Remembrance of Things I Forgot by Bob Smith

Remembrance of Things I Forgot by Bob Smith

A Review

“It’s safe to say your relationship is in trouble if the only way you can imagine solving your problems is by borrowing a time machine.”

                                        - Remembrance of Things I Forgot by Bob Smith

I don't like comic novels. I don't like books about time machines. In fact if I were required to read a comic novel in which a time machine figures heavily in the plot (as a requirement, for example, in a very specific college class) I would want to take a time machine forward to a future in which I had already read the book.

Except this book is written by gay comic legend Bob Smith. I would read anything by Bob Smith.

Remembrance of Things I Forgot: A Novel avoids one of the most annoying traits of books that modify their genre with the adjective “comic” (comic novels, comic memoirs, comic historical fiction) the Obviously Inserted Jokey Sentence. Instead, Smith weaves the funny into a complex story and leaves the commentary mostly to the characters. And the characters are all characters (as Smith said in a panel at the 1998 On Our Backs commentary “I love a good kook”) and loveable ones at that, even when they are doing stupid things.

Perhaps one of the things that makes the time travel in the book most palatable is that there is no returning to prehistoric days and the subsequent battle between homo and t-rex, no comparisons between unshaved lesbians and hairy mammoths. The time travel only goes back to 1986 an era many of Smith's readers will be able to remember. That, coupled with the characters that seem emotionally true even while they are battling their own demons in some pretty fantastic realms, makes the book a great read. It will definitely make you laugh, and there's a good chance it will make you think as well.