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Showing 1-10 of 43 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 76 reviews
on July 6, 2013
I'll admit to being a big Dan Savage fan. He is consistently open-minded, balanced and incredibly insightful even when presented with truly unexpected topics. His writing is wickedly funny and insightful as he tells the story of his shockingly traditional non-traditional family life and his growing appreciation for marriage. Terry is a lucky man and DJ is a lucky boy, this is quite a family. This will not disappoint.
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on May 25, 2013
I appreciate Dan Savage a lot. He takes difficult topics that we take for granted as being easy every day-- like relationships. I appreciate how open and honest Dan is about his own life in sharing his philosophies. What I like most is that I walk away from his writing feeling human, humble and peaceful. It's so challenging reading all the various books on commitment and a successful relationship that write unrealistic things like- desiring only your partner, honesty means sharing every detail of your life-- and various things that can be more damaging than healing. Simply put, Dan Savage gives me the courage to be the human that I am and the peace of mind that I am human.
Thanks Dan!!
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on November 1, 2005
If you are like me, you may feel you are already overdosing on the "gay marriage issue", which has apparently replaced "gays in the military" as the hot-button issue for politicians, journalists, talk-show hosts, religious-(not)right bigots and many gay activists. Though I have heard of Dan Savage and read a couple of brief articles of his on Salon.Com, I have not seen his column or previous books, but earlier reviews of this book sparked my interest.

In my opinion, "The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family" should be required reading for anyone, on either "side", who wants to debate the right of same-sex couples to wed. It is an intelligent, realistic and often hillarious first-person account of the author's own experience in reconciling the concept of gay marriage with his own successful relationship with Terry, his partner of ten years, with whom he has adopted a son, "D.J." now six years old. While the author shares the minority opinion that gay couples should be allowed to marry, and supports the limited laws that permit this in Massachusetts, Canada and many foreign countries, he's not quite sure he and Terry would decide to wed. Between his own concerns that it might "jinx" the successful relationship he already has, his partner sees it as gay men "posing" as straights, and his son, a budding "metal head" who, while he loves his "two dads" very much ... and would definitely partake of the cake after the ceremony ... thinks the idea of two men saying "I Do" and kissing is just too "Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww" for his taste.

Enter the Savage family from the south side of Chicago, including Dan's divorced parents (father is a conservative Republican, mother is a liberal who pushes the couple to marry), and his three siblings (straight, but two of the three are "shacking up" without the formality of marriage.) Mix in extensive research on the subject for Dan's column, including details of recent right-wing antigay legislation, as well as viewing the Bravo series on "Gay Weddings" which isn't exactly comforting to someone thinking of having one, and Dan and Terry conclude it might be a better idea to just get matching tatoos, certifying they "belong" to each other. But that didn't work out real well for Angelina Jolie, did it?

Clever and witty, informative and surprisingly fair to all points of view on this sensitive topic, Savage's book is persuasive without being preachy or condescending. The book builds up to the couple's ten year anniversary party, which would be an ideal time for them to marry, if they were so inclined (and which Dan's mother is strongly lobbying in favor of.) The "will they or won't they" makes the latter half of the book a delightful page-turner, with clever touches that make the book especially memorable.

Highly recommended. Also a perfect gift for anyone you feel needs an education on the subject.
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on January 27, 2006
I think it was an earlier book by Mr. Savage that I described as "you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll blow milk out your nose..." but I'd like to use that line again.

Savage is a damn good writer -- ironic, witty, smart, funny, tender, acerbic and eerily moralistic for a man living with another man and writing about sex for a living. Oh well, it's the contradictions that give him depth.

He makes much of the fact that, of his siblings, he's the most traditional. His brothers and sister chide him that, in his family, he's the most prudish among them. And he makes fun of himself because, in his own family of boyfriend and son, he's the stereotypically gay one who cries at weddings and light romantic comedies. What a sap.

Much of the book of course is a meditation on marriage -- a rather recent (12th Century) invention of the Church designed to bind parishioners to their parish -- and why being denied that silly piece of paper makes it seem so much more seductive.

Savage takes predictable jabs at the illogic of so-called "Defense of Marriage" legislation... at adoption forms with spaces for "mother" and for "father"... and at the current administration for packaging their Calvinistic fear of hedonism as a "family value." But he also writes clearly and concisely about the nature of love, the dignity of commitment and the importance of having defensible values in this crazy world.

In the end when you're writing a memoir (as Savage has done 3 times now) it's important to come off as "likable" because otherwise nobody is going to give a poop what you think or feel. To Savage's credit, I have long considered him one of my closest friends even though we've never formally met.
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on July 30, 2010
Not my favorite Savage book, but worth reading after you finish "The Kid". I enjoyed the scenes with his mother on vacation after her "triple" margaritas. I also loved the ones pertaining to his cross-country trip with his spouse and son (worrying about getting bashed for seeming effeminate while walking a little dog--both sad and funny to imagine someone trying to "butch" it up in this situation). There were several memorable scenes now that I think about it. I did laugh aloud at this book, as I do with all writings by this author. Oh, and keep reading after "the end".
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on September 6, 2012
Personally love anything written by Savage, but this book provides fantastic, comical insight into the modern gay-family dynamic and all considerations that come with the mature gay couple. As a mid-twenties gay male, I'm having my parents read this book in effort to get them into a similar frame of reference when it comes to marriage (whether you agree with Savage or not) and what it means to be a modern mature gay male and not a stereotypical city-boy.
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on August 14, 2010
As a recently married, soon-to-be-parent, I have been enjoying Dan Savage's "The Commitment" immensely... Until just now... After page 230 of my Plume edition, Savage's witty, smart text disappears and is replaced with "The Armies of the Night," by Normal Mailer!!! This continues until the end of the book (231-288). So strange, kind of funny, and disappointing, since I was so enjoying the book! I will contact the publisher to alert them of the problem, but was wondering if anyone else has had this bizarre experience.
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on January 29, 2013
Now, granted, I LOVE Dan Savage, even if I don't always agree with him.

Be straight and childless, I found some of the interactions he had with his family, his husband, and especially his son, very interesting and telling. I think it meandered off into excess political rantings a bit much, whereas I found the family interactions much more fascinating. Interesting read.
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on June 24, 2015
I liked this book. Dan Savage is a pretty good author that has great voice and interesting life experiences. If you are willing to over look the time difference it truly is a great book.
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on July 7, 2011
Dan Savage is a wonderful writer that captivates his readers in a mix of politics and the personal. This was a deeply satisfying read, giving many examples of the different commitments couples make in the US these days, thereby creating a fresh vista of the landscape regarding marriage.
I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys the combination of humor, sensitivity, and depth that is always so evident with this author.
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