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The Men of Brewster Place

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Naylor returns to the fictional neighborhood, this time focusing on the men behind the women who inhabited that desolate block of row houses, telling their tragic, sad, funny, and heroic stories.


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Naylor returns to the fictional neighborhood, this time focusing on the men behind the women who inhabited that desolate block of row houses, telling their tragic, sad, funny, and heroic stories.

30 review for The Men of Brewster Place

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brina

    A few years ago I read Gloria Naylor’s The Women of Brewster Place. Her vignettes that piece together the inhabitants of a fictional block won her a nomination for the National Book Award in 1983. Naylor was among the top writers during the 1980s, with Mama Day being a favorite of mine once I discovered her writing. At the end of Brewster Place we see that the residents of the block decided to throw a block party. Their lives were bleak at best so why not give it their everything and celebrate t A few years ago I read Gloria Naylor’s The Women of Brewster Place. Her vignettes that piece together the inhabitants of a fictional block won her a nomination for the National Book Award in 1983. Naylor was among the top writers during the 1980s, with Mama Day being a favorite of mine once I discovered her writing. At the end of Brewster Place we see that the residents of the block decided to throw a block party. Their lives were bleak at best so why not give it their everything and celebrate the positives in their lives that included new babies, job promotions, and their own production of Shakespeare in the Park. Despite the limitations of poverty, the Women of Brewster Place ended on a positive note. I was thrilled to find out that Naylor revisited the street painting a picture of its men fifteen years later. When putting together my women’s reading for 2020, I knew that Gloria Naylor had to be included. The Men of Brewster place revisits characters that complement the colorful cast who made the Women of Brewster Place what it was. While only 173 pages, it does not go into as much depth, making me think that too many readers were clamoring for a sequel. Naylor still gives the male characters a back story, including the tragic Eugene, humorous Abshu, questionable character Reverend Moreland Woods, and fallen hero Basil. These are the men behind the women who make Brewster Place the block that it is. The street may be condemned to be razed but the cast of characters who make up the street continue to give it its charm. We find out that Eugene wanted to leave Ceil because he’s gay yet the couple could not live apart, which inevitably resulted in tragedy. Basil returns to the street after years on the run, determined to pay back his mother Mattie Michael, the key protagonist from Women. He arrives on Brewster Place to find his mother dead and decides to reform his life by fostering two fatherless boys. This episode comes to a tragic end as well because the boys’ mother is a slut, making Basil the brunt of her worthless life. Each character’s existence appears more tragic than the next. Moreland finally earns a spot on the city council only to condemn Brewster Place to be bulldozed. He goes against his constituents only to be foiled by Abshu. Brewster Place will exist for another generation until another Moreland decides that it is time to raze the buildings in favor of modern middle class condominiums. While not as drawn out or colorful as the Women of Brewster Place, the Men of Brewster Place still paints a multilayered picture of the men who call the street home. Gloria Naylor gives the men their due only to have readers discover that it is the women who make the street flourish whereas the men steer it toward a tragic end. Whether or not not Brewster Place will endure for another generation remains to be seen as Naylor did not write a third book featuring its residents. Her writing depicts an urban street at its best and worst and allows a reader insights into the lives of what makes a community what it is. I hope to read more of Naylor’s writing in the future. Her words are a treat for me to revisit. 4+ stars

