Emily's Reviews > The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family

The Commitment by Dan Savage
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's review
Sep 25, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: lovely-non-fiction, hersday-book-club, 2008
Read in November, 2008

** spoiler alert ** My latest selection is The Commitment Dan Savage. To be upfront and honest, I should state at the beginning that I love Dan Savage. I’ve read his column every week for over 10 years and I’ve listened to every single one of his podcasts as well. Plus, when I was a freshman in college, I went and saw one of his lectures. I read one of his earlier books, The Kid, when it first came out. When I was in high school, Dan Savage was a beacon of light for one of my best friends, who was in the closet, and terrified of what would happen when he eventually came out. Needless to say, I’m a big fan of his. Which means, this review is more than likely tainted by my love for him, and my final score should probably be halved to account for it.

The Commitment is a memoir of marriage. It tells the journey in which Dan and his boyfriend Terry decide to marry or to get tattoos commemorating their 10 year anniversary. From family vacations, and family pressures, to their son being totally opposed to the idea, the book presents what I believe is an honest portrayal of gay families in the United States.

- Dan talks about his grandparents’ marriage, but not the end of his parents’ marriage. – Minus 3

- The hotel room scene in South Dakota/Iowa (I can’t remember now) – absolute hilarity and totally something that you can picture happening to any parent – Plus 3

- Surprise ending for me. I read his column weekly, and listen to his podcast, and I was still surprised. – Plus 2

- Super quick read. I read it over Thanksgiving weekend and I didn’t even have to try that hard to finish it. – Plus 2

- I’ve said it before, I genuinely enjoy reading books that take place in Seattle and mention specific places. Authentic Seattle is awesome. Way better than generic Hollywood version (better known as Vancouver BC). I loved that I know where Re-bar is, and know all about Dan’s annual Valentine’s Day party. – Plus 2

- I liked the mini update on DJ’s mom. I read The Kid, about half a dozen years ago, and I appreciated that he took the time to update readers on how her life had progressed since giving up DJ for adoption. – Plus 3

- I did not dig the fake ending. Lame parlor trick. – Minus 3

- It was bittersweet reading this book with so much of Dan’s mom knowing that she passed away this spring. It was also bittersweet reading this novel so soon after Prop 8 passing in California. – Neutral

- The Mad Clipper … totally reminds me of my Grandmother sending me comics in the mail when I was a kid. Of course, her return address was usually hers, unlike Dan’s mom. – Plus 2

- While I’m completely used to Dan’s vocabulary and blunt use of sexual language, it could certainly throw some readers. If you’re not sure what you’re getting into, it could be a surprise. – Minus 2

Final total … 6 – not nearly as biased as I expected. But I held back ;)


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Reading Progress

11/25/2008 page 35

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