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The Weddings

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Member Reviews

The Weddings is a competently written short-story, albeit I didn't feel as invested or captivated by it, probably because of its very slow pace.

Fourty something Korean American gay man feels like a fish out of water, as many of his gay friends and acquaintances are getting married, following the relatively recent legalisation of same-sex marriage.

When he's invited to an old college friend's wedding, memories resurface from his twenties. Will a certain chapter in his past close and will he be able to move on?
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This is another wonderful short story in a series of 5 for Amazon.  These short stories
are the perfect length to sit and relax for a bit.  Each one of them I have read in one sitting. 

Thank you, NetGalley, the Publisher, and Alexander Chee for a wonderful short story!
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This is an interesting short story on the role of marriage in today's society. Not long after gay marriage was legalised in the US, Jack Cho, a gay Korean American man attends his first gay wedding with his partner Caleb. He enjoys it a lot more than he expected to and starts to think that he might get married one day, although Caleb is not so keen. Accepting an invitation to the wedding of an old college friend, Scott to an American Korean woman, Soon-mi he finds it a very different sort of affair. Although he hadn't seen Scott for some years, they had history together but at the wedding finds he is not the man he thought he knew. He also is also made to confront the fact that in keeping with his parents emphasis on becoming American he has ignored his Korean heritage and knows little of the language or culture. A thoughtful short story that fits in well with the overarching theme of this Inheritance collection of stories from Amazon about secrets, unspoken desires, and dangerous revelations between loved ones.
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Many thanks to NetGalley, Amazon Original Stories, and Alexander Chee for an ARC in exchange for an honest book review of The Weddings. All my thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advance copy.

This is one of five short stories that are part of a collection called “Inheritance”. Each one is by a well-known author that explores themes of secrets, unspoken desires, and dangerous revelations about loved ones. 

Jack Cho attends two weddings with his new boyfriend Caleb. Marriage is not something he ever considered but now that it is legal he begins to consider his options. The ritual of it seems so strange. But things become uncomfortable when he attends his old college roommate Scott. They have been estranged for many years so he was surprised when he received the invitation. They never discussed things after the incident. Now Jack doesn’t know what to do with these feelings that are being stirred up after all these years.

This is a well-crafted story that has so many elements to it. There is love, secret love, culture and culture appropriation. Who do you belong to and what is it that binds you to them. What happens when you keep secrets from those you love or from yourself, from that matter. What parts of society are available to you and how do you want to participate in them. There are many layers to this story and it flows seamlessly.

I really enjoyed this taste of Inheritance and am looking forward to reading the rest of the stories in this collection.
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The last story for me to read in this Amazon Inheritance Collection. Let me say this has been a remarkable collection of short stories, all of them of great quality and truly memorable.

The Weddings is about a gay couple who tackle the idea of getting married themselves at the same time as attending two weddings of their friends. These two weddings are very different from each other and raise very different issues for both Jack and Caleb.

I read this one while sitting at an airport waiting for a plane, and I was so engrossed in the story I only just managed to notice when my flight was called. I thought the characters of Jack and Caleb were both delightful and I enjoyed spending time with them very much.

A short but sweet read and I wish the author had given them a much longer book!
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This is the fourth story in the Amazon Original Stories Inheritance Collection that I’ve read and I was not disappointed. Forty two year old, Jack, a gay man is invited to attend his first gay wedding by his boyfriend, Caleb. Jack is surprised at how it makes him feel and he begins to think about marriage in ways he never has before. It’s the second wedding, a heterosexual one of an old college friend, though, that illicited for Jack (and me) the most thought provoking things. Relationships of the past and how much they remain a part of who one is, self discovery, discovery that some you loved is not who you thought they were, cultural identity, and of course love and marriage. This may still be available on NetGalley and will be available on Amazon kindle for $.99. A good deal for a worthwhile story. 

I received an advanced copy of this short story from Amazon Original Stories through NetGalley.
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Another short story from Amazon, in a series of 5 books

This little read by Alexander Chee is a small book about love, weddings and a gay perspective about weddings and relationships 

It was a good little story, compact and unique 

Thank you to the author and Amazon for my early release 

TheWeddings #NetGalley
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Book Review: The Weddings 
Author: Alexander Chee
Publisher: Amazon Original Stories: The Inheritance Collection
Publication Date: December 19, 2019
Review Date: November 25, 2019

From the blurb:
“For Jack Cho, a fortysomething gay man, being able to marry someone he loves is so unfamiliar it’s terrifying. Then a wedding invitation from a college friend brings about a collision with those fears—and his own secret history.

