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Built around the notion that a new wave of self-help puritanismabetted by the good ol American drive toward success and eternal youthis stifling the nation with "tedious" ideals, Flockers campy little volume aims to redirect readers toward a more lofty goal: the pursuit of pleasure. Fans of Flockers previous book, the bestselling Metrosexual Guide to Style, will appreciate his clever lists and section titles: e.g. "Top Ten Reasons Big Rats Abandon the Race" and "Looking GoodBuy the Outfit, Screw the Phone Bill." The pages are delightfully laid out, with amusing marginalia and wonderful Victorian-era illustrations, and there are plenty of barbs to keep readers chuckling. For example, writing of May-December relationships, Flocker quips: "The trick, on both sides of the fence, is to feign serious interest." But the book nonetheless feels a bit too weakly espoused. For one, Flockers ideas and examples appear grasped-at rather than pondered-on. For another, hes constantly hedging his argument, always calling for caution and balance in the indulgences he espouses, as though afraid of a backlash from the very forces that he mocks. Flockers first book was notable for its dissection of an existing trend; it seems unlikely that his second will spark a new one. That said, this little red book does have its moments of wit, joy and even profundity and, as a novelty gift, it could make a charming nudge to ones partner in crime.
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The author of the best-selling 'The Metrosexual Guide to Style', 'The Hedonism Handbook', and 'The Fame Game', Michael Flocker lives in New York City.