Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish: A Novel, by David Rakoff.
I first met David Rakoff (so to speak) through This American Life. His piece in “The Invisible Made Visible” episode (which I saw not-live in a movie theater) was just… there are no words. It has stuck with me constantly, and when his book came out last year I vowed to read it. It took me a while to get around to it, but I’m glad I did.
This is a novel told in verse. I’ve never really done well with poetry, with following simultaneously the story and the meter and the deeper meaning. About halfway through Rakoff’s book, I started reading it out loud, and it made such a difference. I wonder if I would enjoy poetry more if I always read it aloud? I wonder how much I can read aloud without feeling stupid? (Rakoff’s book is very short, and at least I had the dogs for an audience. They seemed rapt.)
I was always surprised by the way the stories intertwined and the way he worked the language so naturally. On the list for the year: other books by Rakoff. Morbid sidenote: this plays nicely into my “completionist” compulsion… I can read all of his books, knowing there won’t be any more.