From Publishers Weekly
Someone has to speak up for the sinners, and syndicated sex columnist Savage thinks he's the man to do it. Irritated by proselytizing from "virtuecrats" conservative pundits like Bill O'Reilly and Dr. Laura, Savage argues that whatever consenting adults want to do in the privacy of their own homes is their own business. Smoke pot? Fine. Host an S&M fetish party? Sure. Savage organizes his book into seven chapters, each devoted to one of the deadly sins: greed, lust, sloth, gluttony, envy, pride and anger. Some of these, of course, are more interesting than others. Who wouldn't rather read about lust than sloth? But Savage dutifully does a nice bit of "undercover reporting" for each sin, checking out a swinger's party for "Lust," visiting Las Vegas for "Greed," attending a fat acceptance convention for "Gluttony." He reports that, unsurprisingly, most Americans who indulge their vices are in fact nice, normal people who believe in God, care for their children and pay their mortgage. Therefore, Savage says, the government and the virtuecrats should leave them alone. So far so good. But Savage tends to underestimate the problems raised by overindulgence in the seven deadly sins. "Yes, fat kills people, but we all gotta go sometime," he writes blissfully from the fat acceptance convention, where 600-pound women complain that dieting suggestions are "sizeist." And he doesn't fully recognize the seriousness of gambling addictions: the intense rush he felt after losing $3,000 at blackjack was "worth it." On the whole, however, Savage hits the mark and gives advocates of personal and sexual liberty the hippest, sassiest voice they've had in a long time.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Probably the most read sex columnist in the United States, Savage (The Kid) is also widely regarded as one of the great humorists of our time. Anyone who reads his nationally syndicated "Savage Love" column weekly well knows his power to burst the bubble of the pompous. Even his title is a pop at Robert Bork's jeremiad, Slouching Towards Gomorrah. Here he takes readers on a tour of the country, focusing on the seven deadly sins and their manifestation in our time. From a weight-loss ashram to his arch critique of pot smokers, he uses humor to make a point. These are not merely Keilloresque essays full of whimsy overload; instead, they pack a political punch that will be repugnant to some. His real strength is in blending pungent social commentary with the personal narrative. At least one of these pieces will undoubtedly land in an anthology for future students of the essay. The explicit nature of this book will make it a difficult purchase for many libraries in the age of Ashcroft, but the justifying argument should be made that any library owning Bork's book needs this one as an antidote.David Azzolina, Univ. of Pennsylvania Libs., Philadelphia
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.