On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

by Ocean Vuong, 2019

Eew. Yuck. I hated this book. Too dark, too depressing, too sad, too hopeless, too graphic, too filthy. No goodness and light whatsoever. Set in Hartford, Connecticut, it’s about “Little Dog,” a Vietnamese boy who is beaten by his mother, who was beaten by her husband. He falls in love with a white boy who is beaten by his alcoholic father, who live in a dirty yellow mobile home. They meet farming tobacco, he describes in detail their sex acts. The white boy’s name is Trevor. He is addicted to Oxycontin from a broken ankle when he is fifteen, eventually becomes a heroin addict and dies from an overdose. In the midst of the darkness and sadness, he also philosphizes and I couldn’t make any sense whatsoever. This book is trash. It was the first selection of the Old Town Library Book Club for 2022-2023. I don’t know if I’ll go on Monday night because I have nothing good to say and I’m angry that someone even suggested this book and that it got selected. It’s deeply disturbing and I wish I never read it. I want to wash my mind of it. The only good things were his grandmother, Lan, and his grandfather, Paul. And the title, a very intriguing title. But the book is hopeless and dark. Yuck. I want to forget I read it.