Top positive review
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WILDLY ENTERTAINING. A 2006 "STEALTH BEST-SELLER" IN THE U.K.
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.