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Frank Dates Paperback – February 17, 2015
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Set in Buffalo, "Frank Dates" follows the dating trials and tribulations of the protagonist, Frank Grantle. Everyone has had that one date or girlfriend/boyfriend that becomes fodder for stories told over drinks to friends at bars. In 'Frank Dates," we find out that all of Frank's relationships have been that one date. Until he meets Samantha and the reader is left to wonder whether she is the girl to snap Frank out of his long string of bad dates or whether she will take her place in his pantheon as the worst date ever.
The narrative is tight and the sarcasm is too. Readers realizes that at one point we have all either have known someone like Frank or have otherwise had a Frank moment. For his part, Bauch does a great job of bringing the reader into the story through the vehicle of Frank having to tell the stories of bad dates gone by.
Bauch does a wonderful job developing Frank and Samantha as they change throughout the narrative. The true genius though comes in the form of Frank telling the stories of his dates. It is not just that the stories are hysterical (because they are) or that the vehicle of story telling brings the reader into the story, it is also that by reading the stories, the reader commiserates with Frank and in so doing, is not only laughing at Frank's misfortune, but also his own.
In short, "Frank Dates" is a very enjoyable read and hopefully the first of many novels from Bauch.