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The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family Paperback – September 26, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“As funny as David Sedaris’s essay collections, but bawdier and more thought-provoking.” —Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)
“Most of all, a book about creating and appreciating family.” —Seattle Times
“I think America would be a better place if everyone on every side of the gay marriage debate would read this book.” —Ira Glass, host of the public radio show This American Life
“The strongest argument here, which [Savage] brilliantly plays down, is that family means everything to these people: married, not married, blended, gay, straight, whatever.” —The Washington Post
Top Customer Reviews
Part introspective memoir, and part tirade against dinosaur-minded virtuecrats currently behind the wheel in Washington D.C., "The Commitment" is at all times an energetic wake-up call questioning just what it is that drove eleven (mostly) red states to pass "anti-gay marriage" Constitutional amendments last November. Savage is strongly in favor of gay marriage in general, while not sure whether he himself wants to marry. This give the book the dimensions it needs to succeed.
The best chapters are "Blue", in which Savage looks at the current political state of this country, while casting a hopeful eye at nearby Canada; and "Two Moments of Transcendent Bliss". Followers of Savage will know that he and Terry jointly adopted a son who is now a skateboarding metalhead 6 year-old. In this latter chapter, Savage has to explain to his son what it is to be gay, and what it is to be married. If you can't make it through that chapter without being swayed by the pro-marriage argument, then none of the rest of this book is going to work for you.
I'll admit that while I'm something of a left-winger, my views have never swayed as far to the left as the death-to-Israel politics of NYC's alternative weekly "The Village Voice", where I first discovered the "Savage Love" column. I also had no strong opinion on gay marriage until last year, when I took sides during the run-up to the Presidential election. By the end of "The Commitment", I did have to question why I remained undecided on the issue for so long.
Savage's writing is 100% partisan and 100% persuasive, and he is most certainly not one of (to quote another recent partisan screed) one of the 100 people ruining America.
My son is two and it can be incredibly frustrating and sad listening to these Bible Thumping Red State Imbeciles spouting just plain lies in the name of Jesus to create a political victory. Luckily this book was a reminder that regardless of what careless and nasty things have been said or will continue to be said about gays and their rights to marriage and children, love is ultimately what makes a family. Love makes a commitment, and sometimes that's loud enough to drown out all the other white noise.
Here, the back-stories of his relatives and their marriages or lack of them are moderately interesting. There are a few anti-religious-right rants that go on too long, but only a few. It's the conversations between Dan and his boyfriend and their son, in all their crankiness and irrationality, that make this book stand out. It really comes into its own in the last couple of chapters, which had me laughing out loud.
It's great to read a book by someone who cares deeply about gay rights, yet can make fun of the part of himself that wants to get married in order to make people take his "Big Gay Love" seriously. He's confident enough to be honest, and that makes his book fresh and entertaining.
First, I've already read the book and liked it. Then, I checked out the audiobook from my library, out of curiousity, and it very nearly ruined the book for me altogether.
Dan Savage has a distinctive voice and I enjoy listening to him. It's gentle and soft, but coarse and tough in funny, ironic, wry and unexpected ways.
On the other hand, reader Paul Michael Garcia sounds nothing like Savage and - sorry - comes across sounding just like a boring old stereotype. I'm not saying he's gay but he sure SOUNDS the way a sitcom would cast a typical gay guy, and the words "my boyfriend" just don't sound the same coming out of his mouth as they do from Savage's.
I gave this a good long listen, hoping the voice would grow on me, but it just grew more and more cloying, like some weird kind of identity theft, as this reader tried to relate to the often-bizarre events of Savage's life (his boyfriend's dog's accident, surgery, and later handicaps, for example).
I listen to a lot of audiobooks, and the readers are usually excellent and well-matched with their material. In this case, however, I found the combination utterly woeful and ultimately, unlistenable.
I suppose Savage had to give his approval to this book at some point, but I'm not sure how when it sounds just like an imposter has appropriated his words. Sorry, but I just didn't like it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well written tale of contemporary gay life in America. Witty, funny, yet poignant.Published 4 months ago by Steven Mirman
I liked this book. Dan Savage is a pretty good author that has great voice and interesting life experiences. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Spencer P.
This is an unhappy mix of political pontification and autobiography. Dan Savage is an excellent writer, and I don't object to his decision to use his own wedding ceremony as a... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Ryan Mease
This was a great follow up to Dan Savage's previous book about adopting his son. I liked it very much, but The Kid is still my fav.Published 18 months ago by Elizabeth Heimler
Fun book and Dan has an effortless writing style. I will be reading his other books.Published 23 months ago by LM