Harper Collins

Simon Teller is desperate. He cooks, he cleans, he likes jazz, he's respectful towards women and he can't, for the life of him, get a date. His new friend Joe goes through women like single servings of milk and has a line for every occasion. Joe decides Simon needs to loosen up and get over his respect for women as people too. The 'New Man' taught the ways of the world by the 'New Lad'.

How very hip. How very modern. Actually the book reads like a poorly written version of Adrian Mole in his thirties. The characters are portrayed in almost painful two-dimensional detail. The main character first wins and then rapidly loses the reader's sympathy. His incredibly bad luck and struggling social skills do nothing to endear him since he is, at the end of the day, a complete dork. The female characters are all out for nothing more than a one night dalliance thereby completely fulfilling the dolefully laid out lesson that really people just want to go to bed with one another and wake up in the morning to ask "What was your name again?".

The humour of the book is lost between Simon’s laboured bumbling and the self-conscious referral to jazz music. The author, by calling up particular numbers and artists seemed to be trying to prove his authentic jazz research. Over all an easily read, easily forgotten attempt to ride on the coat tales of a fad for naming apparent changes in male behaviour that was popular in the media for what seemed like ten minutes two years ago.

March Rogers