Skipping Towards Gomorrah
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Skipping Towards Gomorrah

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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  2,315 ratings  ·  195 reviews
According to Dan Savage, it's high time that sinners received equal time. They've been attacked by William Bennett; denounced by Pat Buchanan; demolished by Dr. Laura; and condemned by Bill O'Reilly. Robert Bork pilloried them in Slouching Towards Gomorrah. But in this hilarious, irreverent book, sex-advice columnist Savage turns the tables (and title) on Bork and all his...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published September 30th 2003 by Penguin Group US (first published 2002)
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Trin
Essays on the glory of sin. Savage tackles each sin individually, coming at most of them from interesting and unique angles. For Greed he explores the psychology of gambling, for Lust he talks about swinging; Sloth leads to a discussion of marijuana; Gluttony brings him to a pro-fat conference, Envy to a health spa filled with rich people; Pride becomes an analysis of gay pride; and Anger finds him holding a gun. Each section is full of interesting information and anecdotes, and while Savage doe...more
Punk
Non-fiction. Dan Savage heads out to chase down America's seven deadly sins. After a weak start (the first chapter reads like an angry blog entry), he pulls himself together, and the rest of the book is infinitely more focused and professional. It's funny, well researched and, unlike his grouchy responses to the pilgrims of Savage Love, here he treats people with patience and respect while he travels the country indulging in greed (Vegas), lust (wife-swapping), and gluttony (super-size it) -- ju...more
brook
I highly recommend this book. Dan Savage is the syndicated gay columnist who writes some really funny advice columns. Here, he explores each of the "seven deadly sins" in one of there modern iterations. For example, for "Gluttony," he visits a Fat Admirer (FA) convention in Vegas. It's filled with big, big women, and the men that love them.
For "Lust", he interviews a very well-to-do "normal" couple in, I believe, Chicago. They are married, have kids, white-collar jobs, but are involved in the s...more
Manny
Dan Savage, of Savage Love fame, decides he'll check out the Seven Deadly Sins and give you an updated account. It's interesting and often rather scary; he neither tries to glorify sinful behavior nor condemn it in advance. He just wants to find out the facts for himself, and let you know what he discovered.

He's quite imaginative about picking a good modern example of each sin. His descriptions of the bizarre people who think that extreme obesity is attractive were fascinatingly disgusting, and...more
Naomi
This review is for all of Dan Savage's books. Let me just get this out of the way: I love Dan Savage, I love his podcast, I love his columns, and I love his books.

Dan Savage mixes good old-fashioned common sense, a progressive view of . . . just about everything, a wry sense of humor, and a wicked use of the English language to tell about his coming-out, his adoption of a child and his subsequent marriage to his partner. His books are full of wit and self-deprecating humor. I read the three boo...more
nicebutnubbly
What a fun thing Dan Savage does, here! He does a wee "case study" of each of the seven deadly sins - Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, and Pride - exploring a variety of subcultures, from groups of the morbidly obese to riverboat gamblers as he does it. It's a weirdly memorable book; the way he chooses to look at each "sin" is a little random, but the experiences he has are told in his inimitable style, and some of them really stuck with me. Definitely worth a read; it hasn't dated its...more
Lord Beardsley
Sep 07, 2007 Lord Beardsley rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who want their already existing beliefs confirmed
Shelves: read2007
I don't really feel like I learned anything in particular from this book. It was entertaining at times and at other times sort of tedious and unsurprising. Most of the time, I felt like I'd already read/seen/heard this about a thousand times before.
He had a nice point that we all should stop trying to regulate one another's pleasures and vices and just be. That's a pretty revolutionary thing to say in this day and age (a time of right wingers and left wingers scolding one another while nothing...more
Leonora
This was a funny, original book written by Dan Savage of "Savage Love" fame, the sex column that appears in weekly newspapers like the Village Voice.

