Synopses & Reviews
The smudge looked suspiciously penis-like. The doctor confirmed: "That's the baby's penis!" which caused not celebration, but panic. Joel pictured having to go camping and fix a car and use a hammer and throw a football and watch professionals throw footballs and figure out whether to be sad or happy about the results of said football throwing.
So begins his quest to confront his effete nature whether he likes it or not (he doesn't), by doing a twenty-four-hour shift with L.A. firefighters, going hunting, rebuilding a house, driving a Lamborghini, enduring three days of boot camp with the U.S. Army, day-trading with $100,000, and going into the ring with UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture. Seeking help from a panel of experts, including his manly father-in-law, Boy Scouts, former NFL star Warren Sapp, former MLB All-Star Shawn Green, Adam Carolla, and a pit bull named Hercules, he expects to learn that masculinity is defined not by the size of his muscles, but by the size of his heart (also, technically, a muscle). This is not at all what he learns.
"Studying sonograms, Stein (Time humor columnist) felt he needed to upgrade his manliness in order to become a role model for his son: 'If I can just make it through some man stuff — go camping, play a sport, hunt an animal, fix stuff around the house — I'll gain some credibility.' With that goal, he embarked on his quest to transform himself into a manly man, even though his wife, Cassandra, regarded it as 'an incredibly stupid idea.' After scribbling a list of '11 new Herculean labors,' he began by going on a weekend Boy Scout camping trip: 'At about 0300, I gain an even deeper appreciation for houses.' He does a 24-hour shift with L.A. firefighters even though wearing 'vulnerable-toed shoes' instead of boots. After advice from former NFL star Warren Sapp, he learns what day traders do ('they gamble'), rides in a borrowed Lamborghini, goes hunting, attempts to overcome his fear of dogs ('they bite'), does home repair with his father-in-law ('Throwing things out a window is incredibly fun'), and spends three days at a Marine boot camp: 'It's like I'm at the world's best haunted house.' He ends his 'manjourney' by entering the ring with UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture. Stein proves himself to be a champion humorist by probing the serious side of his subject while peppering the paragraphs with numerous fresh and funny notions. Agent: Suzanne Gluck." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Joel Stein grew up in Edison, N.J., went to Stanford, and in 1997, became a staff writer for Time magazine. In 1998, he began writing his sophomoric humor column which now appears on the back page of the magazine every week. He also writes many other articles for Time
, and has contributed to the New Yorker, GQ, Esquire, Details, Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure, Wired, Real Simple, Sunset, Playboy, Elle
and many more.
He has appeared as a talking head on many TV shows, taught a class in humor writing at Princeton, and wrote a column for the Los Angeles Times for four years. He and his wife live in Los Angeles with their son.