Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Ex-Boyfriend's Handbook: Not-so-Chick Lit

The Ex-Boyfriend's Handbook, by Matt Dunn
My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

I don't know why I did it...read this book, that is. It caught my eye at the library, and I was interested in the British setting (Brighton) and a supposedly "chick lit" type of story written by a man. As I've said before, I don't like the term "chick lit," because I find that title denigrating to novels written by and for women. However, it is a certain type of genre, and this novel fits into that category. My husband says I should call it "dick lit." I like it. :)

Here's the plot in a nutshell:
  • Nice, overweight-and-out-of-shape, and somewhat clueless doormat Edward's girlfriend of 10 years, Jane, moves out and leaves behind a note saying she's off to Tibet for 3 months.
  • Edward determines to reinvent himself during the time Jane is away. He's assisted by his ethics-lacking, philandering, and shallow friend Dan...who is really not very nice to Edward (or other people). 
  • In addition to makeovers to his wardrobe, flat, car, and lifestyle, he starts working out with a cute, peppy trainer named Sam (female).
  • Edward works for an IT recruiting firm, and his boss sleeps with her clients to get new business and treats him like crap. Really? Talk about a stereotype of a successful businesswoman. We're not all like Anna Wintour.
  • Of course, we don't ever really understand why in fact Edward wants Jane back or why he is friends with Dan.
You can guess where this story goes. It wasn't horrific, but when I dove into my next book (Faith by Jennifer Haigh, which I'm almost finished with), I realized how much I wasted my time on this one.

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