The title comes from the title of a right-wing pundit's book, "Slouching toward Gomorrah." The author, who I had never heard of, along with other conservative commentators Savage quotes complain that America is on the wrong path and that feminism, homosexuality, pornography, gambling, etc. are responsible. Since Americans are such sinners in the eye...more
Beth Barnett
A fun and thoughtful book. Savage, the syndicated "Savage Love" sex-advice columnist, takes it upon himself to examine and celebrate the "seven deadly sins" as they are manifested in American culture. He looks into gambling, sexual swingers' culture, attends a convention of a fat acceptance group, smokes pot, shoots some guns, attends a gay pride parade, and even rents "escorts" (to interview them, not for sex). Although not every line of this book is a masterpiece, as a whole it is entertaining...more
Emily W
If you've ever read "Savage Love," the author's weekly sex advice column, you already know that Mr. Savage is the patron saint of What Happens Between Consenting Adults Is Nobody Else's Business. In Skipping Towards Gomorrah, Savage extends that principle beyond the bedroom and into the traditional "seven deadly sins." It's a celebration of indulgence, of people doing whatever the hell they want as long as it doesn't hurt anybody. He's probably preaching to the choir, as I can't imagine anyone r...more
Chris Herdt
I accidentally read this book. I picked it up one morning while drinking my coffee and didn't put it down until I'd finished reading it. I enjoyed the chapters on gluttony and greed the most, I think, but it was entirely entertaining and occasionally insightful.
Ethan
Funny attempt to commit all seven deadly sins, Savage realizes they aren’t all fun, but they are all necessary. Good voice, treads the line well between liberal and whiny.
Kristina Leonard
Largely obnoxious reading, but I finally finished it.....
Bryn
I have a signed copy of this somewhere. Whatever.
Jake
Mar 05, 2010 Jake rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: curious cats, people who've read Peter Sagal's "The Book of Vice"
Recommended to Jake by: Alissa
Shelves: non-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carol
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Antof9
I’m very conflicted as I write my review for this book. Dan Savage is an amazing writer, he makes sense, he’s entertaining, he backs up his information with stats and quotes, and I disagree with him on almost every point he makes!

This book really is a light-hearted look at Savage’s experiences as he makes a concentrated effort to “sin” each of the traditional 7 deadly sins. However, it’s also filled with comments and arguments (well-written ones) promoting his own personal agenda. I found this p...more
Linda
I love Dan Savage. Maybe that's because he's a local boy and totally irreverent. Maybe it's just because he's a superb writer. My guess is both.

This is an older book from 2002 but it wears well in spite of its slightly political nature. Savage decided to "commit" all of the seven deadly sins and write about them. He pinged off Robert Bork's (anybody remember him?) Slouching Towards Gomorrah, which was a takeoff on Joan Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem. Whew!!

Bork's book essentially said that...more
Kaan
I love Dan Savage, and you should love him, too. Like all people who cast positive on what is hegemonically considered negative, Dan Savage has enormous power to be transformative. Never before in my life, and maybe it's just me, have I considered "sinning" a political duty, a noble pursuit. I may have thought so, but only vaguely, and never in the clear terms, "humans sin, and sinning is good for you." The best aspect of this book is Dan, the person: he decided, in writing this book, not to sim...more
Johnny
Jan 27, 2010 Johnny rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kristen
Shelves: nonfiction, humor
Having read Savage's memoir-style books The Kid (about the process of adopting a child with his boyfriend) and The Commitment (about gay marriage) and absolutely loving them--especially the former--I've wanted to read Skipping Towards Gomorrah for a while now. Thanks to my Kindle, when the whim struck me to finally read it, I had it in my hands in 60 seconds!