  2. 5 out of 5

    leynes

    I cannot fail to notice that The Men of Brewster Place left a very bitter taste in my mouth. I admire Gloria Naylor as a writer and her craftsmanship of the 80s is impeccable. Whether it's Mama Day, Bailey's Cafe or Linden Hills, her writing is atmospheric, touching and moving. Reading Naylor was always a healing experience for me. She made me understand what Soul Lit really means. Her work of the 80s embodies that for me. So, when I read The Women of Brewster Place I was pleasantly surprised by I cannot fail to notice that The Men of Brewster Place left a very bitter taste in my mouth. I admire Gloria Naylor as a writer and her craftsmanship of the 80s is impeccable. Whether it's Mama Day, Bailey's Cafe or Linden Hills, her writing is atmospheric, touching and moving. Reading Naylor was always a healing experience for me. She made me understand what Soul Lit really means. Her work of the 80s embodies that for me. So, when I read The Women of Brewster Place I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of her writing and the expertise with which she displayed the lives of these seven women. The women came alive. Their fears, their worries, their griefs... it all felt real and raw. It doesn't happen often that I read a debut that blows me away like this. Gloria Naylor has got it all. I thought she could do no wrong. Well, with such high (and unrealistic) expectations I was bound to be disappointed sooner or later but I never thought that The Men of Brewster Place would be so utterly different from its predecessor. It functions as a continuation of sorts, Gloria Naylor showcases the lives of seven men, most of which we were already introduced to in The Women of Brewster Place. It has a very similar structure in which one chapter is dedicated to each men, the exposition of the tale is set at dusk and the epilogue is the dawn. So far, so good. Unfortunately, the downfall of this novel is two-fold. First and foremost, (and I truly cannot believe that I'm saying this) Naylor's writing is basic af. I couldn't believe my eyes when I had to endure prose that was so loveless, so devoid of life. I didn't recognise the Naylor that I grew to love. I think it's important to notice that The Men of Brewster Place was published in 1998, so 16 years after its predecessor. In that time, especially the mid 90s, Naylor went through a lot of turmoil. It's hard to dig up all of the dirt (and the more interviews I read from her after her traumatic experience in 1996, where she believe the government was spying on her and using computers to read her mind...) and I honestly don't want my picture of Gloria Naylor to be tainted by all the conspiracy theories she prescribed to after 1996. I don't believe in targeted individuals. I don't believe that the government is able to read the minds of its citizens. I'm creeped out (and saddened) that Gloria Naylor seems to have lost touch with reality, and that none of her friends and family could help her get better. So, I'm left wondering whether (and in what shape and form) those experiences tainted her ability to write. The prose of The Men of Brewster Place is so ordinary, even immature at times, it saddens me to see that Gloria regressed as a writer. This became even more clear since Naylor actually included full passages from The Women of Brewster Place in this book as well to give the full context. Seeing these two writing styles next to one author was shocking to say the least. The second reason I didn't enjoy this novel is the simply fact that its execution was hella messy. I understand what Gloria was trying to do, showing that there are always two sides to each story, that the men we've grown to despise in The Women of Brewster Place had their reasons and their own realities as well. However, I cannot shake the feeling that all of this was done to the detriment of the women we have grown to respect in her previous work. The plot of The Men just didn't seem plausible at all. Gloria Naylor came up with the most weirdest excuses for their behaviour and none of them made any sense to me. As a reader, you could really feel how Gloria wanted to redeem most of these characters... and she failed completely. The background information that she came up with either added nothing new to the world of Brewster Place (i.e. the story of Ben and Brother Jerome) or felt weirdly out of touch with it (i.e. the story of Basil and Eugene). Where is the Gloria Naylor who was able to write a nuanced story? Since when does everything have to be so fucking cheesy? To give you a specific example: In The Women of Brewster Place, Mattie put her house on bail to get her son out of jail. In order to get some of the money back, he has to show up to a court hearing which he refuses to do, therefore, Mattie loses the house and has to move to Brewster Place. She never hears from Basil again. So far, so good. Now, in The Men of Brewster Place we learn that Basil is sorry for his actions and immediately started working his butt off to pay back his mama. However, just as he has the sum together (which took him years) and searches for his mom, he learns that she has (dah dah duh) already died. He then vows to become the most awesome human being ever and starts taking care of two kids who have a reckless teenage mom. The mom then frames him and he has to spent six years in prison. When he is released he vows to fight like hell to get the trust of his boys back. I mean??? Are you fucking kidding me?? What kind of lunatic, over-the-top plot development is this?? I am confusion. And don't even get me started on the mess that was Eugene's story. The men who kept leaving his girlfriend Ceil and their kid, leaving them with no money for months on end, and then kept popping back up from time to time vowing that this time everything would be different. In The Men we learn that he's a closeted gay man who has problems coming to terms with his sexuality. Ok, cool. That still doesn't explain why you're treating your wife like shit. I know I sound overly frustrated but it's because I truly care about Naylor and the worlds she has created in her fiction. I really loved The Women of Brewster Place and it makes me mad that this hot mess is what she chose to write. Sometimes it's better to simply leave it be.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ananya Ghosh

