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  1. The Late Americans is essentially a collection of nine short(ish) pen portraits of various residents of Iowa City. Most are students at the university, most are gay men of colour. They consider their various relationships with one another; introspect on the meaning of life and generally don't do much except shag one another. It is pretty much plotless and devoid of character development. The reader hopes it will all come together at the end - but it doesn't. If I had to make a comparison, I would describe this as an LGBTQIA+ version of Sally Rooney's Normal People. It may appeal to those who find themselves among the cast, but most of us look back on our student days with a slight sense of horror that we were so up ourselves. Students are not interesting. Especially when they are creative writing students who pontificate on the meaning of poetry. Pretty much this was a dull read that will soon be forgotten. I couldn't even really remember all then characters even as they danced for my pleasure. Brandon Taylor kept dripping in some reference to a previous section and you'd think "oh yes, that's right, Timo is a vegetarian" or something similar. And I couldn't be annoyed to remember which of them were rich with trust funds and which were poor. The sex, by the way, is repetitive. Art imitating life, I suppose. **
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