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on 30 August 2006
A publishing friend in London alerted me to this book - "It's really funny," he said.

He wasn't wrong.

Part personal memoir, part how-to guide to Internet romance, part treatise on agoraphobia (fear of open spaces), this first novel a fast-paced and laugh-out-loud (LOL) account of searching for love in all the wrong places--i.e. the Web.

You might even find it it ROTFLMAO (another useful definition the writer provides--"Rolling On The Floor Laughing My *** Off").

Dave Roberts, who by his own account has a nasty leg rash, no money, an ugly apartment in New Zealand, and borderline obesity, not to mention agoraphobia, is searingly and unsparingly honest. "In reality," he writes towards the very end of the book, "I was a pale middle-aged man, badly out of shape, sitting naked in a chair" (this before a webcam), "...all alone in a sparsely furnished rented house."

The unspeakable adventures he recounts include tips for assembling a world-class collection of female underwear ("Red thongs, white silk French knickers, Italian lace, run-of-the-mill cotton panties...They were arriving in the mail at the rate of two or three a week").

There are also online strip poker suggestions, Internet gambling strategies, tips when faced by pursuit by enraged North American white supremacist husbands whose spelling is weak, and ideas for those concerned about avoiding in-home cremation by a spurned, pyromanic females in quiet New Zealand towns.

Also, finally, there are the joys of finding love at last (no details--sorry, I don't want to ruin the plot). As the subtitle states, this really is "An Internet Romance." I will tell you, however, that the "e-luv" of the title is an actual person.

The writing is blisteringly funny, moving, and smart as a whip--story-telling that is droll, descriptive and effortless. And, in the modern fashion, streamlined, in small digestible sections, as if for easy email or web consumption.

Roberts' writing is at least as funny as David Sedaris, and also reminds me of the black comedy of Augusten Burroughs 2004 memoir "Dry." Actually, I think it's rather better. After 10 pages I could not put this book down, and finished its 186 pages in less than three hours. I closed it reluctantly, wishing there were more volumes from this author to dive in to.

Highly recommended. However, white supremacists, multi-level marketers and individuals who have trouble spelling "vengeance" may not agree with this rating. Please don't buy it unless you're fairly broad-minded. Smut rating: about an 8.5 out of 10.
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on 7 March 2008
A very dangerous book. I laughed so violently, my arm fell off and flew into my mouth, choking me. My flatmate then tried to do the Heimlich and broke all my ribs. Still, I can now do the Prince Manoeuvre, so it's not all bad.

Buy e-luv if you want to know the definition of "funny". (Okay, so you could just buy a dictionary, but how will you ever emulate the Purple One then?)
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on 20 June 2006
If youve ever been into a chat room or spent any time online, this little gem will have you in stitches. At times I found myself wondering if I had met some of the same people online, as it brought back vivid memories and fits of laughter. All and all a good light read, just make certain you arent close enough to wake the kiddies as youll be Laughing Out Loud from start to finish.
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on 11 March 2008
I read this book in one sitting, as i could not put it down. i am only young (19) and have gone on chat sites just for the fun of it and can recall conversations going exactley like the ones in the book. it had me in stitches the whole way through and i would recomend this to any one who has done the online thing as it will bring back memories (not all good) LOL.
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on 2 February 2014
Dave Roberts takes us through the looking glass (or the screen of a lap-top) into the realities of the lost souls who inhabit the virtual world of on-line chat-rooms. And for those for whom this is an alien world, the book is both a fascinating insight into a particular strand of recent/new human behaviour, and a chilling glimpse into the half-lives of the participants - fantasists, frauds, fakers and fools - in other words, any one of us, given the wrong sequence of circumstances. Knowing a little more of Dave Roberts via "32 Programmes" I realised that this is not a straight memoir, but a segment of his life enhanced with various fictional details, no doubt to protect those with whom he 'chats' (who had all protected themselves already with various psycho-nyms anyway). You can't help willing the author to succeed in his quest to escape from his Wonderland prison via true love, and the fact he's managed to sit down and write a book about it, gives a clue to the outcome.
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on 28 July 2009
I bought this book based on the author rather than the subject matter, because having read Dave Roberts's brilliant 'Bromley Boys' I was desperately looking for more.

I'm glad to say e-luv didn't let me down at all. I was chuckling from the first pages until the end, and regularly bursting out into full blown guffaws, particularly at the many humorous cliff-hanger one-liners.

As for the subject matter - that proved excellent too. I really couldn't put the book down, reading into the early hours to find out what would happen to the book's luckless anti-hero Trevor, alias Lord Brett Sinclair.

I won't give anything away and spoil things for others, but the finale is truly excellent!
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on 13 March 2008
I read this book quite quickly and found it moderately amusing!! Could it actually be true ... Lord Brett Sinclair a love god?!? A middle aged man living in Wellington in the throws of an illness a love god?!? The book does question that notion, but i have come to the conclusion that yes, Lord Brett Sinclair is infact, a love god.
This book takes you on Dave Roberts personal journey through boredom, strife and er wierd romances. Very funny and completely unput-downable. The kind of guy who you want everything to work out for at the end.
Im very much looking forward to his next book.
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on 17 February 2008
I absolutely loved this book and think it's the funniest I've read in ages. I laughed out loud several times and recognised so many people from their on-line behaviour. Dave Roberts has written an amazingly accurate description of an Internet addict's life online. The guy's quest for romance via the Internet is hilarious. I recommend it to anyone looking for a lighthearted, fun read.
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on 23 July 2014
Very good story, well written.
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on 28 April 2008
I'd heard a lot of good reviews about this book, so I decided to get it myself. Sadly though, it left a lot to be desired. It took a while to get started and once it had, it was on an endless loop of the same lines and scenarios.

Not really that entertaining to read. If it had been more fact than fiction and stereotypes, then it would have made for an exhilarating read. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to the expectations and the reviews I had previously read.
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