At 230 pages and with each chapter lasting no longer than 4 or 5 pages, this book is an easy read. It's a lazy criticism to say that Chad Kultgen's anonymous narrator merely a Neanderthal misogynist. Sure, he thinks about sex all the time and sure, his morals are pretty dubious, but if you scratch a little beneath the surface you'll find (hopefully) that The Average American Male is a swipe at modern-day representations of men and the male psyche the likes of Oprah tend to patron.
Sexual-political point out of the way, this is actually a rather well-written novel. It's snappy and it's spikey and it's unapologetically rude, which is a breath of fresh air when you look up from your work commute and realise that everyone around you is either reading One Day
or Dan Brown's latest atrocity. It's not as concise or as heartfelt as Bukowski, but if you enjoyed Post Office
, The Average American Male will probably raise a few wry smiles from you.
My one criticism is that the end seems slightly rushed and contrived. I won't spoil it for you, but you'll know what I mean when you get there.
On a personal level - the part where the mother of his ex sends him a letter telling him what a dreadful person is actually happened to me too. I couldn't help but laugh as I read it on the tube, which caused no end of disproving scowls from my fellow commuters, because they hate to see another person having a good time.