One man's blackly funny quest for love, self-knowledge and the solution to the impenetrable mysteries of the opposite sex.
Daniel Savage's marriage and career have failed and his love life is a disaster. All he has left is a grimy bedsit and his six-year-old daughter. Who does he blame for his life? Himself. Men in general. And women, of course. Because Daniel thinks women are a nightmare from which there's no waking up. Is he right? He's determined to find out - firstly by trawling through the history of every relationship he's had, and secondly, by dating every woman he can find...
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The Love Secrets of Don Juan sees self-pitying ad executive Daniel "Spike" Savage midway through a messy divorce at 45. His soon-to-be ex-wife, Beth, has the house in Hammersmith and custody of their daughter, Poppy. Daniel has been left with a bedsit in perpetually unfashionable Acton and a burning desire to understand why all his relationships with women end in miserable failure.
A few words of wisdom come from old friend Carol, best mate Martin and his therapist Terence but with a blind-ish date looming, Daniel takes more drastic action. He embarks on refining his identity or "brand statement" in the forlorn hope that he'll stand a better chance with the opposite sex--as he quips: "Interesting that 'opposite'. As in diametrically opposed. Not the different sex. The opposite sex." With his trusty flip chart and black marker pens he starts to analyse the lessons he has learned from each love affair--a project he dubs, ironically, The Love Secrets of Don Juan.
To begin with, Tim Lott's third novel seems to mine a furrow of laddishness all but exhausted in the late 90s by Nick Hornby and numerous stand-up comedians, invariably called Jeff. Daniel's "Women, oh they're different, aren't they?" shtick hardly appears original; while Lott's take on the ostracised "Good Dad" is pure Parsons. But Lott is a significantly better novelist than the above would suggest. His plotting can be hackneyed but this is a book full of acute humour and observations--one recurring and insistent theme is the contrast of male literalness and feminine symbolism. Daniel is richly drawn and as he negotiates the modern dating (and parenting) game, his articulate, first person narrative, peppered with brand names and marketing argot, really captures a man struggling to understand his life, love and the infuriating nuances of gender. --Travis ElboroughReview:
A mid-life crisis novel from the author of White City Blue and Rumours of a Hurricane. Daniel Savage is 45, divorced and living in a bedsit. Where did it all go wrong? With women, of course. Plus he has attitude problems of his own to sort out. So he seeks answers in his own romantic history, and conducts comparative research by dating as many women as he can. Lott is good on the mysteries of manhood, and better than many men are on fathoming the far deeper mysteries of the opposite sex. With this his third novel, Lott has clearly hit his stride, deploying his own unique version of the art of the novel to make sense of contemporary life as viewed from the wrong side of the emotional tracks, the male side.
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Book Description 2004-03-25., 2004. Book Condition: New. Penguin. New Ed. Paperback. Book: VERY GOOD. 304pp. . Bookseller Inventory # NF-1174809
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0141009128