Adelle Waldman sets Nathaniel P. up to be hated. And I hated him indeed!
Every thought that ran through his head made me cringe. Then it made me feel sad for the poor girl that crossed his path. And then it made me just want to throw a drink in the man’s face.
Here is a quick summary of the book by Goodreads so you know what I’m talking about:
In Nate’s 21st-century literary world, wit and conversation are not at all dead. Is romance? Novelist Adelle Waldman plunges into the psyche of a flawed, sometimes infuriating modern man—one who thinks of himself as beyond superficial judgment, yet constantly struggles with his own status anxiety, who is drawn to women, yet has a habit of letting them down in ways that may just make him an emblem of our times. With tough-minded intelligence and wry good humor The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is an absorbing tale of one young man’s search for happiness—and an inside look at how he really thinks about women, sex and love.
The summary sucked me in, not to mention this book is a national bestseller and named a best book of the year by The New Yorker! All good signs of a book I’m going to love, right? Well… not really.
I’m happy I read it because it reminded me how much I hated “dating” and how thrilled I am that I didn’t run into too many Nathaniel P’s in my days.
There are many words you could use to describe Nathaniel…. the best is narcissist!
As you can see, this book sparked some feelings in me. Not good feelings, but hey, books aren’t supposed to just spark good feelings, right?
Many people said they loved this book because it really got into a man’s mind when it comes to the cruel truth of relationships… but it was written by a woman. So really that just made me feel that it was more like an exaggerated guess into what a cynical man would be thinking when he picks up, dates, sleeps with, and dumps a girl.
This book did spark some good questions for me, even through it wasn’t my favorite read. Where did his destructive behavior stem from? Have I ever acted like that in a relationship? Here are some great discussion questions to start the conversation with friends at bookclub or even with the voices in your head :)
With that, I close this review by saying I’m happy I read it but I don’t recommend it to anyone if they are looking for an engaging read with well developed characters. Reading it was kind of like watching a bad rom com….
I’m now reading Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan and I’m actually really enjoying it so far! Fingers crossed :)