LADS: A Memoir of Manhood

Dave Itzkoff, Author . Villard $23.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6113-6

After graduating from Princeton in 1998, Itzkoff entered the world of lad magazines, first at Details and then at Maxim . His book's central irony is that at the center of the hot babes–filled men's mag world, one of its editors can't get no satisfaction. So much of Itzkoff's time in New York is spent being teased, led on and rejected by neurotic women that the book sometimes resembles an ode to onanism. It's fantastic gallows humor; even in the bleakest scene—an attempted suicide—Itzkoff maintains his satirical flair, marveling that drugstores allow crying, inebriated customers to buy as many bottles of sleeping pills as they can carry. But beyond the pleasures and pains of reading a glint-eyed insider's account of the publishing world and its denizens, this is a more universal story of a troubled father-son relationship. Itzkoff's dad is a manic-depressive furrier struggling to stay straight and sane after a decades-long cocaine addiction. Itzkoff eventually leaves Maxim and reconciles with his father—the move from lads to dad a sign of a late-but-redemptive maturity. Unlike with MAD or National Lampoon , there are arguably few things of lasting value that have come out of Maxim 's success so far, but Itzkoff may be the exception. Agent, Nina Collins. (Sept. 14)

Forecast: Promotions targeting "gossip Web sites" and "men's trend-setting magazines" will attempt to market this book to the elusive lad-lit market.

Reviewed on: 07/12/2004
Release date: 09/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 277 pages - 978-0-8129-7029-6
Ebook - 188 pages - 978-1-58836-431-9
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