Review: The Average American Male by Chad Kultgen

According to Chad Kultgen, a USC graduate, the “average” American male is twenty degrees beyond oversexed and utterly disingenuous. The majority of the book is composed of the narrator’s vulgar and obscene fantasies of every female he encounters; even a girl with a hair-lip whom he and his buddy Todd call Scarface, and even while he stands in line with his girlfriend for Gwen Stefani’s autograph. The rest of it is the narrator’s incredible inability to commit to either of his girlfriends, Casey or Alyna – the former with the “fat” ass. Even with Alyna, the one with the “perfect” ass, the narrator finds himself torn between wanting to be single all his life or to “bite the marriage bullet.”

Objectively, the narrator is just a real scum bag. Every other sentence is a fantasy about a different woman, either an ex-girlfriend or a random woman he encounters on the street. He is dishonest with both Casey and Alyna, and in turn with himself – dishonest about how he feels, or what he wants to do, or whether he’s happy or not. He hardly speaks more than 10 words in the entire book, usually keeping his impure thoughts to himself.

In my opinion, perhaps naive or premature, I don’t think Kultgen truly captures the average American male. The average guy I encounter or that I am friends with is not as stupid or as disrespectful to women as the story’s narrator. But even through all his b.s., Kultgen writes an entertaining, funny, albeit inappropriate story about a dude interpreting and navigating through intimate relationships with women he’ll never truly understand.

Picks for the Omnivorous Reader, November 27

I may be on the really late train but I just discovered Nancy Pearl’s recurring Morning Edition piece on NPR, “Picks for the Omnivorous Reader” after downloading NPR’s amazeballs news app. (I’ve long gotten tired of the BBC News app – can I get at least one piece of good news each day??) I’m weary of lists telling me what to read, as I’ve relied on bestseller lists before and they’re just not my kind of list. I mean, 50 Shades of Grey? Come on, I already read some great romance via Rachel Gibson and Jennifer Crusie – they’re even better writers; they’re hilarious too which is such a bonus.

I also tried reading a book from Pullitzer Prize winning author, Junot Diaz – This Is How You Lose Her – but I was not nearly as impressed as the jury that awarded him for a past book. I hate his writing style, sorry to say… It’s very cliche. And that comes from a girl who reads cliche and euphamism-ridden romance novels. I’ll take another jab at it in hopes that I’ll at least read through but we’ll see…

Come on Pullitzer Prize jury and bestselling lists, you have yet to help me widen my reading lists beyond romance and finance books…

Anyway, my point in all this is, I’m going to give librarian Nancy Pearl’s awesome-looking November 27 list a chance with America Aflame by David Goldfield. It has to be good – first because Nancy Pearl recommended it for Goldfield’s graceful prose and holistic history of the Civil War, and second because I’m #4 on a hold queue for 1 copy at the local public library.

I’ll be waiting a bit for my first novel on your list, but in the meantime, keep ’em coming, Nancy. I hope your list proves to be a Joanne kind of list…