January 5th, 2014 by Jan

I just finished one of the most challenging, books I’ve ever read.

Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish was a present I received this Christmas. It is written by the late David Rakoff, who I am familiar with through listening to This American Life podcasts.

Only 113 pages, it took me 16 days to read! And I’m talking active reading, I didn’t put it aside and work on other books and then pick it up again after a few days break. Nope – I worked at reading this.

Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish is written in rhyme. Every second line rhymes with the line before it.

It doesn’t take long before I had a sing-song rhythm going on my head as I read, and then realize I’ve lost what is being said in favour of the rhythm and then I’d have to go back, and focus on the story. It took me a bit to understand this is a book about how the characters are linked by cruelty and kindness, including, abuse, Aids, Alzheimer’s and betrayal! Not really the topics that warrants a sing song voice.

Hard as it was to digest both in topic and form; I really loved this book.

Here are two examples of the book. The first just to show the complication of understanding, and the second, because I laughed out loud when I read it and was grateful for a perfect reason to actually have a rhyme!

“I’ll have you remember the girl is my daughter!”
Her mother would yell, but the men of the slaughter-
House would only be goaded to further chest pounding,
Barbaric, in keeping with their vile surrounding:
The drain in the floor, a near-useless feature
Meant to dispatch all the blood of the creature.


She thought of the joke she and Josh used to tell,
Although if fit present conditions too well:
“If all of the money was gone from my life,
Would you still love me?” a man asked his wife.
“Of course,” she replies. “Come here, let me kiss you.
I’ll love you forever, but boy would I miss you!”
I give this book 5 stars!

2 thoughts on “firstbookreportoftheyear

  1. nancy walker

    ***** me too, 5 Stars! I’m in the middle of my 2nd Listening of it on Audiobook. David R. reads it in the last days before his death. I really miss him ~ I know I will listen to it many more times to get all the complexities….


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