Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Love Monkey Paperback – February 1, 2005
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
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
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The bad part? His characters. Tom Farrell is shallow and immature--a thirty-two year old guy who, by his own admission, is going on twelve. And while he gets points for candor, after a few pages I got profoundly bored with him. It's true that Manhattan is full of these guys who are in their thirties and in their forties and who still act like twelve-year old boys, but just because there are a lot of them, it doesn't mean their behavior is any less pathetic or more interesting. I find them boring and unattractive in person, and boring and unattractive in writing. His other characters are not much better: Shooter, a misogynist friend who treats all women as sex objects and Julia, the woman he loves. Other than the fact that she's beautiful, wears nice clothes, and shaves her legs thoroughly (that is, other than extremely superficial qualities) I don't get what he sees in her: she is cheating on her live-in boyfriend (awful), pining for an ex-boyfriend who is not interested in her (pathetic), and going out with Tom because, in her own words, he buys her drinks (no comment).
Actually, now that I think about it, she's just as shallow and immature as he is. They are made for each other.
Average guy Tom is in his early thirties, lives in New York, has a rather pitiful rewriting job at Tabloid, enough money to live cushily, and a LOT of ex-girlfriends. He is a "manboy" who lives an essentially lonely existance despite the women who surround him, including platonic-but-might-become-more-pal Bran (and one particular male friend, a playboy called Shooter who dispenses love life advice).
Then... Tom goes out with Julia, a pretty feminine young woman whom he has silently longed for for months. Unfortunately, the following little dance-of-dates just frustrates Tom further, as he starts to clue in what kind of girl Julia really is (here's a hint -- she has a boyfriend already). But a sudden disaster might force Tom to change for real...
The basic mold of "Love Monkey" is shared with Nick Hornby's "High Fidelity" -- dissatisfying lives for thirtysomething males, who reflect on their failed relationships and vaguely problematic lives. Hey, Smith even mentions "High Fidelity" early on. The big difference between these two is the tone of the novel -- "Love Monkey" is a bit less sardonic, more comedic.
Smith does a good job of balancing out contradictions in a modern guy's life -- how to be real, and how to be the kind of guy that women say they like. He does a good job of taking a tangle of sex, pop culture, romance, questions about maturity (grow UP already!), and just what the heck it is Tom wants from his life. Most of the time he himself (Tom, not Smith) seems pretty confused about it.
Smith has a certain knack for snappy dialogue and genuinely funny comedic scenarios that will make you giggle and cringe at once. Tom takes awhile to grow on you, but he seems like a nice guy once you read on (much, I suspect, like his real-life counterparts). The supporting characters are all pretty sizzly; Shooter is an especially delicious character.
"Love Monkey" is the flip side of chick lit, relationship fiction about young men and their love lives and careers. Amusing light study of the modern male.