Jack and his new boyfriend, Caleb, are attending the wedding of Jack’s estranged straight friend Scott. No sooner do the guests start to mingle than questions arise about relationships, tradition, Jack’s feelings for the groom, and what’s at stake as he navigates daunting territory, both new and old. In this wry and surprising short story, award-winning author Alexander Chee extends an invitation to the party—and awakening—of a lifetime.

Alexander Chee’s The Weddings is part of Inheritance, a collection of five stories about secrets, unspoken desires, and dangerous revelations between loved ones. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single setting. By yourself, behind closed doors, or shared with someone you trust.”

This is a short story that’s part of Amazon’s Inheritance Collection. There is not really much to the main characters of the story, and the plot doesn’t really go anywhere. I can’t say the mediocrity of the story is offset by beautiful language or image. 

I have a feeling that these Inheritance stories need to be read and then read as a whole, which I plan to do. I’ve been grated accesss to 4 of the 5 stories. After reading the stories, I’ll be better able to see how they hang together. 

As a stand alone short store I wouldn’t recommend. It gets a 3. However I’ll wait to see how the Collection hangs together as a whole. 

Thank you to Amazon Original Stoties for allowing me an early look at this story. This review will be posted on NetGalley, Goodreads and Amazon. 

#netgalley #theweddings #alexanderchee
#amazonoriginals #theinheritance
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Jack Cho and his boyfriend Caleb have recently returned from attending their first gay wedding, a wedding between two men who had been a couple for ten years, and were finally able to marry legally. It was held in the Catskills, a woodsy, happy but casual affair.

Until recently, there had been no reason for Jack to even contemplate marriage, as a 42 year-old gay man it had always been a closed avenue. But this wedding, a union of a couple already emotionally bound one to another, seemed to stir feelings he hadn’t realized he felt. Add to that, a second invitation arrives and Jack is invited to attend the wedding of Scott and his soon-to-be-bride, Soon-mi. It’s been years, which brings back memories of their friendship and old feelings return.

Like the other stories in this Inheritance Collection this story slowly reveals the thoughts, fears and dreams of these people as they navigate the changes that come as the years pass by.

Pub Date: 19 Dec 2019

Many thanks for the ARC provided by Amazon Original Stories and NetGalley
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The Weddings was the most engaging short story from the Inheritance series. While it didn't make me feel things as strongly as The Lion's Den, I found this one to be the most enjoyable. 

Jack and Caleb have been dating for a year when Jack gets a call from an old friend, Scott, who invites him to his wedding. Jack remembers him as the guy who was obsessed with Asian culture—he'd say things like "I feel Korean inside" and he'd only ever date Asian girls. Jack had always had a crush on him, but Scott was straight. Or so he thought. Shortly after graduating, the two had a fling after which, Jack never heard from him again. Until a few years later when he came across his old friend and they met for dinner where Scott claimed that Jack was the first and only man he'd ever been with. And now, years after that, he was inviting Jack to his wedding to a Korean-American woman, Soon-mi. 

What I really liked about this book was the way Alexander Chee managed to put forth every complex emotion that Jack experiences at the wedding—a slight hopefulness that Scott would still be in love with him; guilt at feeling that way and the question that constantly nags him: was Scott the person Jack thought he was. Or had it all just been a charade?

Jack's regret at not being in touch with his Korean culture as much as he would have liked, is something, I'm sure a lot of people can relate to. It gave the book a realistic touch and brought the characters to life. It's not the best story from the series but it's definitely one of the better ones and I really enjoyed it.

[I'd like to thank NetGalley, Amazon Original Stories and Alexander Chee for this ARC.]
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I read this interesting short story in a sitting - one (rather longer than usual) lunch break. For a short story (novella?) it covers a lot of ground - love, race, sexuality, friendship, marriage, building a life. It has a light feel, but covers some serious topics. It was a pleasure to spend my lunch break exploring these things.

Thanks to NetGalley and Amazon for the free e-arc in exchange for this review.
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How do we measure the value of marriage? What is the purpose of the marriage ceremony, and what should a wedding reflect? Does the ceremony echo the vows of the couple, or does it mirror something else? How has it changed and why has it changed?

Jack and Caleb have enthusiastically returned from their first gay wedding when Jack is invited to Scott's wedding. Though he has not heard from Scott in years, his invitation to Scott and Soon-mi's wedding causes old memories in Jack to resurface. What is Jack hiding in his past? Jack worries about attending Scott's wedding because of the past, but Jack's boyfriend Caleb ensures that everything will turn out fine. When they attend the wedding, both Jack and Caleb are met with a surprises.

"Jack wasn't used to weddings. His friends were mostly people who didn't, wouldn't, or couldn't- until this year- marry."

