Showing posts with label David Levithan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Levithan. Show all posts

Monday, March 5, 2012

Impressions: The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan

I read The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan in February for my Internet Book Club. I mainly enjoyed it for two reasons: it has a unique format as it is a story told in dictionary format, and the story itself becomes so compelling as it moves along that I needed to find out how it ended.

There are other positives to the story as well, the prose is quite engaging at times, after all this book is all about "words" and their significance -- not necessarily the meaning of words, but the significance that particular words have for the narrator of the story. There were words that stood out for me, and you can see a few of them here. Of course, as I read along others were added to that list.

It was also of particular interest to me that although there are a couple of entries that are deceiving in their meaning, the gender of the parties in this story is never clarified, and as I read along it became clear to me that the author purposely cultivates gender inclusion by keeping the reader out of balance and uncertain in that respect. "You" and "I."

There is a disjointed sense to the story as Levithan uses a non-linear first person narration, and realistically the reader does not find the end to the story at the end of the physical book. The jumping back and forth between what the reader imagines is the present, the past, or what could possibly be the past, can be disorienting at times.

The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan is a quick, fast paced book. It has some beautiful prose in places with a story that keeps the reader going, and although there are some gorgeous romantic passages in the story be warned that there is also that touch of reality that places this book firmly into the fiction category. Interestingly enough although the format is quite unique, for me, the author walked a fine line. I could not make up my mind about that aspect of it, particularly because the result was that disjointed narration I mention above. However the positives do outweigh my concerns, and in the end I was left with an overall feeling of having enjoyed a good, solid read.

Internet Book Club
February Read
Category: Fiction (Romantic)
Series: None
Publisher/Released: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux/ January 4, 2011
Grade: B

Visit David Levithan here.

ETA: Our Internet Book Club  March Read will be Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones. :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Reading: The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan

A sweet and touching modern love story, told through dictionary entries

How does one talk about love? Do we even have the right words to describe something that can be both utterly mundane and completely transcendent, pulling us out of our everyday lives and making us feel a part of something greater than ourselves? Taking a unique approach to this problem, the nameless narrator of David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary has constructed the story of his relationship as a dictionary. Through these short entries, he provides an intimate window into the great events and quotidian trifles of being within a couple, giving us an indelible and deeply moving portrait of love in our time.

Some favorite entries so far:

ardent, adj.
It was after sex, when there was still heat and mostly breathing, when there was still touch and mostly thought... it was as if the whole world could be reduced to the sound of a single string being played, and the only thing this sound could make me think of was you. Sometimes desire is air; sometimes desire is liquid. And every now and then, when everything else is air and liquid, desire solidifies, and the body is the magnet that draws its weight.
basis, n.
There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you’re in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself.

If the moment doesn’t pass, that’s it—you’re done. And if the moment does pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it’s even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lover’s face.
beguile, v.
It's when you walk around the apartment in my boxers when you don't know I'm awake. And then that grin, when you do know I'm awake. You spend so much time in the morning making sure every hair is in place. But I have to tell you: I like it most like this, haphazard, sleep strewn, disarrayed.
candid, adj.
  "Most times, when I'm having sex, I'd rather be reading."
   This was, I admit, a strange thing to say on a second date. I guess I was just giving you warning.
  "Most times when I'm reading," you said, "I'd rather be having sex."