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Ladies' Man: A Novel Paperback – Bargain Price, June 21, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; First Edition edition (June 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312566522
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312566524
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,656,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“A novel of passion and depth, written with great precision and control.”The Washington Post Book World

“Price knows the language, mores, herding instincts, and hunting habits of the bottom-class urban young just about as well as Margaret Mead got to know those who come of age in Samoa.”—Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times

Ladies’ Man brilliantly portrays the dark side of youthful passion seeking release in a big-city environment.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

About the Author

Richard Price is the author of seven novels, including Lush Life, Clockers, Freedomland, and Samaritan. He wrote the screenplays for the films Sea of Love, Ransom, and The Color of Money, for which he received an Academy Award nomination. He won the 2007 Edgar Award for Best TV writing as a co-writer for the HBO series The Wire. Price was also awarded a Literature Award from The American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Dean McDermitt on February 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is Richard Price's third novel. It's so incredibly funny! You will laugh, and laugh... It's great to read a book where someone gets it right about what it's like to be man in this day and age.
He's also written "The Wanderers", "Bloodbrothers" and "Clockers." He's even admitted in interviews that this is his favorite book (It's also his shortest).
I would put Richard Price in the same league as Hubert Selby, Jr. (Last Exit to Brooklyn) Very New York, very insightful and loves to tell good stories. The truth is I'm amazed this book was never made into a film.
Price has since gone on to become one of Hollywood's most gifted (and highest paid) screenwriters. His scripts include: "The Color of Money", "Sea of Love", "Ransom", "Mad Dog and Glory", and many others...
You gotta read it to believe it. I've loaned my copy to several friends and they've told me that sometimes they were kissing the pages--it was that brilliant. The "Swapline" scene is priceless! So is "Kenny makes a move." The author takes you through, day-by-day, the life of a regular guy in Manhattan. Kenny Becker loses his job, his girlfriend, and by the end .... discovers himself and a new meaning of life.
Here's a clip from the book - page 5 - about his high maintenance (difficult) girlfriend:
"...and she was human and I loved her. She needed me. I knew she needed me. And I wasn't stupid or shallow. I knew all about sexism, and productive relationships and growth, but I'm talking about love. I'm talking about irrational, illogical passion.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By book reviewer of portland on April 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book blew me away. It's both an easy read and poignant.

It's sort of a week in the life of a single guy in late 70's NYC, as he comes to terms with a breakup he thought he wanted and discovers that all his efforts in life to stay "free" have resulted in a lonely existence. He drifts among great descriptive scenes of debauchery at sex clubs, comedy at cabarets, and one night stands. The people he meets are amazing characters, and we get the sense that everyone in the city is looking for meaning, identity, and connection in an existential sinkhole.

The main character - Kenny, a buff but directionless door to door salesman who never neglects his 150 situps per day - is equally infuriating and endearing. He's acutely aware of his inward contradictions and vascilating moods that cause him to grasp about for sex or friendship or money or a future. This is a character piece, and while there is a bit of plot, it's mainly about how Kenny sees himself and how he gets through each day, all set against a nostalgic gritty Big Apple backdrop when Times Square was still full of T&A.

If you've ever taken part in the dating scene as an adult in a city, you'll appreciate this darkly funny and touching book. I've found few other books that so accurately depict the absurdity of single guy-hood.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
Kenny Becker, the protagonist of Richard Price's "Ladies' Man," will appeal to some readers and exasperate others. He had both effects on me, simultaneously.
As the novel traces one grueling week in this 30-year-old New Yorker's life, it becomes clear what his problem is: He seems to have a near-pathological aversion to any kind of commitment. His love life is a series of depressing affairs that invariably end badly; he's lost touch with his old school friends; his job is a bad joke; he practically has to have a gun to his head just to call his parents. This book contains one of the most heartbreaking paragraphs I've ever read: After reminiscing fondly about the bonding he did with his fraternity brothers back in college, Kenny concludes, "Of course, after three months I lost interest and dropped out of the fraternity, but that's just me, Cut-and-Run Becker."
We watch through Kenny's eyes as one life-changing event after another hits him during this week. As he gives voice to his restlessness, loneliness and longing, one thing keeps the story from becoming too whiny or self-involved: Price's nearly anthropological familiarity with the details of modern urban loneliness. It's all here -- the excruciating singles-bar scene, the daydreams about other paths one might take, even the feeling that when you come home at night the newspaper on the doormat is mocking your lack of plans for the evening.
One thing is for sure: If you have healthy, sustaining relationships with other people, you'll never take them for granted again after reading "Ladies' Man."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Glenn Russell on September 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
First published in 1978, Ladies' Man is novel number 3 by contemporary American author Richard Price, capturing the loneliness and desperation of the narrator, Kenny Becker, a thirty year old New Yorker and door-to-door salesman. The novel is seven chapters long, each chapter titled for each day of the week, and the opening chapter (Monday) finds Kenny sharing his apartment with his good-looking girlfriend, La Donna, a clerk at a mid-Manhattan bank and aspiring singer of Dionne Warwick-style songs.

As a way of background, here is a quick note on Kenny's past: Before living with La Donna, Kenny relates how he lived with 4 La Donnas in the past 6 years - each one a heavy, bad relationship. And before that, he lived in what he calls `Kenny-Solo', that is, living alone in howling loneliness. And before that, Kenny tells us he lived with a bunch of guys, `Kenny Groupo', which he found disgusting and a continual violation of his privacy. We can ask: When did Kenny every experience any happiness? Answer: We find out a couple of chapters later that he had a taste of happiness when he was known as `Kenny the Riffer', class clown and know-it-all wise guy back in high school.

There are spots of humor in the novel when Kenny makes caustic observations about what he encounters as he journeys through the urban landscape, but the tenor of Kenny's story is grim, very grim. Here is Kenny's reflection on Tuesday morning after a fight with La Donna: " But I trudged down Broadway, dragging my sample case to the bus stop. I was never so clear on the monotony of it all. And the sad fact was that I realized one of the reasons I didn't change channels was because everything else felt like a rerun.
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