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Love Monkey: A Novel [Hardcover]

Kyle Smith
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Smith has clearly taken lessons from a few successful writers of chick lit ("Days Without Sex: 0"), but his boy version of Bridget Jones lacks the key ingredient: a sympathetic protagonist. Tom Farrell, 32, lives in Manhattan and works at a publication called Tabloid (a dead ringer for the New York Post), which proudly proclaims itself to be "America's loudest newspaper." Farrell's job is that of "rewrite man," redoing stories by shaping them into salacious shorts and then coming up with eye-catching headlines. As he puts it, however, his "most time-consuming hobby is collecting ex-girlfriends," and the novel-which chronicles five months in Farrell's life-is mostly a jumbled catalogue of his failed love affairs. There's Julia, a co-worker Farrell can't get out of his head; Bran, a platonic friend he might try to get into his bed; Katie, a budding lawyer; and Liesl, an earnest German paralegal. Smith, the book and music review editor at People magazine, writes in glossy and accessible magazine prose (Farrell describes a co-worker as "a girl whose hotitude was... off the charts") and his New York patter can be clever. Searching for its place somewhere between Nick Hornby in subject matter and David Sedaris in its wit, this novel rests uneasily between the two. Publishing and journalism insiders will enjoy Smith's spot-on description of the tabloid life, but women looking for insights into the male psyche, the real potential readership here, may not take kindly to Smith's unflattering dissection of his dates. Still, this is a lively, promising debut.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Tom Farrell--single, 32, smart, caustic, and often drunk--is a "rewrite" wiz at a "real tabloidy tabloid" in New York City and in desperate need of a mate. But so intent is he on acting the part of a witty, laidback, sensitive lover boy that none of the gorgeous, intelligent, and cutthroat women he woos takes him seriously, especially his obsession, the wretchedly manipulative Julia. Basically, this debut novel is a jejune tale of unrequited love sloppily tied to 9/11. But Smith, the book and music review editor at People, is so devilishly hilarious in his parsing of his narrator-hero's romantic longings and degraded vocation (his sly co-workers are a riot), and so electrifying in his assaults on New York pretension, the inanities of new parents, bad rock and roll, the horrors of dating, and the conflicting desires for casual sex and undying love, he manages to generate a wealth of intriguing psychological and social minutiae. Ultimately, this is an amusing and endearing portrait of a near-loser about to blossom into a truly cool guy. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


“Hilarious.” (New York Times)

“Love Monkey nails it!” (Time Magazine)

“An exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“Hilarious...refreshing.... A helluva lot of fun.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“The male BRIDGET JONES: New York’s most buzzed-about novel.” (New York Post)

“The American answer to HIGH FIDELITY.” (Glamour)

“The American answer to Nick Hornby...a cheeky, ribald, riotous page-turner.” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

“[LOVE MONKEY] will no doubt be heralded as the male Bridget Jones.” (New York Times Book Review)

“LOVE MONKEY ... resurrects and updates the Dorothy Parker style of talking about New York ....[Smith’s] ruthless humor knows no bounds.” (Maureen Corrigan on Fresh Air)

“Screamingly funny.” (Hartford Courant)

“Cleverly, breathlessly written, with laughs on every page....A worthy debut.” (Miami Herald)

“Move over Bridget Jones....Kyle Smith’s LOVE MONKEY is by turns hilarious and touching.” (Boston Herald)

“Deeply hilarious and incriminatingly insightful....literary junk food for the Hungry-Man soul.” (Los Angeles Times)

“Hilarious ....Very funny and unexpectedly touching ...had [me] laughing out loud for an hour.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

“I laughed....I must confess to being a sucker for Smith’s brand of cheeky humor.” (Baltimore Sun)

“Full of sexy tomfoolery....[Yet] carefully concealed beneath the glittery fun is a novel of craft and purpose.” (Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel)

“Readers [will] soon realize that everything he thinks and almost everything he says is either perfectly perceptive or wryly amusing.” (Daily News)

“Wickedly wry....Move over, Carrie Bradshaw.” (New York Sun)

“Devilishly hilarious ... An amusing and endearing portrait of a near-loser about to blossom into a truly cool guy.” (Booklist)

“Fast-paced and witty [with] laugh-out-loud moments … A novel that’s worth checking out.” (Romantic Times BOOKclub)

“An instant classic .... gives women the one thing they almost never get from men—the truth.” (Marian Keyes)

“Somewhere between Nick Hornby...and David Sedaris....A lively, promising debut.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Funny ... entertaining ... dashed with a pleasing amount of malice.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Very funny and the writing is superb. Kyle Smith is fearsomely talented.” (Anna Maxted, author of Getting Over It)

“An anatomy chart of the male psyche, root, a deep yearning for romantic love.” (Meghan Daum, author of The Quality of Life Report)

“This is the funniest book I’ve read all year. ” (Toby Young, author of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People)

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-Herald and 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.
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