    Well, I had to read The Women of Brewster Place in class last year. And it was my first African-American literature read. And I had quite liked it. But, this? This is another level. I loved it so, so much. The way it was written, the emotions every word, every story carries, its too deep and I can't even begin to explain the depth of it all. In 'Women', we see the men leaving the women behind and getting on with their lives god knows where with all these women having to fend for themselves and l Well, I had to read The Women of Brewster Place in class last year. And it was my first African-American literature read. And I had quite liked it. But, this? This is another level. I loved it so, so much. The way it was written, the emotions every word, every story carries, its too deep and I can't even begin to explain the depth of it all. In 'Women', we see the men leaving the women behind and getting on with their lives god knows where with all these women having to fend for themselves and live in this destitution. But this book gives you the insight on why the men left. What all they had to go through, mentally as well as socially. This gets closer to your heart as the story unfolds and lets you see that all black men are not heartless beasts as they are made out to be. And yet, some are, who seek power. But that's every man's story. This book made me laugh, cry, feel and most importantly, made an impact on me, and that is what I love about this. A book that touches me in some way is a good book for me, whatever its story might be. Plus, this book is an example that feminists are not out there to put men down. Naylor nails it with bringing out a heart-touchingly realistic tale. I loved it. And want to give it 4.5 stars actually.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Misse Jones

    “But let me tell you about men: If you put him on the likes of a Park Avenue and he feels he has no worth, then it’s not Park Avenue. If you put him on the likes of a Chicago South Side and he feels he has worth, then it’s not the South Side. We all live inside. That’s the first thing I got to say. And the second thing is to tell the whole story. I don’t know a man who would be anywhere without a woman. And don’t know a woman who’d be anywhere without a man. It’s how God did it; and we sure can’ “But let me tell you about men: If you put him on the likes of a Park Avenue and he feels he has no worth, then it’s not Park Avenue. If you put him on the likes of a Chicago South Side and he feels he has worth, then it’s not the South Side. We all live inside. That’s the first thing I got to say. And the second thing is to tell the whole story. I don’t know a man who would be anywhere without a woman. And don’t know a woman who’d be anywhere without a man. It’s how God did it; and we sure can’t undo it. We can try; and probably pass off some pretty good imitations of life. But since it looks like we’re here only once—and for a short time at that—why not go for the real deal?” I discovered Gloria Naylor’s, Men of Brewster Place about a month ago and was eager to jump into what is a continuation of her classic, Women of Brewster Place. Her first installment was also rightfully made into a miniseries that I, like many others, absolutely loved. With the emphasis on the amazing black women of Brewster Place and their family struggles, there was still an overarching theme of hope, overcoming obstacles and black joy! Fifteen years later, Naylor impresses upon a shift of perspective to highlight the story of The Men Of Brewster Place with vignettes that highlight the struggles and challenges of being and existing in a space that is comprised of grief and sadness for all of them. I really enjoyed the return of Ben as a sort of narrator of the experience who seems to have a true understanding of both the women and men alike of Brewster Place. Perhaps it is the time lapse between the two novels that helped me to envision them as two standalone riveting works. While we see the demise of a place that for so many was home, it is well worth the read. May Gloria Naylor continue to touch the hearts of many and rest in eternal peace.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tamara Evans

