Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish

Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish

Hardback

By (author) David Rakoff

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  • Publisher: Image Books
  • Format: Hardback | 113 pages
  • Dimensions: 147mm x 206mm x 18mm | 227g
  • Publication date: 16 July 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 038553521X
  • ISBN 13: 9780385535212
  • Illustrations note: colour illustrations, frontispiece
  • Sales rank: 49,361

Product description

From the incomparable David Rakoff, a poignant, beautiful, witty, and wise novel in verse whose scope spans the twentieth century Through his books and his radio essays for NPR's "This American Life," David Rakoff has built a deserved reputation as one of the finest and funniest essayists of our time. Written with humor, sympathy, and tenderness, this intricately woven novel proves him to be the master of an altogether different art form. LOVE, DISHONOR, MARRY, DIE, CHERISH, PERISH leaps cities and decades as Rakoff sings the song of an America whose freedoms can be intoxicating, or brutal. The characters' lives are linked to each other by acts of generosity or cruelty. A daughter of Irish slaughterhouse workers in early-twentieth-century Chicago faces a desperate choice; a hobo offers an unexpected refuge on the rails during the Great Depression; a vivacious aunt provides her clever nephew a path out of the crushed dream of postwar Southern California; an office girl endures the casually vicious sexism of 1950s Manhattan; the young man from Southern California revels in the electrifying sexual and artistic openness of 1960s San Francisco, then later tends to dying friends and lovers as the AIDS pandemic devastates the community he cherishes; a love triangle reveals the empty materialism of the Reagan years; a marriage crumbles under the distinction between self-actualization and humanity; as the new century opens, a man who has lost his way finds a measure of peace in a photograph he discovers in an old box--an image of pure and simple joy that unites the themes of this brilliantly conceived work. Rakoff's insistence on beauty and the necessity of kindness in a selfish world raises the novel far above mere satire. A critic once called Rakoff "magnificent," a word that perfectly describes this wonderful novel in verse.

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Author information

David Rakoff was the" New York Times" bestselling author of the books "Fraud," "Don't Get Too Comfortable," and "Half Empty." A two-time recipient of the Lambda Literary Award and winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor, he was a regular contributor to "This American Life." He died in August 2012 at the age of forty-seven, shortly after finishing this book.

Review quote

"Suffused with joyful invention. Readers may come to the book to pay their respects, but they will leave rejuvenated by the splendor of the warmth and wordplay. Composed a hand-span's distance from death, it feels death-defying....irrepressibly funny, and even strangely uplifting, in jubilant verse....If this book must serve as his memorial, it's at least as life-affirming as any that a writer has left behind" --"Wall Street Journal " "Sly, bravura....a marvel of gamesmanship, Mr. Rakoff describes hardship, illness, death and depravity, knowing how ingeniously his book's style and substance would fight each other....gift for balancing truth telling and humor....future readers can turn to this book to remember why he was so widely appreciated and is sorely missed" --Janet Maslin, "The New York Times " "The literary rhythm captures the steady momentum of American progress....poignant....beautiful and melancholy....with a final image that made my eyes well up....funny and heartbreaking and, like Rakoff himself, not easy to forget" --"Entertainment Weekly," A "Ingenius, delicately haunting.....probing, poignant, and wickedly funny....illuminate[s] the many stages of life" --"O Magazine " "Reading the new novel in verse by David Rakoff, you can hear his voice again, wordy, so witty, a little worried, and always wise.....His mordant humor, his compassionate vision, his moral questioning, his sharp honesty, they're all intimately wedded to the meter and the zestful diction of the book.....But the new direction he takes in "Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish" brings out the best in him, too, as he fits his voice into a tighter form without ever becoming a slave to that form. He is as vital, as blackly comic, as bursting forth with detail, as vernacular, and as poignant in metered verse as he is in his effortlessly long prose sentences. Each couplet here equally serves the structural rules, the story, and Rakoff's matchl