The Wonder Lover by Malcolm Knox
This is a man’s book. Actually it is a multi – functional man’s book. First you can read it and marvel at what it tells you about male behaviour; then you can thump the nearest guy across the head with it.
Written by Australian author Malcolm Knox (otherwise known for Jamaica, The Life and Summerland), this is a fictional equivalent of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus and should be compulsory reading for any mixed book club.
The Wonder Lover tells the story of John Wonder who is running a life with three wives and families in different countries each ignorant of the others. As if three women weren’t enough, he develops a pathetic man crush on a fourth woman who he believes needs him more than all of the rest put together.
I won’t lie, this farcical premise was annoying at first. As if anyone can have three families in different countries that don’t know about each other and as if each wife has a boy and a girl both named Adam and Evie. I mean seriously? But as soon as put my Venus tendencies aside, it became obvious this was not the story of John Wonder but rather menfolk in general. Each woman holds a different type of appeal and satisfies a different emotional need to a man who sways between thinking of himself as a living legend one day and a pathetic coward the next.
The story is cleverly narrated by a single voice of his 6 children representing the silent damage of his deceit.
I make no secret of my love for this author Malcolm Knox. To me, his books shine a light into the dark and often creepy recesses of the male brain. Whilst his writing style, pace and tone can vary dramatically from book to book, his male world view is the starting point of all of his stories. After reading this one, I’d be interested to meet his wife.
And that is just my 2 cents worth.