Went to one of the outdoor walk around malls and stopped in a Barns & Noble and looked around. Got my dad a new book for Christmas because he reads a shit ton and is always looking for new fiction books to read. I’m wandering around the Humor section and find Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, who’s one of my favorite actor/comedians.
I love all his stand up specials and I’m a huge fan of his popular Netflix show Master’s of None. Seeing how Master’s of None is basically what it’s like to be a late 20’s or early 30’s guy in the dating scene, I figured Modern Romance would be funny similarly to the show.
This isn’t a book of How To’s and all that shenanighans, but a real look at how the dating scene has changed, forming relationships through dating apps, texting, sexting, Snapchat, and all the stuff we use to hookup. It’s not a romance novel, but a comedic look at how dating is conducted in today’s world.
He and sociologist Eric Klinenberg spent a year roaming across the country and abroad, mostly visitng the biggest cities like New York, Philly, Paris, in hopes of collecting legitimate information about the dating world now and how it’s different from years past.
It includes funny antics that I found myself doing many times; like texting a girl I just met and she doesn’t respond the same day. So naturally, my brain starts going through every possible scenario of why she wouldn’t immediately text me back. But it’s all part of the game.
Other things including when I would send a text of something racey and throw my phone across the room in anticipation of the response and then thinking why did I just send that. To either getting iced and slowly melting into my couch or to getting a witty reply in return.
One aspect I found in the book that was eye-opening was the opposite side of the interaction (perspective of women). And when I say eye-opening I mean “Wow Matt, open your fucking eyes”. The little details I overlooked often times go a long way. I’m sure, like me, it would be pretty cool to see the other perspective (men) if you’re a woman, and how we do things.
Aziz (I’m referring to him as so, because I read his book, so that basically means we’re best friends) includes real text messages he sent and gathered from his research showing the funny interactions they had. I was constantly smirking at the smallest of things because they were very relateable.
If you’re familiar with his comedy skits, then you know that Aziz is very enthusiastic and vocal in the way he tells his jokes. Often ending with a punchline while sarcastically yelling or flying around the stage to create better visuals for the audience. Like his performances, he is able to capture that same mojo through words and I often found myself reading the words of a conversation imitating his voice (Yeah, I’m that good).
Many of the jokes have short stories (less than a paragraph) of experiences intertwined in them. While reading I was expecting a serious answer after the strong build up paragraphs before, but instead I was laughing, dropping the book immediately, to come here and type this so you can read my real-time reaction (Now back to reading).
I would like to include passages from the book to put better emphasis on my points but I think that’s illegal and I don’t want to piss my new best friend Aziz off. So you’re gonna have to buy it for yourself.
Who is this book for?
I’d say any fans of Aziz’s Netflix show Masters of None, his stand-up specials, and Men and Women currently in the dating scene or were recently. I think those 18-35 would connect the most with the book because they know the inner intricacies of dating through technology. But there is a lot of back and forth history between dating eras and it would be an interesting look for both older and younger people.
Genre Execution: Humor
It would be a pretty bad look if a full-time comedian with specials on Netflix and HBO had a book that wasn’t funny, right? Thankfully, money well spent because Aziz had me smirking and laughing to myself as I turned each page.
Normally I read Non-fiction history and memoirs and Fiction Action-Thrillers but I’m glad I gave this book a chance. The only other humor book I remember reading, in this case hearing (audiobook not sitting and having someone read it to me, cmon I’m not that much of a child) was In 50 Years We’ll All Be Chicks by Adam Carolla, highly recommend.
The humor in the book is very similar to my own for instance I would say, “This situation is like _____ ” and then my friends would say, “Oh cool, there goes our buddy Matt again telling another joke. Neat. Funny guy. Our pal Matt.” As I either made a relateable joke (psh nailed it!) or most likely everyone paused, squinted their eyes while turning their heads in my direction and stared through my soul.
The type of humor is for everybody and it makes it funnier especially when Aziz pokes fun at himself.
Pictures/Maps/Other Things That Are Not Words
Based off of the research conducted by Aziz and Klinenberg, there are diagrams and charts showing the data collected (usually below it is filled with Aziz’s banter making fun of some of the absurd answers).
Text bubbles are included provided by real people but given fake names to keep anonimity.
Pictures of famous people and others to give context to the story.
BOOK REVIEW RATING SCALE:
Not For Me (Nice way of saying it sucked/I didn’t like it), Okay But Wouldn’t Recommend, Good Would Recommend, MUST-BUY
Rating: Good Would Recommend
Do some research on Aziz’s other work if you haven’t already (IMdB that bitch, not Aziz, but his About page) if you’re still on the fence about it.
Tweet me @TheAlbumWeb and send me a DM to boost my confindence because a girl messaged me first, or don’t because you have nothing witty to say, I don’t care (*hit post, slowly forget I typed this, never look at again*)