on 3 July 2014
LOVE. Folks often say it's an adventure (when they're not complaining, of course. Mostly, they're complaining).
What if your choices were laid out for you, though? Make a decision, see how it pans out and hit rewind when, not if, it all goes horribly, horribly wrong?
Well whaddaya know? Welcome to Romantic Misadventures. Written by the guy who had an anonymous column in the Guardian Newspaper, allowing complete strangers to vote for his next romantic decision each week. Decisions which took him across the Atlantic, to the far reaches of coach routes, and the outer edges of his own best interests.
So, as befits a memoir written in the style of a first-person 'choose your narrative' adventure story (the kind you loved as a kid and still kinda miss, shush), here are your options:
a) You want to know if this is going to be funny. Forget everything else; you're looking for a laugh. Turn to number 5
b) You wouldn't knock a giggle, but this is a book about love and romance. Are you going to learn anything, you know, kinda helpful? Turn to number 10
c) You're curious and looking for something deeper, maybe some confirmation that you're not alone in feeling insecure, or are simply baffled by love. Turn to number 15
d) TL:DR - FFS DO I BUY IT OR NOT? Turn to number 20
5) Of course it's funny. You follow him on Twitter, right? So you already know he's got a way with words, an unfailing ability to land himself right in it, and the kind of unflinching honesty that makes you cross your legs and wince a bit. Yeah, that. And we're not even talking about the time he squeezed his 6'3” frame into a lycra costume made for a 7 year old. But should you buy it? Turn to number 20.
10) Yeah, you are. Kinda. Mostly, what not to do (sorry, Kit). But in seeing his mistakes (and occasional triumphs), you'll have a better idea of what to avoid. Or, at the very least, know that you're not alone.
In fact, if you're waiting for someone to text you RIGHT NOW and are thinking of breaking a million cardinal rules and FREAKING OUT AND CYBER STALKING THEM or indulging in some frantic (possibly drunken) texting; you need to put down that phone, poppet. Pick this book up instead. Let Kit keep you company until your own romantic misadventures seem vastly less important. It's what he's here for. You're welcome. So should you buy it? Turn to number 20.
15) * Puts on corduroy jacket with leather elbow patches * You have no doubt that it's going to be funny. Kit's the kind of writer where bad stuff comes in, and funny just falls out. But between the lines, between the escapades and near escapes, you'll also find an honest portrait of a modern man. A man who is racked by insecurity. Who regularly fails to speak up for himself. Who people-pleases, who doesn't think things through, who finds the challenge of simply going up to someone in a coffee shop and giving them his number perhaps the most challenging of all the challenges set by the Guardian readers.
Seeing such self-defeating behaviour writ large will act as a mirror for you to notice the similarities, the parallels, in your own and others' behaviour. Despite the occasionally dubious moral choices, you'll feel empathy towards a man who has such a lack of ease with himself, and who shares it so openly. You'll find an ugly duckling who craves the transformational love of another to finally, finally, make him a swan. And you'll be left hoping that he realises, especially after the moving epilogue, that he truly was that swan, all along. So, should you buy it? Turn to number 20.
20) Yes. Yes, you should. Did you not see the five stars??