Synopses & Reviews
Many men aim high; Tom Farrell dares to be average. While his friends accumulate wedding rings, mortgages, and even, alarmingly, babies, Tom still lives alone in his rented apartment with nothing but condiments and alcohol in his refrigerator. He spends Saturday mornings watching cartoons and eating Cocoa Puffs out of an Empire Strikes Back
bowl, and devotes the rest of the weekend to his other favorite hobbies: sports and girls. His credo, to think and act like a thirteen-year-old boy at all times, has worked well enough to land him a decent job writing headlines for the New York Tabloid. But neither his personal life nor his professional life has any forward momentum; he's occupied the same cubicle since the first George Bush was president and is currently "between girlfriends." At thirty-two, it starts to occur to him: There's a fine line between picky and loser.
Enter a sly, beautiful coworker named Julia. After a few torrid dates, Tom is hooked. "She's like cleaning behind my refrigerator. A once-in-a-lifetime thing." But the closer he gets to Julia, the more elusive she becomes. Frustrated, Tom seeks the dubious advice of his buddy Shooter, a shallow sexual gladiator, and wonders why he keeps getting into arguments with Bran, his smart, sarcastic "default date." But then tragedy strikes, and everyone's attitudes toward life and love change -- and even Tom begins to see himself in a new light.
By turns riotous and tenderhearted, Kyle Smith's Love Monkey is the most candid and excruciatingly funny exploration of the male mind and libido since High Fidelity.
"[T]he hilarious sexual misadventures...feel more refreshing than rehashed....Monkey, like the paper Tom writes for, is loud and brash, but a helluva lot of fun. (Grade: B+)" David Koeppel, Entertainment Weekly
"The American answer to High Fidelity." Glamour
"If men deserve equal time in this inch-deep genre, Mr. Smith earns his place with an unstoppable string of glib but hilarious wisecracks. He's a whole lot funnier than he deserves to be." Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"Basically, this debut novel is a jejune tale of unrequited love sloppily tied to 9/11....Ultimately, this is an amusing and endearing portrait of a near-loser about to blossom into a truly cool guy." Donna Seaman, Booklist
"Smith...tries too hard to be clever...piling witticism upon witticism....Consequently, the book seems facile rather than meaningful, at least to this reviewer, who is neither male nor thirtysomething nor a New Yorker." Library Journal
"An anatomy chart of the male psyche, revealing...at root, a deep yearning for romantic love." Meghan Daum, author of The Quality of Life Report
"Love Monkey nails it!" Time
"This is the funniest book I've read all year." Toby Young, author of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People
"[F]or a book apparently aiming to be just a light, sassy Hornby/Fielding knockoff, it's a fatal flaw to have this narrow-minded wank at its center. Funny material corrupted by a protagonist who grows less funny the longer you know him." Kirkus Reviews
Bridget Jones meets her match in a hip, sexy urban novel with the soul of High Fidelity
. Tom Farrell, who writes headlines for the New York Tabloid
("America's loudest newspaper") is a typical Manhattan single guy -- chronologically, he's thirty-two, but mentally, he's stuck at thirteen. He enthusiastically devotes himself to his two favorite pastimes, sports and girls, until he encounters a beautiful, bookish coworker named Julia. After a few torrid dates, he's hooked -- Julia is "like cleaning behind my refrigerator. A once-in-a-lifetime thing."
Julia, though, proves elusive, and Tom merrily pursues other girls, including his smart, sarcastic "default date," Bran. Meanwhile, his even less evolved best friend, Shooter, a shallow sexual gladiator, urges him to treat all women like a hostile power. But when tragedy strikes, Tom begins to see life and love in a new light.This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
A riotous tale of love and (imandndash;)maturity that offers an honest and ferociously funny look into the mind of the randy, single American male andndash;andndash; and was one of the most heralded debuts of 2004.
Bridget Jones meets her match in a hip, sexy urban novel with the soul of High Fidelity. Tom Farrell, who writes headlines for the New York Tabloid ("America's loudest newspaper") is a typical Manhattan single guy andndash; chronologically, he's 32, but mentally, he's stuck at 13. Tom is content to live a simple life (no girlfriend to worry about, nothing but condiments and alcohol in the refrigerator) until he realizes how many of his friends have "grown up" and acquired spouses, children, and high powered careers, and he begins to wonder if it's finally his turn. Enter a beautiful, bookish coandndash;worker named Julia. After a few torrid dates, he's hooked andndash; Julia is "like cleaning behind my refrigerator. A onceandndash;inandndash;aandndash;lifetime thing."
But Julia proves elusive and, being the lad that he is, Tom still merrily pursues other girls, such as his sarcastic, untouchable "default date" Bran. Meanwhile, his even lessandndash;evolved best friend Shooter, chick magnet first class, urges him to treat all women like a hostile power. But after tragedy strikes, everyone's attitudes toward life and love change in unexpected ways, and even Tom begins to see himself in a new light.
About the Author
Kyle Smith grew up in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts and attended Yale University, where he majored in English and graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Shortly after graduation, he was surprised to find himself the only member of his Yale class leading a United States Army platoon into combat in the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War. The experience inspired his yet-to-be published memoir, If I Die While Sipping Tea. He began his journalism career writing dispatches from the war for the now-defunct Dallas Times-Heraldand later moved to New York City to be a news clerk and reporter for the New York City bureau of the Associated Press. Then he returned to combat, serving three honorable years at the New York Post. These experiences in the New York City newspaper industry provided him with the inspiration and the material to write a romantic comedy screenplay, which inspired him to revisit the dating scene in his debut novel Love Monkey. Since 1996 he has worked for People, where he is currently a critic and editor of the book and music reviews. Kyle Smith lives in New York City, where his interests include music (mainly listening, though he has made disorganized efforts to play), reading, and running.