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Synopses & Reviews
Lucy, a biologist studying patterns of sexual selection, knows male animals will go to any length to attract females. So, what went wrong with the males of New York City? There's Adam, Lucy's boyfriend, who can't build a fire or jump-start a car, and there's a very long list of men with whom Lucy's best friend Martha has endured the torments of a first date. On the other hand, there's Lucy's old friend Cooper. Born and bred on his family's dairy farm, he is The Perfect Gentleman. Surely, think Martha and Lucy, the men they know would benefit from the tutelage of someone so steeped in the lost arts of gallantry, chivalry, and masculinity. Thus Man Camp is born. With a little feminine persuasion, Lucy and Martha convince a handful of their male acquaintances to visit Cooper's farm. In the process of teaching these city slickers how to "be men," they learn a good bit about life and love themselves.
"In Zoetrope founding editor Brodeur's wry, breezy debut novel, two 30-something Manhattan sophisticates decide that metrosexuals need to recover their alpha-male instinct and take it upon themselves to show them how. Lucy, a biologist and author of Sexual Selection: What Humans Can Learn from Animals, and her best friend, Martha, an actress, believe that the Manhattan man has no idea how to woo a woman and peg this deficiency to the theory that urbanity has stripped him of his essential maleness. While Lucy grows frustrated with her devoted but insecure boyfriend, Adam, Martha starts a service called FirstDate that gives men a chance to have their dating skills critiqued. But the two decide that the hapless fools need far more than just one date to become gentlemen. So Lucy's manly-man friend (and Martha's ultimate love interest) Cooper offers the pair use of his dairy farm as a training grounds for Man Camp, where they'll offer lessons in everything from 'confidence to carpentry to chivalry' in an effort to rehabilitate men for long-term relationships. There, in a neat conclusion to this cleanly written, brainy chick-lit tale, the women learn they can't necessarily apply sociobiology to human romance. Agent, Heather Schroder. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In this brilliant, witty, and insightful romp through the wilds of dating and mating, Lucy, a biologist studying patterns of sexual selection, knows male animals will go to any length to attract females. So, what has gone wrong with the males of New York City?
A biologist studying patterns of sexual selection, Lucy Stone knows a lot about mating–particularly that in the animal kingdom, males will go to any length to attract females. Why, then, are their human counterparts so hopeless in courtship?
This is the question that Lucy and her best friend, Martha McKenna, struggle to answer. Consider Adam, Lucy’s boyfriend of two years, who demonstrates on an ostensibly romantic camping trip that he can’t build a fire, split wood, or jump-start a car. Worse still, he’s scared to go into the woods after dark. Or take Jesse, Martha’s younger brother, an opera aficionado and neurotic extraordinaire who can’t summon the courage to make the first move on the woman he’s crazy about. And what about the extensive list of men with whom Martha has endured the torments of the first date.
But then there’s Cooper Tuckington, Lucy’s best friend from college. Born and bred on his family’s West Virginia dairy farm, Cooper fits anyone’s description of a man’s man, and yet he is chivalrous and charming. During his annual visit to New York City, he rewires Lucy’s lamps, builds her shelves, and holds forth on subjects from great painters to the great outdoors, all the while pulling out chairs and opening doors for the ladies. Surely, think Martha and Lucy, the men in their lives would benefit from the tutelage of someone who knows how to treat a woman.
Thus, Man Camp is born. With a little feminine persuasion, Lucy and Martha convince Adam, Jesse, and a handful of their other male acquaintances to visit Cooper’s farm, where they will learn everything a guy should know, from cars to carpentry to chivalry–and that’s just the C’s. But life on the farm isn’t exactly as it seems–and the boys soon prove themselves in ways the women would never have imagined. In the process, Lucy and Martha themselves learn a good bit about life and love.
The perfect can’t-put-it-down novel for all of us who’ve needed to bring out the inner man in the men we love, Man Camp is a brilliant, witty, and insightful romp through the wilds of dating and mating.
About the Author
Adrienne Brodeur was the founding editor of Zoetrope: All-Story. She lives in New York City.
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