cover image The Average American Male

The Average American Male

Chad Kultgen. Harper Perennial, $13.99 (246pp) ISBN 978-0-06-123167-4

The nameless narrator of this dismal debut is a cynical 20-something living an empty, oversexed existence in L.A. He gets laid more often than he masturbates, plays video games, goes to the gym, sizes up every bitch in sight and, understandably, hates Casey, his vapid wannabe-actress girlfriend who tricks him into agreeing to marry her. He is not happy about this. Adding to his reluctance is his burgeoning ""relationship"" with hottie Alyna, a UCLA student who-just as Casey is an exaggerated caricature of What Men Don't Want-is the Dream Girl who likes video games and porn-style sex. (Also, Casey has a ""fat ass"" whereas Alyna has a ""perfect ass."") When he dumps Casey for Alyna, miserable Casey declares she's pregnant, a suspicious claim that nonetheless makes Alyna bolt. A pedestrian confrontation gets Casey out of the narrator's hair and Alyna back into his bed, but now that he's got the dream girl, he has an epiphany: ""every bitch I ever fuck will ultimately become any other bitch I've ever fucked."" Despite the book's purported ""brutal honesty,"" the premise is essentially: guys like sex and dislike cuddling.