The layers shaped underneath the weddings were intricately scaled and finely calculated. I really enjoyed the irony of relationships, purposeful characterizations, and cultural significance presented in this short story. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy. Opinions are my own.
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This story tackles a lot in a short format. The mood—a bit melancholic, even sad—is very well established. It's insight into the experience of being gay and Korean American is thoughtful and interesting. Where it fell short for me is that I wanted more. It's an expected pitfall of the format, but it also tells me that I would enjoy the author's longer work. 

Thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Decent story that examines gay marriage, what it like to be Korean-American, bigotry, and the level of commitment we are willing to make to one another.
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Alexander Chee's short story looks at Jack Cho, a 42 year old Korean gay man, attending his first gay wedding in the Catskills with his partner, Caleb. He has never considered the concept of marriage as one for him, but the wedding surprisingly has him not only seeing it as a viable option, but secretly hankering for it, only Caleb is not so keen. His second wedding invitation is from an old college friend, Scott, a straight guy, obsessed with everything Korean, and now marrying his Korean girlfriend, Soon-mi, both of them equity fund partners. Jack has not seen Scott for quite some time, but the two have history that has ensured Scott has remained close to Jack's heart. The wedding turns out to be a socially awkward and dismal affair, raising some uncomfortable issues, and encounters that raise questions about the past as Jack knew it and undermines all that he ever thought he knew about Scott.

Chee provides a picture of how the introduction of gay marriage has led to the gay community approaching marriage much as the straight community does. and of a Jack with a Korean heritage that is not accepted by American society and perceived as not Korean enough by elements of the American-Korean community. A terrific short story that I recommend highly. Many thanks to Amazon Original Stories for an ARC.
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★★★★✰ 3.5 stars

“Why am I here? he asks himself. What am I doing?”

In just under fifty pages Alexander Chee examines a man's changing relationship to his old college friend. The weddings of the title are the backdrop to our protagonists' personal crisis.
Jack Cho is a forty-something man in a committed relationship with Caleb. When they are invited to attend the wedding of a friend of Caleb's, Jack finds himself, for the very first time, wondering if he too will marry. Soon after the couple is invited to the wedding of Scott, Jack's college 'friend'.
Jack is forced to confront his own repressed feelings for Scott. As certain details come to light, he becomes aware of having idealised this past relationship.
There were many realistically awkward moments and some great commentary regarding marriage (the pressure to marry, the way weddings become displays of the couple's love).
Jack's self-analysis was detailed in a poignant prose that conveyed his hurt and unwillingness to see Scott for who he truly is.
This short story also touches upon: fetishisation (naive as I am, I had no idea what 'rice queen' and 'rice king' meant), the double 'rejection' that Jack often feels being Korean American (Koreans will not view him as truly Korean and white Americans will question his nationality).
My only 'complaint' is that there was the occasional twee phrase:
“Scott was so much trouble, whatever the reason was. A beautiful disaster.”

Overall however this was a short yet intelligent story.

“Even then, ha he would endlessly be a curiosity and not a person. He would forget this was true and then be reminded this way, this he most recent in the jarring series of moments that threaded thorough his whole life in America. When did it end? When would they all just get used to him—to all of them?”
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This is one of the five books in Amazon's Inheritance series. "A collection of five stories about secrets, unspoken desires, and dangerous revelations between loved ones."
Five books by five amazing authors:
Can You Feel This? by Julie Orringer
Everything My Mother Taught Me by Alice Hoffman
The Lion's Den by Anthony Marra 
Zenith Man by Jennifer Haigh
The Weddings by Alexander Chee 

This was a good read and a quick read but unfortunately not my favorite in this series
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I really enjoyed reading this; it deals with some important themes.  The characters were raw and believable, and Chee packs a real punch here.
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3.5 stars.

This is one of the five books in Amazon's Inheritance series. "A collection of five stories about secrets, unspoken desires, and dangerous revelations between loved ones."
Five books by five amazing authors:
Can You Feel This? by Julie Orringer
Everything My Mother Taught Me by Alice Hoffman
The Lion's Den by Anthony Marra 
Zenith Man by Jennifer Haigh
The Weddings by Alexander Chee 

This one wasn't my favorite of the series, but I did enjoy it quite a bit especially all the little details around weddings and the pressure they put on the attendees and how the dynamics of what it means to attend a wedding as a gay couple has changed. It was interesting to read.

The main character goes back and forth in time giving glimpses to his history with the groom and glimpses into the struggles around finding your identity, your belonging and being unclear about where you stand with a person and then the awkwardness of being at their wedding (such a special occasion) after not having seen them for years and years. There's so much packed into a short story. 

Thank you to netgalley and amazon for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Short and sweet. And also is a series. I am not int series at all. BUT, this book was good. You could read it as a stand-alone, as I did. Worth my time honestly.
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