THE COMMITMENT by Dan Savage

THE COMMITMENT

Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family

KIRKUS REVIEW

Seattle sex-columnist Savage (The Kid, 1999, etc.) has found the man of his dreams and adopted a baby. According to his mother, he’s finally ready to get married.

Savage is a surprising combination of bad boy and good son. His public persona—blunt, often rude and always political—has made him a lightning rod in the gay community, and Savage’s long-time fans will recognize his signature mix of wit and annoyance. Adapting the format that serves him so well as a columnist, Savage constructs his memoir out of short, loosely related chapters about the avalanche of details that magically appear once his mother begins her campaign for a wedding. To his irritation, he and his boyfriend are inevitably pulled into the matrimony business. Savage is especially amusing when recounting the pre-wedding horrors: a visit to a wedding expo (hypnotizing and repulsive); attempts to book a reception hall at a Chinese restaurant during Chinese New Year (an accident of planning for which he and his boyfriend blame one another); arguments about wedding cakes (they get two at $500 a pop); and half-heartedly planned escape routes (does getting matching tattoos count as a gay commitment?). The book takes on cherished ideas about gay marriage, marriage in general, heterosexuality and the ideal of monogamy. Savage is a master of gleeful ill-will, but even so, some of his screeds are unnecessary—the stories of his forays into the wedding complex illustrate his arguments just as well. The author has a keen eye for the ironies of modern couplehood, and he doesn’t mind airing his own dirty laundry if it will get him a laugh and some political capital, but the real stars of this book are the extended Savage family, and his boyfriend. They are clearly the reason Savage is such a well-adjusted malcontent.

Energetically ambivalent memoir of a gay wedding as a family milestone. Despite his arguments to the contrary, Savage takes a resigned pleasure making an honest family man of himself.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-525-94907-0
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2005




MORE BY DAN SAVAGE

NonfictionAMERICAN SAVAGE by Dan Savage
by Dan Savage
NonfictionTHE BEST AMERICAN SEX WRITING 2004 by Dan Savage
by Dan Savage
NonfictionSKIPPING TOWARDS GOMORRAH by Dan Savage
by Dan Savage