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Death of a Ladies' Man [Paperback]

Alan Bissett
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 23 July 2009 --  

Book Description

23 July 2009

By day, Charlie Bain is the school's most inspiring teacher. By night he prowls the stylish bars of Glasgow seducing women. Fuelled by art, drugs and fantasies of being an indie star, Charlie journeys further into hedonism, unable to see the destruction his desires are leading everyone towards...

One of Scotland's dazzling young writing talents tackles the modern phenomenon of sex addiction. Dark, funny and deliciously erotic, DEATH OF A LADIES' MAN is an intense portrait of male vanity, written with verve and emotional rawness.

Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Scotland (23 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755319400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755319404
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.2 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 845,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Bissett's third novel is delivered with invention and flair' (Esquire)

'Hilarious, disturbing and hugely entertaining... Bain is a remarkable creation' (Big Issue)

'He has pulled the sheets back on Lothario men and shown them lying there wriggling, pathetic, and bare-bummed...Bissett proves himself to be a fresh, compelling and distinctly Scottish literary talent' (Scotland on Sunday)

'A high-speed, coke-fuelled rollercoaster ride through bars, classrooms and bedrooms' (Scotsman)

'This is a novel of real ambition and complexity, at its heart a delicious tension between the desire to be good and darker urges in a world of ever fewer boundaries' (Gutter magazine)

'Definitely worth a read... ****' (Look)

Book Description

A vital read for anyone who wants to understand just who the hell some men think they are

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dangerous Liaisons 15 July 2009
By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER
Maybe it's the title or the back-cover blurb, but the impression you might have of Death of a Ladies' Man is that of a lot of laddish humour, smooth patter and pickup lines and plenty of explicit sex scenes, with the protagonist getting his come-uppance at the end. You'd be right in a way, but you also couldn't be more wrong. There's a lot more going on in Bissett's powerfully compelling novel than that.

It's not that the book has any great narrative storyline - the main character is a 30 year-old teacher who lives with his mother after a painful divorce, but has started recently dating one of his colleagues at the school, a more mature 41 year-old woman. Charlie however just can't help himself when it comes to women - he's worked out all the tricks a long time ago, knows what he wants and knows how to get it. Could his ladies man reputation prevent him from a more mature and loving relationship - or is that even what he really wants?

Plot-wise there's nothing here to get too excited about, but the strength of Death of a Ladies' Man rather is in the writing. It's simply dazzling. Perhaps too dazzling for some, with long risky string-of-consciousness passages, and messing about with typefaces and font sizes as a rule generally isn't a good idea. It's what's behind these experiments that counts however and, although in some respects the book is just an updating of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Bissett makes it relevant and purposeful, placing it within the context of the environment of our society, questioning the attitudes and morals of the world we live in today - getting to grip with what women want as well as men.

Contrary to what you would expect then, there's no lazy characterisation in Death of a Ladies' Man.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mindblowing..... 27 July 2009
What can I say about this book? It's simply mindblowing. Best book I've read in years. Almost painfully insightful,seductive, at times shockingly(but enjoyably)saucy (be prepared!!), with an ending so full of pathos, I actually cried. Loved the character of Charlie Bain, charming but deeply, deeply flawed. It is a testament to the power of the writing that I came away from it feeling more sorry for Charlie than anyone else in the whole book. He clearly knows he's going to hell in a hand cart but seems powerless to stop it.
Very different from Boyracers and Adam Spark (although they were both excellent too). Easier to read than them in many ways as written in more "standard" English. Loved the mixing of typefaces and writing styles, particularly the "screen play" parts. Would make an excellent film/TV/play adaptation if anyone out there is listening.
Was privileged to meet the author at a book launch recently. He read from the book and is clearly also a talented actor/performer. Lovely guy, too. By the way, I also recommend you listen to the tracks mentioned in the book - most are available on Amazon MP3 download. Terrific music and brilliantly appropriate.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insight into the male psyche 16 Sep 2009
"Death of a ladies' Man" is for everyone, ladies who want to know what goes on in a mans head and is a book men can relate to. Written beautifully with tangible emotion. Very real, most can identify with the characters. This book offers a satisfying journey where the reader is not disappointed. definitely a must read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The title for this review may be wildly inaccurate but it comes from my gut and no author wouldn't be flattered by those comparisons.
The Socialism issue- as raised in an unfavorable review. It seems to me that as he has evolved from his young self so he has drifted away from any practical connection to his political beliefs. He would like to reconnect but where is the time as the persuit of pleasure and an increasing dependence on drugs and alcohol take over in the aftermath of his divorce and the painful hardening of his soul which ensues.
To me the key line of text refers to the kiss with Yvonne he remembers as the tenderest he has ever known and which he still in a way pines for even as he persues all the pleasures of the flesh. There is a sense of longing for all things lost; a holding back on the need to cry over all the spoilt ideals and loss of innocence.
The writing is never less than riveting, funny and thought provoking. Yes if I stop and think about it there are some scenes which don't ring 100% true (for me his relationship with a significantly older female colleague) but this is not purporting to be hard boiled realism so I didn't question it until now as I type this.
To me the author is not moralising on drug culture or promiscuity but casting a razor sharp eye on these topics (among others) and weaving a great story around them.
It won't be for everyone but I'd reccomend everyone give it a try.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Modern Day Rake's Progress 31 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When I first started to read this book I thought I would not enjoy reading the exploits of a guy who was so obsessed with himself. Instead I was a passenger on the mad roller coaster of a journey that was Charlie Bain's life. At times I felt sorry for him, laughed at him and with him, was disgusted with him and hoped he could be saved from himself. I loved the word pictures- they conveyed so much more than words alone. The discourse on feminism was very thought provoking and the female characters well drawn. Charlie Bain put me in mind of lots of sex addicted celebs and politicians -Tommy Sheridan coming to mind most of all.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment
A real disappointment after Boy Racers which I adored to bits. I found the character (and author ?) egocentric to the max and I could not sympathize or care to find out what... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Kieron Hegarty
4.0 out of 5 stars Rang painfully true
This is an entertaining insight into the mind of a certain type of man - or maybe all men at a certain stage of life. A lot of it did ring painfully true with me anyway. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mysay
5.0 out of 5 stars First class read
Thought this might be a bit of a lads book, but its nothing of the sort. Charlie Bain is torn apart by his desire to do good and his desire to get away from his own sense of... Read more
Published 22 months ago by richteafinger
5.0 out of 5 stars Charlie Sheen? Is that you?
I had the privilege to know Alan Bissett one unforgettable afternoon. He came to my high school for a creative writing cram session for my Advanced Higher English class, teaching... Read more
Published on 30 Jan 2012 by James C.
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
The content can certainly be found elsewhere - the slow descent of a seemingly respectable man into a circle of sex and addictions with ever-enlarging consequences that he closes... Read more
Published on 27 Dec 2010 by Fiona
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable book
Really enjoyed the style, very easy to read, if you're of the 20 - 30's ages bracket you'll enjoy all the pop culture references. Read more
Published on 7 Dec 2010 by Jacob
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
Found this book very entertaining, Alan Bissett has a great way with words and I look forward to reading more of his work.
Published on 31 Aug 2009 by Bonita
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