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Love Monkey Paperback – February 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (February 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060574542
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060574543
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #685,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Smith has clearly taken lessons from a few successful writers of chick lit ("Days Without Sex: 0"), but his boy version of Bridget Jones lacks the key ingredient: a sympathetic protagonist. Tom Farrell, 32, lives in Manhattan and works at a publication called Tabloid (a dead ringer for the New York Post), which proudly proclaims itself to be "America's loudest newspaper." Farrell's job is that of "rewrite man," redoing stories by shaping them into salacious shorts and then coming up with eye-catching headlines. As he puts it, however, his "most time-consuming hobby is collecting ex-girlfriends," and the novel-which chronicles five months in Farrell's life-is mostly a jumbled catalogue of his failed love affairs. There's Julia, a co-worker Farrell can't get out of his head; Bran, a platonic friend he might try to get into his bed; Katie, a budding lawyer; and Liesl, an earnest German paralegal. Smith, the book and music review editor at People magazine, writes in glossy and accessible magazine prose (Farrell describes a co-worker as "a girl whose hotitude was... off the charts") and his New York patter can be clever. Searching for its place somewhere between Nick Hornby in subject matter and David Sedaris in its wit, this novel rests uneasily between the two. Publishing and journalism insiders will enjoy Smith's spot-on description of the tabloid life, but women looking for insights into the male psyche, the real potential readership here, may not take kindly to Smith's unflattering dissection of his dates. Still, this is a lively, promising debut.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From The New Yorker

Tom Farrell, an editor in his early thirties at Tabloid (a thinly veiled version of the New York Post), can't figure out how to navigate Manhattan's dating scene. Tom knows women, but he has a Goldilocks problem: none of the women he knows are just right for him. In this chronicle of four and a half months in the life of a hapless, single city-dweller, Smith blends hilarity and cynicism in order to adapt the Bridget Jones formula to a male perspective. A brief detour into a post-9/11 subplot somewhat arrests the comic flow, but it is actually one of the book's most interesting sections, and imparts to the hectic seduction games a nagging sense of unease, along with some genuine insight into the dilemmas of daily journalism.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker

Customer Reviews

I wish there were more books like this so I could understand what guys think!!!
"samanthagull"
Bad enough that the plot was obnoxious and predictable, but the writing style was what made this book so terrible.
Elizabeth Pride
Very well written novel with sort of flow of consciousness style, very funny, very realistic.
M. Mahoney

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By "stevenbull" on March 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Wow, what a book. Fantastic writing and a totally believable plotline about a guy who's unlucky in love and looking for something just a little bit better. I read this book a couple of weeks ago but have to agree with the SF Chronicle review yesterday that called it exceedingly readable and wickedly funny. Bravo, and thanks for finally showing what it's really like to be a man who not only has a sense of humor, but a tender side, and nothing to do with it.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By John Luiz on February 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
A copydesk editor for a New York tabloid dates around and moons over the 22-year-old beauty who plays with him while holding the torch for another man. Right off the bat the narrator takes funny shots at High Fidelity, knowing this book will seem like that one. Love Monkey lacks some of the poignancy and deeper insights about men that HF has to offer, but it is still very funny. I don't know how another reviewer could say there isn't one funny line in this book. Every page is chock full of about 20. The author is very clever and can turn humorous and satirical phrases like no other contemporary novelist I've read. The start is a little slow -- you wait for some plot to develop while chuckling over the one-liners. But it does get rolling once his love interest enters the scene. I like stories about young men trying to find love in the big city, and if that's your cup of tea, you'll thoroughly enjoy this one. (It also made me want to look for his byline in the books and movie section of People magazine, a section he edits.) Other recent funny novels about young men looking for love are Question of Attraction by David Nicholls and The Calligrapher by Edward Docx. I highly recommend both.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By "jane_koppell" on March 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
OK, this book has women down cold. I admit it. It makes you laugh and it makes you squirm, but mostly it makes you wonder if the author is anything like his hero, Tom, a boy-man who really needs to catch a break from the parade of women he lusts after. The stuff he does to try to attract their interest (like staging a fight in a bar and attempting to make a romantic dinner with one pan) is so hilarious and yet so convincing that I'm going to make my book group read this. Hey guys: are you really like this inside?
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Tom Farrell is in his early thirties, and his world revolves around obtaining the un-obtainable woman- though any woman will do. While he wonders why he can't seem to score in a city seemingly full of eligible women, he cyncially philosphizes about work, new york, women, and life in general. On almost every page there are hilarious observations of characters and events during his everyday life, whether it be his co-workers at a New York tabloid, the cocktail parties he attends, or his couch. It's unclear how much Tom learns throughout the book, but he never fails to entertain. For those of you who miss new episodes of Seinfeld, and like Nick Hornby better when he isn't too sappy, this witty, entertaining, observational novel will fill the void.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By "bestbecker" on March 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Guys, you have to get this book. The first 50 pages are literally the funniest thing I ever read. There are innumerable great scenes set inside the newspaper world (I've seen a lot of sitcoms and movies about newspapers, but very few that actually seem like they were written by somebody who knows what they're talking about), the singles bars and the exclusive parties (including one in which Bill Clinton is the guest of honor), all of which leads to a really cool sense of NY atmosphere that is miles about the blandness of something like Friends. Also, the main character, tabloid journalist Tom and his alpha-male buddy Shooter, who is apparently the heir to the nation's cole slaw fortune, are two guys I would do Jagermeister shots with.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Vincent on March 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
It's not really chick lit, but it sort of is - only it's a rooster, not a chick. Tom Farrell, tabloid rewrite hack in NYC, is a loser and is determined to pass himself off as a sensitive guy who's in touch with his feminine side. His goal: to win the heart of shallow and manipulative Julia, tho it's hard to see what he finds so appealing in her.
Hilarious, revealing, and sarcastic, Love Monkey is ultimately a sociological and psychological study of the male species on the hunt, and it's a gas.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Richard Greene on March 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Love Monkey is a first novel that works on two different levels, and succeeds brilliantly on both of them. It's funny, wickedly so and with many a sharp edge directed at (for instance) super-parents, overachieving cell-phone obsessed New York professionals and people who try to chat with you in elevators. But it's also about an insightful guy taking stock of himself at a crossroads, and it's this reflective tone that puts me in mind of a latter day Catcher in the Rye.
It begins with a long section that is breathlessly, can-you-top this funny, as the narrator Tom Farrell casts a gimlet eye on his snack-food and remote-control-littered bachelor hovel and invites us to laugh along with his sadly hilarious world. (A typical breakfast-after a long, Scotch-influenced night that may or may not have involved feeling sorry for himself while playing Simon and Garfunkel records-is a gallon of water and some Tylenol). He's a guy who worries that his generation-the lamest generation, the one that won no wars and launched no IPOs-will be remembered only for non-black tuxedoes, Justine Bateman and Men at Work. And his is a world where Bugs Bunny is sometimes his only friend and his occasional efforts to reach out and connect with somebody, anybody, only result in more confusion. First up is a German American paralegal, the kind who writes angry letters to the New York Times and has a habit of taking things entirely too seriously; Tom is strongly attracted to her (worrying at the same time that he could never date her because his Jewish friends would freak out), but despairs when he discovers she can't tell one Beach Boys song from the next, and has never even heard of the band's founding genius Brian Wilson. Oh well. She doesn't seem interested anyway. Moving right along.
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