at some stage in the future would be happy to pick up a full length novel by this author.  

Thanks to Amazon Original Stories and NetGalley for the opportunity of reading this digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

3.5 stars
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This was really predictable. I thought that it was a OK read.  I do feel that the plot with.  Jack and Scott’s relationship felt really long and drawn out. I felt that it could have been condensed a little bit. I kind of wished that we gotten to see more of Jack’s current relationship with his boyfriend Caleb. Overall it was a fine read.
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As I started this, I was wary as to where the story was going. Though Jack was Korean-American, he was brought up in a very conservative White environment. In fact, he never seems to connect to his Korean roots at all, Meanwhile his White college friend Scott seems to be all about "Asian" culture as a whole throughout college and later as an adult, and seems to be putting on a show for his new wife Korean wife at the wedding ceremony. The fact the he and our MC had a physical relationship one night in college seems to mean a lot more to our gay protagonist than it does to the very-straight Scott. Overall I felt like I wanted more from Scott, but maybe something he wasn't ready to give Jack or the reader.
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Great story. Loved the characters and plot. Well developed and easy read. Thanks for my advanced copy.
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The Weddings is the last to the Amazon Original Short Stories Inheritance Collection I have read. Well, not my favourite of the five I still really enjoyed it. The strength of this one is in the dynamics here between the characters at the weddings. I found the relationships, speculation and secrets here with the characters quite interesting. A few themes are explored here with the characters and an interesting as it all was I found a lot was said and not enough left to provoke deeper thoughts.
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“The Weddings” is a story of romance and changing times, focusing on a gay character who considers for the first time the possibility of marriage after the Supreme Court prohibits states from banning same-sex weddings. Jack met Scott in college and they became good friends. Jack came out and Scott had sex with him, but Scott otherwise confines himself to dating Asian women. Jack is a Korean-American.

They go their separate ways after college but Jack carries a torch for Scott. The advent of Google makes it possible for Jack to find Scott and renew their friendship, prompting Scott to declare both his love for Jack and the disclosure that Jack is still his only male sex partner. They live on different coasts and their friendship continues, but not in the way Jack would like. Still, he feels special because Scott did not experiment with any other man.

Now in his forties, Jack explains that backstory to Caleb after they attend the wedding of two gay men who have lived together for years and can finally marry. The wedding makes Jack think about Caleb as a potential husband. Jack asks Caleb to another wedding when he learns that Scott is marrying a Korean woman. The wedding gives Jack the opportunity to fret about his inability to speak Korean, about the wedding gossip he hears about Scott’s past, and about his confused mashup of feelings toward Scott and Caleb.

As I read “The Weddings,” I kept wondering whether it was going anywhere. It went to a predictable destination. That isn’t necessarily a complaint — not all stories need to surprise, and predictable endings are often the endings that readers want. The ending is nevertheless anticlimactic, given the drama that Jack builds as he frets about Scott and straight weddings.

The story is nevertheless admirably observant. Jack takes note of wedding customs that he’s never understood and comments on the changing nature of society, both in terms of gay acceptance and in the willingness of Korean-American women to pursue their own lives, rather than the lives their mothers want them to have. On occasion, the story smacks of a Harlequin romance. Sentences like “How long he had wanted to hear something like this” make me cringe. Still, the story is heartfelt and honest, two qualities that largely offset its faults.

RECOMMENDED WITH RESERVATIONS
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The Weddings is a short story by award-winning American author, Alexander Chee. They went to two weddings. Gay marriage was finally legal, and the first couple were friends of Caleb’s. it was a wonderfully laid-back affair and forty-two-year-old Korean-American Jack Cho thought it was how a gay wedding should be. He so enjoyed it that even though their relationship was fairly new, and Caleb was against marriage, for the first time, Jack thought seriously about marrying Caleb, a white man. It was possible, now. 

The second wedding invitation came from Scott, a college friend with whom Jack had had a one-night-stand that had promised, at the time, to be more. Scott was marrying a Korean girl. Except for that one time with Jack, Scott had always dated Asian girls. That second wedding was a truly grand affair with two ceremonies and the best of everything: it was exactly the opposite of what Jack would want. And chatting with the other guests, Jack learned something about Scott, for whom his flame had never quite extinguished. 

What an interesting tale! For the reader who is ignorant of the social norms for the Korean-American community, the gay community and mixed marriages/relationships, this is a thought-provoking reveal. Who knew about rice queens? An interesting, often moving and occasionally funny read.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Amazon Originals.
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I enjoyed this short story of interactions in a man's life as he ages and matures, but, the progression of time is told as it happens during two entirely different kinds of weddings.  A short read, a little over an hour for me, his expression of feelings and his confusion when his current life meets his youth seem to push him to make life decisions more quickly than planned.  A very good read.
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4★
“That someone might like you just for your ethnicity was its own violence.”

Rich and famous people are never quite sure if others like them for themselves or just hope some of the glitz will rub off on them. Jack is a gay Korean American, so his concerns are not only about looking Korean but also about being gay. His white roommate in college had always been obsessed by Koreans, so he was never quite sure about Scott’s feeling towards him.

“Scott was Jack’s white friend from college most likely to end up in a Korean wedding ceremony. He had dated a series of Asian women for his entire life, as if auditioning them for a role, and most of them were Korean.”

Jack and Scott have an unusual relationship and lose touch over the years. These days, Jack’s steady partner, Caleb, is white, and they are enough of a couple that they are invited to the wedding of a long-term gay couple as soon as it is made legal in the US. A good time is had by all.

“What was a federal gay marriage like? If this was any example, it involved a wedding with line dancing, a glitter cannon, Frozé and cheeseburgers served at midnight, and then afterward, everyone got high around a campfire and wandered back to their rented cabins, mostly with the people they came with.”

The second wedding is quite different, half Korean and half western, which has Jack questioning the invitation. Is he making up the numbers? If so, which? Jack knows very little about Korean culture – he looks Korean but was raised American – so he’s not sure how or where he fits.

This is a good read and a thoughtful piece about how we take things literally at face value when we see someone from a particular ethnic background. It also touches on many of the issues in the gay community, and I enjoyed Jack and Caleb’s affection and cautiousness around the fact that they are at weddings, when their own relationship isn’t that longstanding – yet.

I believe this is going to be an interesting collection of stories, and I thank Amazon for putting them together and NetGalley for allowing me a preview copy.
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