    I wasn't really expecting anything from this book.I didn't think it would leave a imprint in my memory or it would make me think of the problems that black men endure in their lives.In both of these cases, I was wrong.Not only did this book make me think of black men in an entirely different way, but also, it made me see that some things are timeless in life and some problems never go away. Through the course of the book, the reader is introduced to various characters and are also invited to lis I wasn't really expecting anything from this book.I didn't think it would leave a imprint in my memory or it would make me think of the problems that black men endure in their lives.In both of these cases, I was wrong.Not only did this book make me think of black men in an entirely different way, but also, it made me see that some things are timeless in life and some problems never go away. Through the course of the book, the reader is introduced to various characters and are also invited to listen to what brought them to their current states.While some men battle alcohol, others deal with homosexuality as well as death.What impresses me most about the book is the method in which the author, Gloria Naylor, handles these men.Never once do you hear them blame others for their situations or try to shift responsibility to someone else.Instead, these men are forced to deal with problems head on and they do so with dignity. Also, the other thing which amazes me is the fact that the narrator is actually a ghost which I guess in some ways adds a supernatural feel to it.However even he can't escape from the life he has led and so before he even speaks of the other men, he lets the reader know about his life and why he has his addictions.This to me signifies that he wants the reader to see that he's not perfect and that he realizes that.Furthermore, he wants the reader to know that he's not judging the lives and actions of these men and that we as readers shouldn't judge them either. Overall, I really enjoyed this book.Not only did it show me that the problems of the past are still alive and present today but also, it showed me how events in a live can mold a person sometimes good, sometimes bad.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nakia

    Decided to read this on a whim after my book club read The Women of Brewster Place (TWOBP) for our Classic Novel selection, and I discovered I owned a copy. It was OK. I think having read it so close to finishing its predecessor made it nearly impossible not to set the bar extremely high. TWOBP touched me immediately. All of it felt real, like the characters were living and breathing family members, neighbors, and friends. The Men of Brewster Place, on the other hand, just felt like a story. And Decided to read this on a whim after my book club read The Women of Brewster Place (TWOBP) for our Classic Novel selection, and I discovered I owned a copy. It was OK. I think having read it so close to finishing its predecessor made it nearly impossible not to set the bar extremely high. TWOBP touched me immediately. All of it felt real, like the characters were living and breathing family members, neighbors, and friends. The Men of Brewster Place, on the other hand, just felt like a story. And there is nothing wrong with that, but there was definitely a disconnect that affected how much I enjoyed it. I also appreciated Naylor giving us background and a follow up with all of the men featured in TWOBP, but for the most part, their stories, reasoning, and issues didn't measure up to the tragic circumstances presented in the first book. Both Basil's and Eugene's stories were huge disappointments, likely because I expected the most from them. Thankfully, Rev. Moreland's chapter was entertaining and Abshu's story was heartwarming and somewhat perfect. I'd still encourage those who read TWOBP to read this follow up collection. You may get a little bit of closure from the first book, and you'll meet a few new resident of Brewster Place.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Black Carrie

    This was a true hardship read I always wondered what came of Mattie's son his parts of the book were the saddest for me the part of Ceil husband made me mad he was a coward she deserved more .... and the part of the book with the mentally ill son was sad yet touching . I liked the book Ben parts were needed and not needed if that makes since. Men get sick and tired just like women , that's what I gained from the book . This was a true hardship read I always wondered what came of Mattie's son his parts of the book were the saddest for me the part of Ceil husband made me mad he was a coward she deserved more .... and the part of the book with the mentally ill son was sad yet touching . I liked the book Ben parts were needed and not needed if that makes since. Men get sick and tired just like women , that's what I gained from the book .

  8. 5 out of 5

    D

    I appreciated learning about the men, buuuuttt.... Reverend Woods's backstory was unnecessary and I would have loved to learn more about C.C. Baker. Also.... I still don't know who Brother Jerome is and why his story was necessary. I appreciated learning about the men, buuuuttt.... Reverend Woods's backstory was unnecessary and I would have loved to learn more about C.C. Baker. Also.... I still don't know who Brother Jerome is and why his story was necessary.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tyra

    EXCELLENT book where each chapter is a different man with very different stories that work together in small ways. beautiful, masterful writing makes it an easy read, hard to put down.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alana Benjamin

