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




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