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How To Be a Man: A Guide To Style and Behavior For The Modern Gentleman Hardcover – Deckle Edge, April 26, 2011
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“Rather than a list of do’s and don’ts, How to Be a Man is part philosophy treatise, part sartorial self-help manual and part call to arms for the Renaissance man. It’s a clever collection of essays on topics ranging from grooming (‘Man is a Fur-Bearing Mammal’) and accessorizing (‘Jewels and the Man’) to behavior (‘How to Fight Like a Man’) and death (‘How to Exit’), all in prose that’s entertaining and fun to parse.” ~LA Times Magazine
“There are the requisite chapters on how to dress with panache for the occasion, as well as nuggets of humor and wisdom related to socializing, travel, dealing with doctors, dealing with religious people and even getting into fights. ‘Using the appropriate epithet is crucial,’ point out O’Brien.” ~WWD
“But Mr. O’Brien id also versed in design and fashion, the author of the long-running GQ advice column, The Style Guide, as well as a new book, How to Be a Man.” ~New York Times
“How to Be a Man: A Guide to Style and Behavior For the Modern Gentleman is possible the best title for a book I’ve ever seen!” ~Slamxhype
“…I think I’m going to start leaving copies of [it] at bars and restaurants in LA so that locals can get some tips…” ~Champagne and Heels
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Top Customer Reviews
I was a little bit worried about the book after GQ published a teaser for it which distilled some of O'Brien's tips on social politics into a single, awkward article that, stripped of the context of the book, came across as a bit bitchy and shallow. I bought the book anyway and my worries were unfounded. Most of this book should be canonized. As someone discovering for the first time O'Brien's writing beyond the pages of GQ, I was surprised at what a powerful prose stylist he is. Some of the passages are more effusive than others and when he really gets going there's a huge, poetic lift. This is not a superficial book. He really lays out a clear philosophy of living that, at the risk of oversimplifying it, treats manners as a form of deference to the beauty of life - by paying attention to details and expressing ourselves in a thoughtful manner, we are telling the world and its people that we love it enough to take it seriously.
If I had a gripe it would be the numerous redundancies - for instance the fifth time O'Brien tells us who Beau Brummell is, or the seventh time he makes the point that casual dress codes in the workplace have served to blur social status.Read more ›
It is then with both great anticipation and curiosity that we watch as he turns his gaze to the subject of manhood in the newly released volume "How to Be a Man: A Guide to Style and Behavior for the Modern Gentleman." (Rizzoli)
So what is a man in the modern day sense and what does it take to become one?
In O'Brien's view, a man is a person who employs the utmost of style and care when it comes to everything from wardrobe to behavior to the way he exudes his sexuality. O'Brien is a taskmaster when it comes to natty dress, manners and even where a man fits along the hetero, homo and metro-sexual continuum. In fashion, O'Brien's purview runs head-to-toe covering every detail from haircuts to underwear, collar-stays to ascots. There is even an ample discussion of the so-called `dandies.' (He likes hetros and dandies, though he chastises some gays for not being "gay enough.")
No one can fault O'Brien for his erudite musings. His range of knowledge is exemplary - covering cultures from the ancient Greeks to the Taliban, philosophers from Socrates to Chuck D. (Only O'Brien would cover the range of beards from ZZ Top to Rutherford B. Hayes.) His writing style is about as punchy as it gets, with each sentence delivering like the cutting remarks of a professorial stand-up comic.Read more ›
I've long been a fan of Glenn O'Brien. As much as he gives sage advice, he's funny and irreverent, too (if sardonic wit is your cup of tea). There are more important things going on in the world, and O'Brien knows it. I am of the camp that believes you can have your well-fitting pants and work for peace on earth, too.
How To Be A Man is smart and funny, and sure: some of his proclamations are ludicrous; saying someone like Armani looks good with his deep-fried glow is preposterous. As is the suggestion that type-o blood types need to eat meat. Insanity!
But good manners are a lost art; and I would argue that the importance of never wearing flip flops in public can't be over-stated. O'Brien has plenty of important things to say that both mock and embrace convention, simultaneously.
How To Be A Man is really about how to be a certain kind of man. But the world could certainly stand more of a certain kind of man. And if you're the kind of man, like myself, who occasionally needs some words of wisdom on waxing...: this book is indispensable.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Smart, funny and extremely stylish advice digging deep in history... presenting eternal truths about being a real man. But this also goes beyond that! Read morePublished 4 months ago by Matteo
Some of the best advice you'll ever get, guys! It covers all the info you will need! Buy it and "Man Up!"Published 11 months ago by Charles F. Allen Jr.
O'Brien comes across as self-important and a little obnoxious. Made it a few dozen pages in before this was relegated to the back of my closet.Published 13 months ago by Justin A
This book is a rarity. If you re looking for a picture book, forget about this. This is a book for people who love to read, enjoy humor and want to dress for the part. Read morePublished 16 months ago by E747TX
Every 'Murican boy should read this book at 18. They would definitely get along better in life if they did.Published 19 months ago by James Dylan
I recommend this product, it arrived as expected, and the price and quality was the one they offered, it is excellent.Published 21 months ago by Hermes M.
For all the men... and the people that love them- this is the must have manual of "manhood issues", written by one of the finest graduates of the New York... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Milly Tent