    My only suggestion is do not read this book. This book is better left out of print. Although Naylor's writing ability is evident in the pages, her creative choices were at times shocking and other times uninspiring. I still cannot get over the unnecessary derogatory homophobia language. I think this book tried to convey care and consideration for the male characters from Women of Brewster Place but fell very short. Overall, the book felt rushed and thoughtless. You are better off using your own c My only suggestion is do not read this book. This book is better left out of print. Although Naylor's writing ability is evident in the pages, her creative choices were at times shocking and other times uninspiring. I still cannot get over the unnecessary derogatory homophobia language. I think this book tried to convey care and consideration for the male characters from Women of Brewster Place but fell very short. Overall, the book felt rushed and thoughtless. You are better off using your own creative license to imagine what happened to the men of Brewster Place. This book doesn't provide any closure.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Yve

    Like The Women of Brewster Place, this is a series of pretty short character portraits, all tied together by that rundown dead-end street and through the voice of the superintendent Ben whose "spirit" Naylor uses as the narrator. For some reason, perhaps a lighter and breezier writing style, I felt The Men was much shorter than The Women. But even though I prefer Naylor's more magic-realism works, I did enjoy this one. The stories/sections/whatever you want to call them were a little bare-bones Like The Women of Brewster Place, this is a series of pretty short character portraits, all tied together by that rundown dead-end street and through the voice of the superintendent Ben whose "spirit" Naylor uses as the narrator. For some reason, perhaps a lighter and breezier writing style, I felt The Men was much shorter than The Women. But even though I prefer Naylor's more magic-realism works, I did enjoy this one. The stories/sections/whatever you want to call them were a little bare-bones in places, but I ended up with a really good sense of how all these characters were dealing in different ways with what it means to be a man, and a Black man. The younger generation is represented by Brother Jerome who is really mentally incapable of aging but creates music that defines Brewster Place for all the men there, and also C.C. and Basil's "kids" who close themselves off to their families and turn to gangs. There are also two very different fathers: Basil, who marries solely to better the lives of two young boys but is foiled by his wife's resentment and the intervening forces of the world that pull the boys away from him; and Eugene, who is torn between devotion to his wife and daughter and his complicated and hidden identity as a gay man, and is ultimately led to tragedy by his refusal to face up to either. In addition, there are two warring forces trying to turn the tide of the Brewster Place community: Revered Moreland Woods who grabs for political power and personal riches, and social worker Abshu who doesn't necessarily want to escape/destroy Brewster Place, but to make it better for the boys growing up in it. It has "A Novel" in the title for a reason - even though it might look like just a short story collection, what really brings each story to life is its place among the others. There are many moving and memorable moments in their stories, and overall I think it makes a very enriching companion piece to the previous Brewster Place novel.

  12. 5 out of 5

    kelly

    I read "The Women of Brewster Place" back in 1999 was completely blown away by it, the story was so flawlessly written it rocked me to my core. To this day TWOBP is still one of my all-time favorite books, if I were stranded on a desert island, I'd take this (and some Toni Morrison!) with me. This one, its companion, I'm not so thrilled about. While its always refreshing to see a woman write from a male's perspective, the characters here seem to lack depth. Eugene, Basil, and CC are revisited--b I read "The Women of Brewster Place" back in 1999 was completely blown away by it, the story was so flawlessly written it rocked me to my core. To this day TWOBP is still one of my all-time favorite books, if I were stranded on a desert island, I'd take this (and some Toni Morrison!) with me. This one, its companion, I'm not so thrilled about. While its always refreshing to see a woman write from a male's perspective, the characters here seem to lack depth. Eugene, Basil, and CC are revisited--but here they are rigid and one-dimensional, completely unlike the vivid, living, breathing female characters Naylor has written about in the past. At only 165 pages, this book seems rushed--the characters are presented and then they exit as quickly as they came. Each story is told summary-style in a few pages, and on to the next. Naylor doesn't do the males of Brewster Place the justice they deserve, I wish she would have developed this story more or simply left it as it were.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Titilayo

