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A Handful Of Manhood Paperback – 3 Aug 2000


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A saucy take on the battle of the sexes set in a fictional German town. Viagra, speed cameras and a sheepdog add up to sparkling wit with no rough edges (COSMOPOLITAN)

Three lessons should be learned -- never live in a town where everyone knows your business; grow old gracefully; never underestimate a woman. Gives Ayckbourn a farcical run for his money (DAILY MIRROR)

Book Description

*Another raunchy tale of revenge from the internationally bestselling writer, the Helen Fielding of Germany

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Sixty is no age at all, Gunther reassures himself on his birthday. Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
welcome to Romersfeld- a hotbed of vindictive skull duggery 25 April 2005
By Sheena - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Celebrating his sixtieth birthday with sixty carefully selected friends, Gunther Schmidt makes a decision. He must get a new woman. Enough of his militarily precise wife, Marion. In the game of life Gunther plays decisively to win. Now Gunther has his sights set on winning Linda. That Linda is the girlfriend of Dirk, the mayor`s son is a mere inconvenience as far as Gunther is concerned. With a blith disregard for convention, descretion or honour Gunther is off in hot pursuit. The result is a farcical morality play which ultimatly involves an animal shelter; Gunther`s financial advisor and his wives (past and present), and the town council and some zoning laws. There are thrusts and counter thrusts as Gunther and his wife, Marion seek to out-manouver each other for what will be control of Gunther`s rather extensive fortune.

Gaby Hauptmann has a mean streak. Her characters are entirely self serving, ruthless, and utterly materialistic. One can't help but be taken in by them, in much the same way as one might be seduced by a tangle of rather glittery but very venomous snakes. They approach each other with a vindictive skull-duggery of the very self-absorbed and extremely self-satisfied. There is no compassion or real feeling in any of the characters. The motivations of the characters are often flippant in the extreme. Linda, for example, defects from her boyfriend to Gunther motivated by little more than the fact that Gunther leaves large gifts of cash, and champagne every time he visits. Granted Dirk, (the boyfriend) does take her for granted, and fails to turn up on one occasion when she cooks him dinner, but there is little or no attempt by either of the young lovers to resolve their problems before Linda throws herself at Gunther. Another example is the confrontation between Marion and Gunther when he tells her he has found a new lover with whom he intends to start the next phase of his life.

At first glance one might think this is a book about "woman power" with its somewhat tired plot of "taken for granted supportive wife turned vindictive virago in the light of mean husband's betrayal." Marion Schmidt however and the host of other women who inhabit `A Handful of Manhood' aren't icons for very much more than the need to cling to their upper-class provincial lifestyles. Their revenge is not one born of self esteem, but more from the desire for economic power and the need to control the men whom they perceive to be controlling them. The divide between men and women as shown in a Handful of Manhood is chasmic. Both sides have their weapons drawn waiting for the first sign of weakness to cut the other to ribbons.

This is the kind of book you will either loath or love depending on your disposition and the mood you are in when you sit down to read it. Highly recommended for any man who thinks he can blithely cheat on his wife/ lover/ girlfriend and get away with it. Also highly recommended for any wife/ lover/ girlfriend who has been dumped unceremoniously by a man who thinks he can blithely cheat and get away with it.
A Funny Man Talks In Detail. 14 Sep 2006
By Betty Burks - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It takes a strong man to be able to make fun of himself and males who are bigger and stronger than he is. This is a comical and slightly silly example of someone's idea of manliness, despite the cover of a GI Joe figure fighting a King Kong look-alike. First, we had a 'Redneck Dictionary' which I reviewed previously; he was just silly because of the way he said things, not what he said. He slurred words together to make one, in a fairly ridiculous way. This writer, though, uses sarcasm along the vein of Mike Weiner and tends to exaggerate like Cecil always did. His constant use of vulgarity defeats the whole purpose of the theme of this touted book on Maddox's web page. I could write a book about men, but can't use that kind of language or thesis, it would never get publicized like this one. For each letter of the alphabet, these essays veer way off the subject, like maybe Johnny Knoxville did in 'Dukes of Hazzard,' and he often strays off the subject and starts prevaricating. He uses self importance along the vein of Howard Hughes.

It appears as a comic book, as it is supposed to be funny. Wide margins with illustrations galore and charts with wide spacing. The cover is like a comic book. It apparently was written for men as they like to put down each other and see who can up the other. Manliness is a result of godliness. Deep voices and all. But some men are tougher and rougher than others; a real man is humble and has a sense of humor.
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