On the heels of his Emmy-winning It Gets Better campaign, columnist and provocateur Dan Savage weighs in on such diverse issues as healthcare, gun control, and marriage equality with characteristic straight talk and humor.
Dan Savage has always had a loyal audience, thanks to his syndicated sex-advice column Savage Love but since the incredible global success of his It Gets Better project - his book of the same name was a New York Times best seller - his profile has skyrocketed. In addition, he's written for The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Onion, GQ, The Guardian, Salon.com, and countless other widely read publications. Savage is recognized as someone whose opinions about our culture, politics, and society should not only be listened to but taken seriously.
Now, in American Savage, he writes on topics ranging from marriage, parenting, and the gay agenda to the Catholic Church, sex education, and the obesity epidemic.
©2013 Dan Savage (P)2013 Penguin Audio
Dan Savage is a polarizing kind of guy, he’s one of the bogeymen for the religious and political right, a leading LGBT rights activist and tireless campaigner for marriage equality. He’s also a funny, clever enormously readable and (a characteristic quite rare nowadays) wise writer. This well written and frequently quite moving book will likely particular appeal to certain constituents.
If you are GGG with the whole LGBT marriage equality message this book is a handy guide to your positions and arguments. If you are a Fox News aficionado who thinks that women should not have control over their own reproductive health and two people of the same gender being married threatens your marriage then you may still find this book entertaining and it will give you something to shout at in the car.
Dan calls out the misogynist, homophobic, anti-science and bigoted vocal crowd led by Bachmann, Palin and Cruz one topic at a time. He gives the arguments for issues, many of which aren't even regarded as topics worthy of debate in the rest of the civilized world.
It’s a little depressing to hear the level of stupidity that Dan calls out and answers so succinctly. If you follow Savage Love (his excellent weekly podcast) you will be familiar with his brand of pithy and frequently very funny common sense, this is a must read for you. If you have seen Dan speaking on LGBT issues as the “Token Gay” on shows like Bill Mahr or even Fox News you might have noticed how approachable and funny he is. This book gives him room to explore and explain in much more depth but always with that wry good humor we have come to expect from him. This is a well thought through, well structured, well informed and enormously entertaining exploration of the social and political questions which most divide our country…if you care about these issues (from either side) you should read this book.
Damn, I had no idea Dan Savage was such a good writer. I'm a weekly listener to his Savage Love podcast and reader of his column, but this was the first time I've read/heard one of his personal essays, and they were very powerful. I sobbed my way through his essay about his mother's death, for example.
Other chapters, however, were rote and predictable to those familiar with his work. Some of the lines he uses I could recite word for word. You should roll your kinks out like they're a fun thing you get to do, not like they're *what*, kids? Let's say it all together now. Leukemia! His thoughts on cheating, open relationships, why women shouldn't be offended that he refers to pussy as "canned ham dropped from a great height" (still offensive no matter how much you like canned ham) are nothing new for regular readers or listeners.
Yet the new chapters were strong enough that I still think this book deserves four stars. In addition to the essay about his mom's death, the essay about going back to the Catholic church — at least physically — is poignant and insightful. The chapter about the It Gets Better project is interesting as well as brutally sad. I learned some new stuff in the health care chapter (for instance, I will never eat at Jimmy John's again). And last but certainly not least, Bigot Christmas is almost worth the price of the book alone.
YES YES YES! I plan to listen to this again. In fact, I plan to buy his other audio books, narrated by him. First, Savage is an eloquent and witty writer who makes his points clearly and thoroughly. I don't always agree with him, but I always find him worth listening to. I generally do agree with him and I find listening to his writing gives me food for thought and new ideas in developing my own world view.
Second, his narration is amazing. I could listen to a grocery list if he read it and feel soothed. He has an amazing voice and listening to him read his own work only makes what is great material even better.
I would say that hearing David Sedaris reading his own work or Tina Fey read her own work come closest to this book for me - not because they are similar but because all three of these authors as narrators make me so happy. They are so wonderful to listen to. Their own narration adds so much to the written word, enhancing it and making the words so much richer.
Everything. Truly. I love his timing, his voice, his pronouncation, his laugh, everything.
Many many parts of the book are moving. However, the most moving part was a story of his mother's last moments. I had heard this before on This American Life, slightly different. Even having heard that, even having cried for this moment before, even knowing what was coming, I had to work hard hold myself together. If I would have been driving, I would have had to pull over because I wouldn't have been safe to drive. I was walking in to work and it took everything I had to not break down sobbing in the building lobby.
Dan, if you ever read this - thank you so much for taking your time to write this book and then narrate it. Your work makes my vanilla little life richer. Thank you.
Dan has been a name around town ever since I moved to Seattle. I've never met him, and I'm embarrassed to say I haven't read a lot of his work before picking up this book. I find myself laughing from the opening words of the forward and got pretty emotional by the end. This book touches on something deep which makes it very moving. I've lived through many of the events he talks about and grown in my understanding in a similar way, but had not distilled it into words myself. If I ever do run into him on the hill, coffee's on me....because this is a great book
Unabashed and scathing at times, Dan shares his nearly-unadulterated opinion on topics ranging from gun violence to marriage equality. He does so while giving you a glimpse into his life as a father and "huhsband" which seems rather normal and not so "gay."
A good listen as Dan is a skilled orator and delivers the text with nuance and a healthy dose of sarcasm.
A VO gal listening to other VOs
If you're a fan of Savage Love, equal rights or the Daily Show/Colbert Report you'll enjoy listening to AMERICAN SAVAGE.
Dan does a great job of educating us all on the injustices that the LGBT community has faced and continues to battle all while making us laugh and cry.
Even if your already a loyal acolyte of Dan Savage you need to check this book out. Such an informative read on American politics!
Dan Savage is witty, articulate, well-read, and irreverently foul-mouthed. While speaking up for kinksters, gay people, and the sexually oppressed he never descends into pessimism and, even when he expresses anger, he always returns to how things are getting better. The audiobook is beautifully read by the author himself. The epilogue was such a happy way to end, I had to take a minute to shed some tears. loved it!
I love Dan Savage. I started reading his column in the 90s and now I am a devoted listener of his podcast. He is witty and personable as well as well educated, common sensical, and fully researches his arguments. He writes of his own personal experiences from the heart and seamlessly weaves his own life stories into the important issues of today. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
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