Posted by: Ele Quigan | January 25, 2014

Straight White Male – John Niven

The challenge with other people recommending you books is that you’re never quite sure what sort of experience you’re going to have. This comes up in book club occasionally, people love and hate different things, and of course if you absolutely hate something that someone who’s opinion you genuinely respect, it should be something handled a little delicately.

So what do you do? Start to quietly judge the person who suggested it? Look at why you hated it, and consider if that’s why they loved it? Start to nit-pick the book even further (e.g. it’s sexist, misogynistic, ridiculous) and then think “Oh my god are they actually like that?”

So, Straight White Male. I can’t work out if it was just really well done satire, or whether it was the easy read, entertaining, male equivalent of a romance.

Premise – Successful screenwriter who has had 2 failed marriages is facing huge tax bill and either has to cut down on the excesses of his life, or receive an award for a previous novel which includes a year teaching placement at the university where his ex-wife works.

You can see where this is going.

Sure there are absolutely interesting bits, it becomes a bit of a treatise on screenwriting around actors/directors. Maybe the satire when over my head but it just seemed to be not really saying anything by the satire? Sure there’s a couple of interesting rants but nothing that really struck me as insightful…

SO, friend who suggested this – I still think you’re one of the most insightful people I’ve met, and no – I’m not judging you from a far (I promise, even though I mentioned it earlier! I’m really not…) however I really really really hated this book.

Book recommendations anyone?


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