"You really should write the cheater's guide to love."
This at times unflattering collection of short stories of past relationships makes for an engaging read. While there are times, as a female reader, where the behaviour of the protagonist irritated me, it is a reflection of just how great the writing is here. Likewise, if anyone were to turn the mirror on themselves in such an honest way, it is unlikely that all that would appear would be sunshine and roses.
The collection of stories brings an immediacy and rawness which is impressive in its no holds barred veracity. My overarching impression was that the author was a great writer, but I’d hate to date him.
Whether his characters are an accurate portrayal of the author’s inner workings is probably a harsh and potentially inaccurate judgement to make, however there is a real sense of the gender divide here between men and women explicitly uncovered. I wonder also if the same sentiments were expressed by a female character, whether it might be easier to swallow. So much of our perspective is coloured by our own inner quibbles.
The fantastically rendered writing saw this novel achieve Finalist status in the 2012 National Book Award (USA).
5 out of 5 blokes tell pork pies.