THE RELUCTANT METROSEXUAL: Dispatches from an Almost Hip Life

Peter Hyman, Author . Villard $13.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-8129-7163-7

Providing further evidence of the fine line between being a dorky loser and a pop-culture superhero (William Hung, anyone?), this is Hyman's attempt to turn his failures at love, life and employment into a cash cow. What's in it for readers? "Well, very little," admits Hyman, a Manhattan writer and occasional stand-up comedian, but it "beats a kick in the teeth, or being shipped off to fight in Iraq." A metrosexual, Hyman reminds us, is a straight guy in touch with his feminine side, one who appreciates "expensive home furnishings, good grooming, and heirloom tomatoes." Actually, Hyman comes off as an everyman probing the outer edges of modern, mainstream, urban existence, and his essays recount his exploits with startling, often hilarious results. He recalls his appointment with Hans, a gay masseur whose hands get a little too close "to the unauthorized no-man's–land," and an aborted attempt at a ménage à trois that ends up having "all the erotic panache of a Three Stooges episode." Another chapter tells of Hyman's night on the town wearing leather pants, which prompts the astute observation, "sometimes the idea of something is better than the thing itself." Hyman's stories have funny setups, and his conversational, easy-to-read prose carries a weird poignancy. Agent, Jennifer Unter. (On sale July 7)

Forecast: Ads in alternative weeklies and an author tour to metrosexual hubs (e.g., New York City, Boston, San Francisco) could help this latest real-life lad lit sell.

Reviewed on: 06/14/2004
Release date: 08/01/2004
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-2749-8
Compact Disc - 978-0-7861-8539-9
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-2727-6
Ebook - 152 pages - 978-1-58836-380-0
Compact Disc - 978-0-7861-8588-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4551-0462-8
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