    Talk about a mind blower. As many times as i had read The Women of Brewster Place only once or twice had i thought about the Men. There presence was felt drastically by all the women, sometimes so much that they consumed the stories of each chapter, but there was no mention about where they were or what they were doing. Talk about shock and awe when i turned the pages of this book. Amazing!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Adrienne

    I read this book to find out what happened with Basil, but became engrossed in the other men's stories. I think sometimes we only see our own pain and hardships as women and the trials men go through can be lost. In the Women of Brewster Place, I disliked most of these men or never got a feel for them, but this book gave them depth and redeeming qualities. I read this book to find out what happened with Basil, but became engrossed in the other men's stories. I think sometimes we only see our own pain and hardships as women and the trials men go through can be lost. In the Women of Brewster Place, I disliked most of these men or never got a feel for them, but this book gave them depth and redeeming qualities.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Mishap

    Totally fails to capture the beauty and vibe of The Women. While there are a couple good bits, it seems like a book written because she didn't have a better idea at the time and this was an obvious choice. Sigh. Totally fails to capture the beauty and vibe of The Women. While there are a couple good bits, it seems like a book written because she didn't have a better idea at the time and this was an obvious choice. Sigh.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jessie

    Is it possible for a book to be both a mere shadow of it’s predecessor and also totally heavy handed? Because The Men of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor had nothing on it’s sister tome. This book, a sequel of sorts, follows the same time frame as the women of bp, but tells the story of the projects through vignettes about the men. Idk if Naylor was heavily criticized for her depictions of men in the first book, but she certainly softened up some unlikeable characters, and undid a lot of their im Is it possible for a book to be both a mere shadow of it’s predecessor and also totally heavy handed? Because The Men of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor had nothing on it’s sister tome. This book, a sequel of sorts, follows the same time frame as the women of bp, but tells the story of the projects through vignettes about the men. Idk if Naylor was heavily criticized for her depictions of men in the first book, but she certainly softened up some unlikeable characters, and undid a lot of their impact by offering different perspectives of them in this one (and this from a person who LIVES to understand how experiences shape behaviours and how hurt ppl hurt ppl). Reading the women felt like a spotlight into individuals, reading the men felt like a coles notes on various “types”. And some of the artistic liberties make this book even worse, like a character rising from the dead to be the unifying voice in the story... no. Also her depictions I’d queer and trans characters were deeply fucked. I took some satisfaction in having the first book tie into the second - it’s nice to see a fuller picture- but this book was clearly a late afterthought (written long after the first) and was unable to pick up the same momentum and the same gentle hand of the women, and in the end I’d prefer if these characters hadn’t been fleshed out at all. As an aside, I don’t know who hurt the library sticker placement person, but wow.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nikhaule Martin

    This book is as emotionally striking, if not more, than The Women of Brewster Place. Both beautiful books within their own right, Naylor does a wonderful job of reminding the audience that blackness and masculinity are multifaceted and all in need of being acknowledged. She tells the story, the story of the most gruesome characters, in a way that forces one to be more empathetic to someone that had fallen victim to their circumstances. Quick read and worth every page.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nickia B

    I read this novel right after reading The Women of Brewster Place, and I found the back stories of each man interesting. I only wished that the author could had intertwined Rev. Woods and C.C. Baker's stories with the aftermaths of their interactions with Etta Mae and Lorraine. Otherwise, this was a good follow-up to The Women of Brewster Place, especially with the author having Ben to "come back" as the narrator. I read this novel right after reading The Women of Brewster Place, and I found the back stories of each man interesting. I only wished that the author could had intertwined Rev. Woods and C.C. Baker's stories with the aftermaths of their interactions with Etta Mae and Lorraine. Otherwise, this was a good follow-up to The Women of Brewster Place, especially with the author having Ben to "come back" as the narrator.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette Scott

