Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish: A Novel is the final work of the great, late David Rakoff. Rakoff, openly gay, was a frequent contributor to NPR’s This American Life. He died last August at the age of 47 after a long battle with cancer.
Though he wrote several nonfiction books, this is his first novel. It tells the story of several unrelated characters who are linked by acts of generosity or cruelty. Rakoff tackles a number of big themes in the book, including those implied by the title, as well as sexual orientation, sexism, and AIDS. But here’s the twist: The whole thing is written in rhyming couplets. The affect: absolute hilarity. It sounds weird, we know, but the book totally works. It is a bittersweet parting gift from a writer who will be sorely missed.