In Skipping Towards Gomorrah, Dan Savage eviscerates the right-wing conservatives as he commits each of the Seven Deadly Sins himself (or tries to) and finds those everyday Americans who take particular delight in their sinful pursuits. Among them:
Combine a unique history of the Seven Deadly Sins, a new interpretation of the biblical stories of Sodom and Gomorrah, and enough Bill Bennett, Robert Bork, Pat Buchanan, Dr. Laura, and Bill O'Reilly bashing to more than make up for their incessant carping, and you've got the most provocative audiobook of the fall.
©2002 Dan Savage (P)2013 Audible Inc.
Okay, let's start of by admitting that I'm an absolute Savage Fan. The thought process that went into buying this book was "Oh, there's a new book by Dan Savage available? I'd better pre-order it!!!"
And while the notion of exploring the seven deadly sins might seem a little... gratuitous... and might seem to serve only to promote Mr. Savage as a shameless hedonist trying to tear down the walls of decency.... okay, let's not kid ourselves. That's what it is, and that's what he is.
But... the entire point of the book is that our notions of "sin" and "decency" need to be re-evaluated, and there's nothing wrong with a little shameless hedonism. Not only that, but he doesn't go in the directions you'd expect.
For example, for Pride he talks about the Pride Parades... and whether he thinks they're relevant anymore. This is actually one of the two points I disagree with him on-- I think their meaning has changed and they are totally relevant.
I also did not think that "firing a gun" served well as Wrath-- it was more of a platform for him to attack the second amendment. And I'll freely admit I'm one of those people who gets bitchy when you attack the second amendment, and that it's my main complaint with Mr. Savage. This a review, not a rebuttal, so I'll just leave it at "if you're like me on the second amendment, you will have objections." Well, and I'll add that his perspective is still worth reading.... I certainly don't think he's wrong about every point he makes, I just think he doesn't accurately represent the views he's opposing (which is as much the fault of the NRA as his).
As always, the author is inappropriate, but as I believe he has said himself-- just inappropriate enough to get the job done. The books is, at different points, thought provoking, insightful, informative, outrageous... and real.
I'm very glad he read it himself-- it always irritates me when books by talented speakers are read by others.
That being said, there were some production issues; at several points he stops and starts a sentence over-- perfectly understandable, but should have been edited out.
If you haven't read a Dan Savage book, or listened to his podcast, or read his column, this is probably not the place to start.
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
With tongue in cheek, Dan Savage shows himself to be a committed hedonist. He rails against the conservative rants of the 3Bs, William Bennett, Robert Bork, and Pat Buchanan by celebrating the seven sins of humankind—Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Greed, and Sloth.
All seven sins are lampooned and coveted with delight. Savage views pride in the light of a Gay Pride parade, envy in a man’s lust for another’s lover, gluttony in a fellow gourmand, lust among consenting sexual partners, anger in the terror of 9/11, greed in the desire for more of everything, and sloth in the use of drugs.
Pursuit of hedonism, contrary to Savage’s argument, may be harmful to others, but more significantly, happiness is always qualified and ephemeral. Sin is a part of the human condition but pursuit of it is a fool’s predilection. Americans are not "Skipping Towards Gomorrah"; i.e. Americans, like all human beings, are what they are, and do what they do–humans live, experience, and die, rarely knowing or understanding happiness.
Yawn! Really, get off the soap box and do something else. The diatribes were senseless and repetitive.
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."
Taking on the "Moral Majority," who can't see a natural disaster, political tragedy, or fallen ice cream cone without tracing it back to gay marriage, Dan travels the country trying to exploit all seven deadly sins. It brings him back to the subject of happiness and the pursuit of it. Are we to give up the Bill of Rights because the finger waggers see sin at every juncture?
This is laugh-out-loud funny, while encouraging everyone, if no harm is being done, to mind their own beeswax.
"Skipping Towards Gomorrah" is a wickedly funny experiment. Part travelogue, part polemic, and part philosophy, Dan's a perfect partner in sin.
Loved it. This book reminded me what a great country the US of America is & why what we have today is the best it's ever been. Travel across an ocean for a good couple of weeks or more & like anything else you won't miss it till it's gone. The only thing i disagree with Dan is guns. Hand guns are for more than just killing people. I keep a sidearm when i go hunting as well. I've had other fellow hunters have close calls from wild animals & a hand gun saved their lives. (side note: another reason i love this country is i can hunt my own food, not trust some greedy business to inject my meat with crap, process & package my food, by ways i dont know, in a pretty package at a store with a happy chicken or cow on it. Farmed animals for meat are not happy from the day they were born.) So i will keep and fight for my guns. Police can not always be relied on and excellent food is not bought in grocery stores. (Another side note: thank hunters for wild life preservation lands. The money we spend to hunt goes to wild life conservation. Keeping people out and letting nature be nature. Just read about the millions spent because of us on restoring land destroyed by people. We love animals more than most & most of us will only shoot at an animal if we know it will be a good clean ethical kill)
He reads it himself. That by itself is worth an extra star or two. I'd have given it five stars for story either way.
I'm sure you could get as much data into a good blog post, but this is waxing poetic and going deep on some experiences that a lot of people will never try themselves, maybe they should, maybe they shouldn't, either way this is worth a listen.
Yes! Open your mind and listen. You don't have to agree.
You may be pissed you will probably laugh or maybe be confused yet most of all will be smiling all the way through. This is a smart listen book where straight, right, middle or left will do something great. Help you think... a solid imho must listen! Thank you Dan and Audible.com.
This is what kills addicts of all kinds. Holy cow, did I really pay money to hear this drivel?
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