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The Bastard on the Couch: 27 Men Try Really Hard to Explain Their Feelings About Love, Loss, Fatherhood, and Freedom Paperback – Bargain Price, May 31, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is like a primer for life with men--although not polite goody two shoes men, and who wants them anyway. These are a range of men in all their glory and warts. I read the bitch in the house, which, by the way, infuriated people all over the planet. And this is a rocking sequel...just what I was hoping for, and just as in your face. The main thing is, you can't really put it down. Some of the stories are better than others, but they're all compelling. Love these guys or hate them...they've got stories to tell, and they tell them incredibly well.
Some of the essays are terrific. Then there are those that are eye-rollingly just, well, too much. Toure's "An Invitation to Carnal Russian Roulette" reads like something a fourteen-year old boy would write about what he figures it's like to have relations with several different women. It may be truthful--I have no reason to doubt that it is--but the prose is awfully purple.
But back to the terrific pieces. Steve Friedman writes touchingly and with a little bit of wonder at the fact that he's 47 years old, heterosexual and unmarried. He's willing to probe all the probable causes, even at the risk of being uncomfortably honest about himself. Fred Leebron's "I am Man, Hear Me Bleat" is hilarious, but not without an underlying resentment--which makes it all the more hilarious. Daniel Jones' own "Chivalry on Ice" addresses the fact of his wife's incredible strength and independence and her simultaneous inability to deal with bugs. Rob Jackson's "My Life as a Housewife" addresses the fascinating topic of the househusband, and may be the most skillful piece in terms of combining the modern man's wish to be, well, modern--with all the helpfulness and honesty and rejection of sexist role models that implies--with his feeling that maybe, just maybe, he is missing out on the standard male experience.
It's a great read, and a wide-ranging scope of topics. I look forward to Jones and Hanauer doing some kind of dual follow-up with actual couples--married or not, heterosexual or not--addressing a new range of issues in some future volume.
What didn't I like? Well, the writers are all clearly educated, from a certain mental socio-economic class which does slant these essays in a particular direction. The writing is so glittering, a kind of polish that even editing can't provide to the struggling writer. So the perspectives are tinged with wealth, education, culture, exposure, ability - money. Which is fine, but it leaves out the other male perspectives, like guys who ae as poor as hell. Although Toure describes himself as poor in his essay, he is only poor financially. I would have enjoyed reading essays by some different kinds of men. Or perhaps that is the lesson of this book, that men are men with the same issues regardless of income or social class. Cow patties!
Not bad, and certainly light enough reading for a summer afternoon.
So now that my wife has won me over with this one, she's going to try to get me to read her dog-eared, bedside copy of The Bitch in the House. We'll see. I just might!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A book written by 27 people is bound to be hit and miss. Some parts spoke to me... others, not so much.Published 15 months ago by JCB
Honest, authentic, and stimulating essays. My husband and I are reading these essays together and they are leading to some very fruitful discussions of our relationship and others... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Rhoda F. Orme-johnson
I have not finished the book so that is why I rated the way I did. I think it should required reading for all young couples.Published 23 months ago by Marie
Having read a whole lot of books written by women who explain how they feell, and then also the Bitch in the House book, I was excited to get this book. But I felt let down. Read morePublished 23 months ago by alkane
This essay collection is the companion to Cathi Hanauer’s The Bitch in the House. The editor, Daniel Jones, is Hanauer’s husband. Read morePublished on February 9, 2014 by E. S. Charpentier
I do wish each man talked about a totally different topic but despite the overlap this book makes for a great conversation starter and provides something interesting insight into... Read morePublished on December 30, 2013 by Me
The essays, for the most part, were amusing, heartbreaking, observant, and all that stuff. But frankly, based on style, vocabulary, tone and whatever makes each writer's work... Read morePublished on June 28, 2012 by Christopher Bischof
I thought this was a great concept for a book, and I learned a lot from it about men's experiences dealing with contemporary relationships. Read morePublished on September 19, 2010 by Learning New Ways
This is a must read for women. It's about relationships and marriages from a man's point of view. Amusing and revealing. Read morePublished on September 18, 2010 by Mary Ann