August 06

The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P by Adelle Waldman

How could I pass up a book so favorably reviewed by Lena Dunham (GIRLS fame) and Alain de Botton (Philosopher at large)?   These two people are poles apart but I admire them both so when I saw they loved this book (joining the 100 other love-struck reviewers!), I reckoned it was worth a look-see.

This is a book about a whip-smart young American bloke who bares his soul,  his arrogance and ambitions, his fears, his loves and philanderings.   His voice is so authentic and so familiar but, here is the thing, it’s penned by a woman and  boy, she does a damn fine job!

I would never say I understood how a man’s brain works (despite years of practice trying) so I sure as hell could not write with such acute realism as Adelle Waldman does.  It is clever stuff, scarily insightful and right on the money.

The story line is, in short and as the title suggests, about the dating trials and tribulations of author and man about town Nathaniel.  I couldn’t help but recognize the scenarios, the mis-steps, the flirting and the rejections endured along the way and it is told with such honesty, wit and accuracy  you feel you are actually taking a walk down memory lane into your own youthful dating days…. oh, the joys, the wonder and the heartbreak of it all.  Nathaniel will remind you all I think of that boy you couldn’t help but love despite yourself.  You may well recognise yourself in his lovers and understand their rapture and their rage. I did.

Adelle Waldman is a gifted writer so it is definitely worth a read folks.  And with thoughtful consideration I get why Lena and Alain love it.  There is just the right amount of GIRL-esque edge to keep you guessing (and hanging on each word) and the right mix of gentle philosophical meanderings to  soften the blows that make this, the little gem that  it is.

But that is just my two cents worth.