Truly Mars and Venus: The Illustrated Essential Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
John Gray / Author HarperCollins $19.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-06-0
A pointed Valentine's day gift for the baffling extraterrestrial in your life, this slender tome takes excerpts (think one-or two-paragraph soundbites and bullet-pointed checklists) from Gray's mega-selling relationship bible and dolls them up them with cutesy illustrations. The focus, of course, is on the perennial miscommunication between the sexes-women tend to overcommunicate via an emotional litany of suggestions and complaints, while men tend to undercommunicate by dismissing women's concerns and withdrawing into their ""caves""-and practical ways to overcome it. The condensed format, which offers little room for qualifications and nuances, sometimes highlights Gray's oversimplification of male-female differences. His sunny belief that ""all big marital problems first began as little problems that were not resolved"" seems too optimistic, and glib tips like ""Laugh at his jokes"" and ""Really enjoy having sex with him"" may be little help when both the jokes and the sex are uninspiring. Still, Gray has a good feel for the particulars of domestic friction, and many couples will see a bit of themselves in his caricatures-if they haven't already, that is: Gray's signature volume has sold over 14 million copies worldwide. His basic counsel (that men should stop ignoring and belittling women, and women should stop nagging and nit-picking at men) can do many relationships a world of good.
Reviewed on: 01/01/2003