The Wedding Beat Review: Sipher’s Beat

Manhattanite Devan Sipher, a writer for the Vows column in the New York Times, has recently published his debut novel The Wedding Beat. Told from the point-of-view of single wedding writer Gaven, The Wedding Beat is a testament to single life in the city, and the process of juggling a heavy workload, while still trying to keep up some sort of love life.

As a single wedding reporter, Sipher’s novel may seem autobiographical, but it is in fact a work of fiction, baring similar resemblances to his own life whilst still maintaining a fantastically entertaining plot. Gaven struggles with various “life-blocks”, which prevent him from finding the love he’s wanted his whole life. Estranged by his heavy workload, his overbearing Jewish parents who often guilt him for still being single in his thirties, and his brother who often finds the easier route to happiness, Gaven is conflicted by his admiration for a Sandra Bullock look-alike named Melinda. The story takes twists and turns making the end of each chapter a cliffhanger that begs to be resolved. Sipher plays the role of a juicer, squeezing out unpredictable conflicts, like when Gaven soon learns he must report on his crush Melinda’s wedding.

The best part about The Wedding Beat is its fast paced writing style. There isn’t a single extra word or sentence lingering within the pages. The often addictive plot is heavily complemented by its efficiency, allowing the reader to blast through the novel in only a day or two, which is great considering that each page holds a lush curlicue, like a highly entertaining television drama on paper.

Sipher will be doing panels at the NYU Bookstore, 726 Broadway, on June 20th at 7p.m., and on August 20th for the 7th Annual Shrinks Are Away Reading on August 1st at McNally Jackson Booksellers, 52 Prince Street.

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