Book-a-week, week 8

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.


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