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Drama Kings: The Men Who Drive Strong Women Crazy Paperback – Bargain Price, October 17, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Based on interviews with 100 middle-class women, Heyn (The Erotic Silence of the American Wife) explores yet another classification of dysfunctional males. Drama Kings are defined as men who have remained "[s]tuck in a my-needs-come-first understanding of relationships." According to the author, women are getting stronger while Drama Kings, afraid of attachment and commitment, create scenes that sabotage intimacy. Heyn presents four categories of these losers, but their descriptions sound like old complaints about men forced into new packaging. The Visitor is a loner who believes "the way to a woman's heart is through her genitals." The Proprietor is a jealous bully who demands constant attention. In contrast, the Easy-going Guy makes up fake girlfriends in order to avoid moving forward in a relationship. The Hit and Run Lover pretends to want closeness, but leaves without warning if there is the smallest problem. Heyn's upbeat message is that, although women can be tricked by Drama Kings, they often leave them, emerging stronger from the encounter and ready for an independent life. Self-help devotees may be engaged by the author's anecdotal style, but her stance that she is writing a feminist text to support strong women rather than a simple relationship guide is not fully convincing .
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Strong women, beware. You are more susceptible than most to the advances of the so-called "drama kings"—men for whom relationships always devolve into melodrama and rob the strength of the women involved. Heyn presents a compelling portrait of the five types of drama kings—toxic personalities and all."
—The San Francisco Chronicle "Ms. Heyn has a keen nose for social change. She has detected a plague of drama kings and records their pernicious attributes so that wary women can spot them in time and bar the door."—The New York Times "Heyn probes a new trend: women who value independence and personal fulfillment above domesticity and wifely duty. Heyn describes take-charge women’s changing expectations of what a relationship should be." —Psychology Today
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (October 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594865302
  • ASIN: B001G8WMMO
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,596,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dalma Heyn is the author of number of bestselling books: The Erotic Silence of The American Wife;  Marriage Shock: The Transformation of Women into Wives; and Drama Kings: The Men Who Drive Strong Women Crazy; and most recently, she is the co-author, with her husband Richard Marek, of A Godsend: A Love Story For Grownups. Her books have been published worldwide and translated into 34 languages.

Dalma Heyn is a psychotherapist, a speaker, and a passionate advocate for women. Her books investigate the deepest places in our culture and our psyches to reveal the truth of women's experience, rather than reporting on how their experience is interpreted or judged.  Dalma listens to  women, rather than to what experts, or the culture, say about women.  Readers feel the difference.

In Dalma's own words: "For many years I've written books in which women express their deepest feelings about the tricky and often paralyzing negotiation between intimacy and self; between pleasure and pleasing. My books, both nonfiction and fiction, look at an evolving culture and its new choices for women; and the evolving women who are expressing a bold new vision for the place of love, marriage, spirituality and accomplishment in their lives."

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By amba on November 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I've always believed that one's sharpest criticisms of others are really truest of oneself, and the previous reviewer of this book, Ellie Reasoner, provides a comic example of that. She said that DRAMA KINGS "set off to validate its own agenda and that's what it did." But, actually, that's what SHE did. It looks like she decided in advance what kind of book this is and then didn't bother to read it. Because actually, Dalma Heyn quite agrees with Reasoner. She doesn't remotely "expect a relationship to contain no flaws," she's not recommending trying to "change the behavior of any man," she doesn't claim that ALL men are "Drama Kings," and her bottom line, too, is, "if he's a jerk, get out of the relationship . . . ditch and move on." If you're in your 30s or 40s, strong, independent, eager to be interdependent, and DATING, you'll run into a lot of "drama kings" simply because that's what's left out there. There are plenty of great men, but naturally they're almost all taken!

To me, Heyn's work is oxygen. It's the only place I know where I can still find, in utterly contemporary form, the exhilaration I felt at the very beginning of feminism -- before it got all militant and strident and dogmatic, when it was just pure discovery, and recognition, and expression of the paralyzingly inexpressible. When it was spell-unbinding.

