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The Lover's Dictionary

Levithan, David

Book - 2011
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
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.

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0374193681
Branch Call Number: Fiction
Characteristics: 211 p. ; 20 cm


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Jan 30, 2015

Levithan is an author who likes to explore the limits of traditional narrative styles. This book tells a love story in a nonlinear dictionary format. The words and definitions paint a picture of a relationship and all its ups and downs, and the results are surprisingly powerful.
Recommended by A.H., Seville Library, MCDL

Jul 09, 2014
  • CenturysEnigma rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

David Levithan's format of using dictionary phrases was a fresh way to intrigue readers. I loved looking up new words and then pondering about how the words related to the story line. While the lack of names, dates, and chronology was a bit confusing, I was still hooked!

Jun 19, 2014
  • lbarkema rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

In my opinion, this was exceptionally well-written. You can easily read this book within an hour and even though each entry may only be a few sentences, Levithan knows how to pack a punch within each one. Beautiful. A very creative and unique way to tell a love story. Highly recommended.

Jun 13, 2014

NYPL Staff Pick
Two lovers live out the story of their relationship through short dictionary excerpts written in provocative and captivating prose, providing a visceral look at love.
- Selection Team

Oct 26, 2013
  • jorbenton rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I really enjoyed this book! It's definitely a different type of read but I found it worth it! Would recommend it!

Aug 23, 2013
  • trishhh17 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This book is more likely written in a dictionary format. There's a word and a little bit of story about the character's life. If you like a story that have different characters in it, have a plot with a real story and written in chronological order this would not be the book for you.

Aug 16, 2013
  • Pyrophilic rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

There wasn't much of a plot (well, I could sense one sort of, but it's the sort where you have to piece it together), but it was still a good book to pass the time with. And yes, the ending was a bit abrupt.

Apr 05, 2013
  • cheesecake1357 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Amazingly written. I did not know you could write a beautiful story out of order like that. Inspired me so much, I have got to get my own copy!

Feb 19, 2013
  • AKesek rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Loved this book! It was a quick read but I could really relate to the story. Also, Levithan put feelings I've had into words. I loved this book so much that I'm going to buy a copy of my own and look into other works by the author.

Jan 04, 2013
  • ChocolateChips rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I always enjoy the way David Levithan presents different facets of a story and leaves it to the reader to piece them together. A sweetly sad, poignant read.

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Sep 25, 2014

hmunshi19 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jun 26, 2012
  • meechelledeeiaz rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

meechelledeeiaz thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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Jun 26, 2012
  • meechelledeeiaz rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

blemish, n.

The slight acne scars. The penny-sized, penny-shaped birthmark right above your knee. The dot below your shoulder that must have been from when you had chicken pox in third grade. The scratch on your neck-- did I do that?

This brief transcript of moments, written on the body, is so deeply satisfying to read.


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