Wedding planner Adam More has an epiphany: He has devoted all his life’s energy to creating events that he and his partner, Steven, are forbidden by federal law for having for themselves. So Adam decides to make a change. Organizing a boycott of the wedding industry, Steven and Adam call on gay organists, hairdressers, cater-waiters, priests, and hairdressers everywhere to get out of the business and to stop going to weddings, too. In this screwball, romantic comedy both the movement they’ve begun and their relationship are put in jeopardy when Steven’s brother proposes to Adam’s sister and they must decide whether they’re attending or sending regrets.
©2012 Ken O’Neil (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I'm Audible's first Editor-at-Large, the host of In Bed with Susie Bright -- and a longtime author, editor, journo, and bookworm. I listen to audio when I'm cooking, playing cards, knitting, going to bed, waking up, driving, and putting other people's kids to bed! My favorite audiobooks, ever, are: "True Grit" and "The Dog of the South."
This is a funny screwball comedy with a core of the serious issues of love commitment, and marriage rights.
Upon having an epiphany that he works in an industry that creates events he can't legally be a part of, Adam decides to boycott the wedding industry and organizes all his contacts: hairdressers, cater-waiters, priests, and even gay organists!
Of course, just as this boycott is launching off, one of their family members decides to get married, and they have to decide whether they're going to attend the wedding or stick to their guns.
I grew to love these characters and their families. This book was a pleasure to listen to.
Before I say anything else about this book I'm going to start with the thing people go to book reviews to learn: should you buy this book? Absolutely. Positively. Fabulously. Yes. Call your indy. Download the audiobook. Pick up a copy from the publisher's website. Go do that. I'll wait right here.
I was lucky enough to hear Ken O'Neill speak at the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival, on a panel about humour, and so I was - I thought - quite prepared to chuckle my way through this book. Ken is funny - he has this delivery that had me barking out laughter. You know the kind of laugh where you weren't expecting it at all and you end up being super loud and everyone stares? That kind. I was not prepared at all, and those moments of perfect delivery are seeded throughout The Marrying Kind and I was bark-laughing all over the place. I may have scared some neighbours while walking the dog, and maybe one or two people at the grocery store. It happens.
The narrative has what appears to be a simple and funny set-up: a writer for a small gay free newspaper writes an article after his gay wedding-planner partner decides that since gays can't marry, there should be a queer-wide ban on all things wedding. No more florists, dress designers, caterers, dress clerks - nothing. And the movement gains real traction. And then the writer's brother and the wedding-planner's sister get engaged, and the struggle the two began comes even closer to home: what do you support? Your own rights, or your own family?
I say that the narrative appears simple and funny - it is more than this. O'Neill manages to do something very clever (and incredibly difficult) by taking something that really isn't funny - the fight for equality - and takes one instance of the existing inequality - gay marriage - and uses it to great effect to really paint a very accessible picture of what it's like for us queer folk. And he does this while making you bark-laugh throughout. The seriousness is there, and indeed sometimes the laughter comes from the clash between those who don't really realize what it is the couple is fighting for in the first place and the queer folk trying really hard not to slap them upside the head with a clue, but mostly it's the incredibly honest characters who make this novel so wonderful. They're neurotic and self-centred and mistake-prone and hysterical (in both senses of the word) and so darn charming that you're rooting for pretty much everyone - especially the couple, who may find themselves divided by one wedding while they take a stand for... well... their right to weddings.
I could go on and on, and if we end up in the same room together, I probably will (you were warned) but grab this. Now.
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