Skipping Towards Gomorrah is a lot more political than anything else, and Savage has some pretty interesting politics. Many of his ideas le...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
It's a disappointment and required some skimming. This is a "stunt book," actually ahead of its time as a stunt project and a great idea. Savage sets out to commit all seven of the deadly sins, but the idea shows flaws from the start. For Greed he goes gambling, although he admits that gamblers are not greedy. He ignores the Christian interpretation of Sloth. and settles for smoking marijuana, an activity he thinks of as a pleasant waste of time. His best essay is his laceration of the past-its-...more
Chris
America. Here and now, in the first decade of the 21st century, there are those who say that America is on the decline. It's a nation awash in sin and degradation, vice and immorality. Pot smokers, gamblers, homosexuals, feminists, Liberals - oh, those damned Liberals - they're all conspiring to destroy everything that is good and moral about the United States of America, and you - yes, you are letting them do it! Soon this nation that we all love and cherish will be nothing but an opium orgy de...more
Yoriko
Feb 29, 2008 Yoriko rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Yoriko by: Alicia
My next book club book, and I'm looking forward to it!
*******
29Feb08 update:
I finished this book a couple of days ago. It was VERY different from what I'd expected from my previous experience with Dan Savage's writing (Savage Love in The Onion, of course!). It was a lot more personal and political and much less "shock" value oriented. I actually really enjoyed the book -- a very personal set of views of the constitutionally protected individual right to the Pursuit of Happiness, whatever that ha...more
Tristin
This was a fun, quick read. I've always loved Dan Savage's wicked humour and radical leftist shots at the right. The book was researched and published in the shadow of 9-11, and the scary conservative political climate that clouded reason and suppressed debate. Dan's reveling in sin, while in this context, makes it all the more radical. His goal is to commit all 7 deadly sins across America, and a lot of it backfires in ways he didn't expect. He visits a pro-fat conference in hopes of guilt-free...more
jess
Aug 23, 2008 jess rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Insomniacs & Conservatives
Shelves: 2008
I gave Dan Savage the benefit of the doubt, and wrote glowing reviews for The Kid and The Commitment. I tried to read this book, got halfway through, and had to give up. I owe over $1 in late fees on it, I've had it out from the library for a month, and I simply cannot force myself to get through it. I am neglecting important other books by putting myself to sleep with this. I am the sort of person who generally cannot bear to not finish a book, so accepting this is chafing my personal neuroses....more
Jamie Grove
Not going to lie...I'm biased -- I love Dan Savage, and maybe I'm inclined to enjoy this book for that very reason. I only heard of him through watching his MTV series Savage U where he travels to colleges around the nation and gives honest sex advice for the real world and for his recent fiasco of calling a pack of homophobes "pansies." Savage is refreshing...he's honest and straight-forward and tells it like it is.

That being said, I was a little shocked by the sheer one-sided, biased, insult-...more
Mortalform
[The virtuous], so far as we know, derive happiness from things that have been labeled virtues, and hence they are praised for their pursuit of happiness. p 10

"Our virtues are most frequently but vices disguised." La Rochefoucauld p 10

Wether virtue comes easy or the virtuecrat has to do battle with his desires, the virtuous all conspire to for their virtues on us sinners, which is not something sinners do. The existence of the virtuous is not regarded by sinners as a personal threat, nor do sinn...more
Miss Karen Jean Martinson
I liked this book quite a bit, but then again I like Dan Savage quite a bit. I found the chapters on Pride and Gluttony to be VERY interesting. Savage offers a great critique of Pride Festival: that it is much more about having a good gay time than it is about community/youth uplift, despite the fact that everyone always claims community/youth uplift as their reason for participating. Why not just admit it's a huge debauched party and revel in it, suggest Savage. I think he's on the money on thi...more
Marguerite
A partisan book for a partisan audience.
This is a wickedly funny primer about the seven deadly sins from a would-be practitioner. Dan Savage takes on Robert Bork Slouching Towards Gomorrah, William Bennett, Dr. Laura, Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter with a well-reasoned, thoughtful and deliciously illustrated (in words, not photos) examination of American morality and hypocrisy. Savage finds some likable characters in nearly every Sin City he visits, and he tries, with varying degrees of success,...more
L.
If you like William Bennett, Robert Bork or Dr. Laura, I would suggest not bothering with this book. Savage decides to take the Founding Fathers up on the suggestion that we "pursue happiness" and see what kinds of sins we are committing to do so. Sins, that is, as defined by the Seven Deadlies (Greed, Lust, Sloth, Gluttony, Envy, Pride, Anger). He selects the worst example he can come up with in each category and then does his best to throw himself into that milieu. Sometimes it just doesn't wo...more
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Dan Savage is a writer, TV personality, and activist best known for his political and social commentary, as well as his honest approach to sex, love and relationships.

Savage’s sex advice column, “Savage Love,” is syndicated in newspapers and websites throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. He is the Editorial Director of The Stranger, Seattle’s weekly alternative newspaper, and his...more
More about Dan Savage...
The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living Savage Love: Straight Answers from America's Most Popular Sex Columnist

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“The truly revolutionary promise of our nation's founding document is the freedom to pursue happiness-with-a-capital-H. ” 46 likes
“Owning a gun in America is one way for conservative white males to demonstrate their anger at crime, liberalism, feminism, and modernity.” 8 likes
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