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This is not a crime novel, before you read on… But it is a good insightful read. It’s not fiction, but a memoir.
As I’ve said before in a previous post, it was India Knight’s article in The Sunday Times that led me into buying this book. (Knight’s a very grounded girlie in my mind. I don’t always agree with her, but I can relate. Along with the book section in the Review, her column is the reason I still buy The Sunday Times.)
Knight said: "Sean Thomas’s candid memoir about his sexual adventures does women a service – by revealing what it is to be a 21st-century man". That got me interested – where are we now?
Here’s how the book came about, because that’s important to know for the proceedings:
The single Thomas was living in, and sharing, a very small flat in London, while working as a freelance journo. His editor (at a mag he worked for) more than suggested he investigate the internet dating field. Reluctantly, he succumbed to the request and took on the assignment – the promise that his dates would be "all expenses paid", helped. And then came his enthusiasms for the internet dating world, as well as his appreciation of its downfalls and negatives.
Thomas isn’t just providing us with stories of his dating experience; he also imparts the emotions involved. He is also very open in these memoirs.
The book includes: short and often very funny stories of his dates; recollections from his earlier love life and a consideration of its impact on his then current status and thoughts; his analysis of on-line preamble and why it might result in no date at all; his recount of the risks he experienced when becoming addicted to "on-line porn" (his description); and his stated and eventual surprise at meeting the "woman for him" as a result of his research. There’s also his user friendly translation guide to on-line profiles, as written by women – e.g. if she says "I’m right wing", she really means "You’d better earn more than me". (I loved that one.)
Men might find this book a useful and practical guide should they wish to embark on internet dating. Women will also find it that, but much more too – it provides great insight into modern man’s psyche.
Now, all we need is the women’s version to complement this. But I still don’t think it would put Relate out of business. If he says "I’m right wing" he really means "I’m looking for a domestic drudge and I particularly need someone to do my laundry". Just guessing…