In a time when much of the country sees red whenever the subject of gay marriage comes up, Dan Savage—outspoken author of the column Savage Love—makes it personal.
Dan Savage’s mother wants him to get married. His boyfriend, Terry, says “no thanks” because he doesn’t want to act like a straight person. Their six-year-old son, D.J., says his two dads aren’t “allowed” to get married but that he’d like to come to the reception and eat cake. Throw into the mix Dan’s straight siblings, whose varied choices form a microcosm of how Americans are approaching marriage these days, and you get a rollicking family memoir that will have everyone—gay or straight, right or left, single or married—howling with laughter and rethinking their notions of marriage and all it entails.
©2005 Dan Savage (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“The strongest argument here, which [Savage] brilliantly plays down, is that family means everything to these people: married, not married, blended, gay, straight, whatever.” (Washington Post)
A very funny, honest accounting of a little slice of Dan Savage's life. I enjoyed it a lot, but missed Dan's characteristic voice. I know he's busy these days, but I would have liked to have him read this himself.
I like Dan Savage, so I enjoyed the book and found it entertaining. I could see that some might find it a bit preachy. My main gripe is that Dan didn't read the book himself. The narrator did a fine job, but didn't sound anything like Dan which was just strange to listen to.
Whether you're gay or straight (or somewhere in between) this book is a good read for an objective look at what it means to be married from someone who isn't allowed.
I've enjoyed this author's work for many years - so much that I dutifully credit him with important contributions to many of my own best life choices (my younger boyfriend - now husband; our daughter; etc). This is the first of his books that I've read, and it was new to hear that familiar authorial voice - the humor, the fantastic logic, the strong undercurrent of no bullshit compassion - in a longer narrative. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I'm now rightly scared of and in love with his late mother, I looked up Terry's picture - just wow - and I love the Chinese Room at the Smith Tower even more.
Though I enjoy the author's own spoken performances very much, I was impressed by the performer here and very much enjoyed his reading.
I always enjoy Dan's books and this one is no exception. A completely different look at family life. It's funny, profane, serious, and thoughtful all at the same time.
Double margaritas in Saugatuck, observations driving through the midwest, too many to number...
Clear, Formal, Rigid. This is the one thing I didn't like about the book. Mr. Garcia's voice and speech patterns are too formal for Dan's writing style. While his voice is clear and easily understood, it's sort of like your high school english teacher using four letter words...it just doesn't flow naturally given the material.
Book nerd for life!
I bought this audiobook back in 2012 but just now listened to it. I had no idea what to expect, and I think it actually worked out better that way. Dan Savage wrote about his partner Terry, his son DJ, his loving family, and how marriage does and doesn't work for some couples. His commentary was hilarious, and his conversations with others (mainly his family members) about marriage made great points, for both, straight and same-sex couples. The narrator, Paul Michael Garcia, made the audiobook even more enjoyable. I'm glad I got it and glad I read it. Recommended for anyone who isn't too serious, as I can see some of Dan's writing rubbing the far right the wrong way (especially DJ's opinion of George W. Bush haha)
I liked the book. It was very interesting and fascinating information and back story (what happened to the toy poodle's other eye?). However, after reading his columns for years and listening to hundreds of his podcasts, the performance was lacking. It didn't go with the subject matter at hand. The narrator was far too formal for Dan's writing.
The narrator. I didn't like the tone of his voice. Maybe it was the content but the tone of his voice came off sarcastic minus the funny.
Yes I would. I am a fan of Dan Savage and read his column in The Stranger when I lived in Seattle.
Dan Savage can be merciless yet funny. This narrator didn't convey that to me.
Nah. And if it were a movie I'd wait until it came out on TBS.
I am a Dan Savage fan, having read his sex advice column for many years. He offers good information that other writers wouldn't dare publish. And like his columns, this book contains a core of thoughtful history and insights on marriage, gay and straight. I learned from him. But, alas, Savage's personal history and relationship with his husband wasn't one to which I could relate -- a series of argumentative, unpleasant encounters, especially when the two of them were on the road with their son. Since the memoir leads up to the decision of whether to get a tattoo or get married, Savage convinced me that they should have the right to the legal and social benefits of marriage, but I couldn't help feeling that perhaps marriage wasn't best for this couple, a feeling cemented by his description of the ceremony.
Perhaps my negativity was compounded by the reader, who read slowly and with overly clear diction. I found him unable to convey the narrative voice and humor of the book in the spoken voice.
I enjoyed listening to the snippets of Dan Savage and Terry Miller's perceptual evolution into the idea of marriage. I have considered some of the points mentioned by Dan and Terry and how they relate within the context of my own life. Which I believe is the mark of a good book and good author. Throw in the perfect narrator for the dialog at hand, and you have a mandala of the evolving family that Dan, Terry and D.J. are creating.
I have listened to the book twice now, and had an even better experience the second time.
Dan Savage is well known to me for his advice column, and his efforts to stop bullying. I often agree with what he has to say, and this book is just another example of his wit, grasp of social dynamics, solid emotional morality, and his willingness to drag poor Terry into the limelight! (You’re shameless on that one Dan!)
This book left me with a stronger sense of family (no quotes needed there) and even helped me provide a framework for what exactly I'm trying to achieve with my own marriage.
Absolutely wonderful book!
This is much more a sequence of connected essays than a novel or story, centred around Dan Savages and his male partner Terry's plans for a 10 years together celebration.
There were a few chapters in the middle where the serious overtook the fun and non US readers may find the references to various political names a little glazing, but for the most part there is a great deal of humour and a lot of insight into being gay in the US and into getting married.
At the time of writing (2004) the US legislature at least, in many, perhaps most of its states regarded homosexuals as second class citizens, and that is probably being generous. I don't know how much has changed there. This is one of those books that would really benefit from a few minutes of appendix at the end with an "update" from the author. Perhaps Audible could note that this sort of "add-on" could be a much more realistic feature in the online downloadable world they trade in.
Well worth the read. If you are in Western Europe, it will certainly leave you wondering why the US thinks of itself as the land of the free, at least for some 10% of if citizens!
"A great insight into gay parenting!"
This is a book of three parts. The first is a bit dull, outlining the circumstances of Savage's life leading up to the 'big question' after ten years with his partner: Should we marry? The vignettes about Savage's family aren't hugely interesting, but they're valuable for context. The middle section is Savage talking about the 'gay marriage debate' in the US, and is interesting as it shows the fire in his argument, and the final section - the most entertaining - tells us 'what happened next'. All in all, worth reading.
I'm a huge Dan Savage fan anyway, but I really loved this book. Something to make you think and to make you laugh.
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