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Okay, let's start of by admitting that I'm an absolute Savage Fan. The thought process that went into buying this book was "Oh, there's a new book by Dan Savage available? I'd better pre-order it!!!"
And while the notion of exploring the seven deadly sins might seem a little... gratuitous... and might seem to serve only to promote Mr. Savage as a shameless hedonist trying to tear down the walls of decency.... okay, let's not kid ourselves. That's what it is, and that's what he is.
But... the entire point of the book is that our notions of "sin" and "decency" need to be re-evaluated, and there's nothing wrong with a little shameless hedonism. Not only that, but he doesn't go in the directions you'd expect.
For example, for Pride he talks about the Pride Parades... and whether he thinks they're relevant anymore. This is actually one of the two points I disagree with him on-- I think their meaning has changed and they are totally relevant.
I also did not think that "firing a gun" served well as Wrath-- it was more of a platform for him to attack the second amendment. And I'll freely admit I'm one of those people who gets bitchy when you attack the second amendment, and that it's my main complaint with Mr. Savage. This a review, not a rebuttal, so I'll just leave it at "if you're like me on the second amendment, you will have objections." Well, and I'll add that his perspective is still worth reading.... I certainly don't think he's wrong about every point he makes, I just think he doesn't accurately represent the views he's opposing (which is as much the fault of the NRA as his).
As always, the author is inappropriate, but as I believe he has said himself-- just inappropriate enough to get the job done. The books is, at different points, thought provoking, insightful, informative, outrageous... and real.
I'm very glad he read it himself-- it always irritates me when books by talented speakers are read by others.
That being said, there were some production issues; at several points he stops and starts a sentence over-- perfectly understandable, but should have been edited out.
If you haven't read a Dan Savage book, or listened to his podcast, or read his column, this is probably not the place to start.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
With tongue in cheek, Dan Savage shows himself to be a committed hedonist. He rails against the conservative rants of the 3Bs, William Bennett, Robert Bork, and Pat Buchanan by celebrating the seven sins of humankind—Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Greed, and Sloth.
All seven sins are lampooned and coveted with delight. Savage views pride in the light of a Gay Pride parade, envy in a man’s lust for another’s lover, gluttony in a fellow gourmand, lust among consenting sexual partners, anger in the terror of 9/11, greed in the desire for more of everything, and sloth in the use of drugs.
Pursuit of hedonism, contrary to Savage’s argument, may be harmful to others, but more significantly, happiness is always qualified and ephemeral. Sin is a part of the human condition but pursuit of it is a fool’s predilection. Americans are not "Skipping Towards Gomorrah"; i.e. Americans, like all human beings, are what they are, and do what they do–humans live, experience, and die, rarely knowing or understanding happiness.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
I was always trying to guess the conclusion of Dans final thoughts on each of the 7 sins. and I'm always wrong. something like this could so easy become cliché. but there. I found the book funny and refreshing.