    Loved how the story was narrated by an omniscient 1st person narrator. Not only is the reader able to see the narrator's life but also the narrator's view point on the lives of the men in the novel. The author gives the reader a glimpse into the lives of a variety of men struggling to survive in an economically challenged area. The ending to me is sad, yet expectant/triumphant. It is interesting to read a novel about the struggles of men, yet it is written by a woman. Loved how the story was narrated by an omniscient 1st person narrator. Not only is the reader able to see the narrator's life but also the narrator's view point on the lives of the men in the novel. The author gives the reader a glimpse into the lives of a variety of men struggling to survive in an economically challenged area. The ending to me is sad, yet expectant/triumphant. It is interesting to read a novel about the struggles of men, yet it is written by a woman.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Black Carrie

    The WOBP movie left alot of stuff unanswered for me but this book filled in them holes. Basil part had me in tears man omg I couldn't hold back!!! Damn I had a feeling Cecil was gay his wife nor daughter deserved that smh women don't always be so forgiving. The rest of the book had me confused development issues and all over the place B.S I give it a 2 in a half The WOBP movie left alot of stuff unanswered for me but this book filled in them holes. Basil part had me in tears man omg I couldn't hold back!!! Damn I had a feeling Cecil was gay his wife nor daughter deserved that smh women don't always be so forgiving. The rest of the book had me confused development issues and all over the place B.S I give it a 2 in a half

  21. 5 out of 5

    Florence O'Neill

    This is an intimate look at the lives of seven black men living in modern day, pre- Black Lives Matter, USA. It is an honest and sympathetic portrayal that helps the reader see the issues facing them from a different perspective. For an even deeper understanding of these issues, I would recommend "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates. This is an intimate look at the lives of seven black men living in modern day, pre- Black Lives Matter, USA. It is an honest and sympathetic portrayal that helps the reader see the issues facing them from a different perspective. For an even deeper understanding of these issues, I would recommend "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I would describe this as a novella told from alternating perspectives rather than a short story collection. It was good, but I'm not sure how memorable it will be down the road. Ben interested me more than any of the other characters. I would describe this as a novella told from alternating perspectives rather than a short story collection. It was good, but I'm not sure how memorable it will be down the road. Ben interested me more than any of the other characters.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Fran

    I'd read 'Women of Brewster Place' decades ago, and recall loving it. I thought this was quite good, with some keen observations of human forms of struggle (internal and external) and characters well worth knowing. I'd read 'Women of Brewster Place' decades ago, and recall loving it. I thought this was quite good, with some keen observations of human forms of struggle (internal and external) and characters well worth knowing.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nadine Brown

    Enjoyed meeting these men.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lakisha

    All of my questions answered

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rosaundra Miles

    This is an amazing book. After watching movie I always wanted to know what happened to some of the characters and why they were the way that they were. This book answers some of those questions

  27. 4 out of 5

    Idza

    Ok, so I was minding my business in Mombasa, browsing through my favorite thrift shop (s/o to Soko Ndogo Ltd) when I saw The Men of Brewster Place. GLORY! Now, I didn't even KNOW that Gloria Naylor had done a follow up to her first novel, so I was pretty excited. The book is gorgeous and I think I actually (sort of, kind of, possibly) like it a little more than The Women of Brewster Place. Again, same format - could-stand-alone-short-stories weaved into a novel, with the lovely voice of Ben holding Ok, so I was minding my business in Mombasa, browsing through my favorite thrift shop (s/o to Soko Ndogo Ltd) when I saw The Men of Brewster Place. GLORY! Now, I didn't even KNOW that Gloria Naylor had done a follow up to her first novel, so I was pretty excited. The book is gorgeous and I think I actually (sort of, kind of, possibly) like it a little more than The Women of Brewster Place. Again, same format - could-stand-alone-short-stories weaved into a novel, with the lovely voice of Ben holding the entire fabric together. I pronounce this book a companion to Gloria's first book and go further to even suggest that bookstores/sellers sell the book together.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Beverlee

