21 March 2011

The Lover's Dictionary, by David Levithan

I was intrigued by the idea; it's kind of like Barthes' Lover's Discourse, except in dictionary form. Each page is a word, and then a little anecdote that defines the word in the context of the narrator's relationship with his girlfriend (who, as we learn, cheats on him, apparently leading to their break-up). It's a clever idea, and some of the entries are apt and even poignant observations about love/relationships, but overall, the book didn't do much for me. I think it's mostly that too much of it seemed cliche or just not all that compelling. Also, it doesn't really bring the relationship to life, or give you a good sense of the characters, aside from the narrator being somewhat insecure and his girlfriend being a bit of a drunk. It's a quick read - I completed it in an hour - but overall, not really worth it, sad to say.

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