Heyn's first two books were about the mysterious loss of self that women in the 1980s and '90s still often experienced in their relationships with men, especially in marriage. "Marriage Shock" was about the asexual domesticity and dependency that could descend on a vital, independent young woman at the altar or soon after, and its roots in a long-ago historical moment when women's very survival came to depend on pleasing a man.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Antimony3 on February 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
At first, I really thought this was going to be a great book. The female author has a great tone and tongue and cheeek way of writing but...its just "okay". It is not deserving of all of the 5-star reviews that I see on here. In a nutshell, "Drama Kings" does not provide enough info on how to identify this behavior or how to disengage yourself from such an individual. Some reviewers seem to think that contents of this book are groundbreaking -- hardly. This book is about commitment-phobic men. It is material that has been covered in a hundred or so other books. This book would be good for a book club reading as it will definitely provoke discussion, however if you are really interested in this topic, I would strongly recommend reading "Men Who Can't Love" by Steven Carter & Julia Sokol.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Judith A. Miles on November 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
"Drama Kings: The Men Who Drive Strong Women Crazy" by Dalma Heyn is a great "can't put down" read, albeit a potentially uncomfortabe one for those women who are currently involved with and feel stuck in a relationship with someone who manifests the signs of a Drama King. Regardless of one's status, I believe that most, if not all women, will recognize the various syndromes, unfortunately, because they no doubt have experienced

the confusion and disappointments that accompany a relationship with a Drama King, regardless of type.

And, while delving into these issues may be neither a welcome or a pleasant diversion (far easier to just ignore the Drama King signs and hunker down with the familiar), the theories set forth in the book will give any woman with some intelligence a wake-up call in terms of evaluating her own dissatisfaction and what she can do to transform it into something positive, which for the healthy woman with self-esteem most likely would lead to termination of the relationship and moving on, whether as an independent, self-sufficient person or in a relationship with a more highly evolved man.

The book may be revolutionary in it analyses but, notwithstanding the discomfort it may potentially create, the read is well worth the effort, regardless of what a woman may elect to do in the future. In my own view, I think that Drama Kings should be read by every young woman about to embark on a relationship because it will give her the appropriate tools with which to assess a potential relationship as well as by those women who are frustrated in their attempts to make their current relationships more satisfying and meaningful. Hopefully, it will become a classic among womens' literature.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on February 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Ohmygosh, this book should be a class for high school girls, to save them tears and years of grief. Guys could learn from it as well, on what constitutes a "normal" relationship.

Who among us hasn't said, "She's so terrific--what what's she doing with HIM?"

Dalma Heyn has written a well-researched book about those men who come on like the "perfect man," but within months, the strong women that they have picked start to get it. These men always pick strong women because she is part of his self-fulfilling prophecy.

The book is divided into five Drama King types with stories from women the author has counseled or interviewed. The Kings are:

#1 The Visitor (comes but never really settles in--the guy who shows up for sex but never stays for intimacy);

#2 The Proprietor (who takes over, becomes possessive, etc.);

#3 The Easygoing Guy (EEG) who is fun to be with, to a point;

#4 The Hit-and-Run Lover (needs no explanation); and

#5, the Feeling-Impaired Guy (FIG), who cannot express an emotion, even if his sex life depended on it.

The single women they pick are very smart and successful--many too busy to have a full-time relationship, so initially these guys are a perfect fit.

These men are smart, cunning and calculating--and at the same time out of control of their emotions. Each King kind leaves his strong woman--and always for a reason that "fits his type."

These men are wounded and damaged, and ladies remember, it's not your job to heal them. They lack the heartbreaking ability to be what the woman wants him to be--and that is usually someone else's fault.

Each chapter ends with Tell Tale Signs; Myths About...; Why You Were Taken in; and What You Learned from Him.
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