    I wasn't sure if I'd be able to avoid comparing The Women of Brewster Place vs The Men of Brewster Place. Luckily, I didn't pick up the same vibe from The Men as I did in The Women. The Men, I think is more apologetic and explanatory with a degree of proclamation of manhood. The men of Brewster Place shared the same living experiences as the women in a sense, as Ben puts it " I'm not about to argue was it harder for some than others: who's got it worse, the him with nothing or the her waiting on I wasn't sure if I'd be able to avoid comparing The Women of Brewster Place vs The Men of Brewster Place. Luckily, I didn't pick up the same vibe from The Men as I did in The Women. The Men, I think is more apologetic and explanatory with a degree of proclamation of manhood. The men of Brewster Place shared the same living experiences as the women in a sense, as Ben puts it " I'm not about to argue was it harder for some than others: who's got it worse, the him with nothing or the her waiting on the other side to stretch that nothing- once again, for supper?" Each man's point of view an explanation of sorts to The Women, though Ms. Naylor did not portray the men to be without fault. I personally did not care for CC or Rev Woods, mainly because I felt they operated from a sense of greed and entitlement. I wished Basil had at least spoken to Mattie before she passed away and that Eugene had found the courage to be honest with Ceil. I hoped Abshu would have found a way to balance his passion with preserving Brewster Place vs correcting Rev Woods...all of these things are hindsight. I think Ms. Naylor's depiction was honest and empathetic. No one's life is perfect and it doesn't necessarily go as expected. Knowing this doesn't justify the bad decisions made by the Men, it simply gives them humanity which is often denied by greater society.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kia

    The only reason why I read this book was to get some kind of closure from the first book. I wanted to know what happened to Basil. I was disappointed in his part of the story. He was a spoiled no-count brat in "Women of brewster place" and his part in "Men" didn't even make sense. He's dating a woman whose cousin has two sons that she doesn't take good care of. he becomes attached to the boys and decides to dump girlfriend for her cousin so he can adopt the boys... HUH?!! I didn't enjoy CCs part The only reason why I read this book was to get some kind of closure from the first book. I wanted to know what happened to Basil. I was disappointed in his part of the story. He was a spoiled no-count brat in "Women of brewster place" and his part in "Men" didn't even make sense. He's dating a woman whose cousin has two sons that she doesn't take good care of. he becomes attached to the boys and decides to dump girlfriend for her cousin so he can adopt the boys... HUH?!! I didn't enjoy CCs part. I wanted to know if he got in trouble for raping Lorraine in "Women" but his part didn't even mention it. It did give a little bit of insight into his mentality but we already knew he was a no good heartless thug from the first book. Ben's part was sad. It kinda just repeated his story from the first book. I wanted to know if Lorraine went to jail for his murder but it was never mentioned. *sigh Didn't care about Moreland. Abshu's story was sad and then triumphant. He was my fav character. I didn't understand Eugene's story that much. Didn't care for him at all. Overall it was an interesting book. I probably wouldn't have read it if I knew it didn't eleborate on things that happened in "Women"

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Durham

    I loved this book. This was a recommendation for our Book Club. I am so glad that it was recommended. The voices of the men needed to be heard. Gloria Naylor did a phenomenal job with the information. If you didn't read the Women of Brewster Place you could still contribute to a conversation if discussing this work. She recaptured the plight of the men as it was illustrated in the Women of Brewster Place. But she delved more into their upbringing, the baggage that was brought into the relationsh I loved this book. This was a recommendation for our Book Club. I am so glad that it was recommended. The voices of the men needed to be heard. Gloria Naylor did a phenomenal job with the information. If you didn't read the Women of Brewster Place you could still contribute to a conversation if discussing this work. She recaptured the plight of the men as it was illustrated in the Women of Brewster Place. But she delved more into their upbringing, the baggage that was brought into the relationship with the women that we read about. She postulated about not only their weaknesses but their strengths. The reader gets an opportunity to see "the whole man." They all had a remarkable story...tedious journey and by no way were they excused for what they did or did not do. But, Ben said it best: Every black man at Brewster Place...hoped for better. Not all of them prayed for better cause some didn't believe in God. Not all of them worked for better...cause some of them were lazy as sin. Not all of them wanted better...cause it took courage to live with change. But they all hoped for better! They hoped for better because they wanted better for their women! TWO THUMBS UP....

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