Wednesday, 26 December 2012

The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan


'The Lover's Dictionary'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.

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.'

This book is told through definitions, so it was extremely quick to get through. I enjoyed the concept of the book, the writing was faultless, and the way that David Levithan built up descriptions of characters that we don't even know the name of very witty and creative.

However, as much as I enjoyed the above aspects of the book, and as much as it was so different from anything I have ever read before, I didn't love the book as much as I hoped to. The picture of the characters that were built up was done very well, but it didn't lead to me becoming particularly attached to them. I ended up seeing them as objects, rather than people would I could ever empathise with or feel for.

I also felt as if the structure of the novel was a bit hap-hazard and never felt immersed in the story at any point throughout the book, which was a shame, as the writing was so reflective and artistic.

Overall, I gave The Lover's Dictionary 3/5 stars. It was an enjoyable read and the concept was very unique, but it just didn't really work as a novel for me.

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