by Sam Moffie, contemporary (2009)
Booksurge, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-4392-0461-0
No Mad isn't anything new. Many books have been written and many movies have been made in the past about the Great Middle-Aged Man Triumphant. You know the drill: a middle-aged man realizes that his wife has been cheating on him, which gives him justification to act like an overgrown brat. Meanwhile, he enjoys lavish success despite the fact that he is a disgusting smarmy pig displaying all the competence of a dyspeptic drooling mutt dry-humping the leg of anyone who happens to come too close.
Sam Moffie's latest book is the romance novel equivalent for men over a certain age. We have 49-year old Aaron Abrams, a bestselling author who is so amazing, so brilliant, so witty, and so well-hung that straight women practically swoon over his presence, who comes home to celebrate his latest literary success... only to find his wife in bed with his brother. As this story sees Aaron trying his best to impersonate David Duchovny's character in Californication in the following chapters, I can actually understand why the wife would cheat on him. Aaron is a repulsively smug male slut who is so self-satisfied with his supposed brilliance that it's clear to me that his ideal lover is his own reflection in the mirror. Women in this story are portrayed either as stupendously dumb creatures or one-dimensional groupies, with very little in between these two extremes.
Frankly, despite the quirky prose and literary stylistics, No Mad comes off awfully close to a wet dream of an author put into paper. I can't help but to feel pretty awkward about having read this book, as if I've accidentally peeked into someone's letter to Penthouse. When I read a book, I'd like to believe that the story is written for me to enjoy. This one resembles too much of an author's personal erotic fantasy - the only one enjoying himself at the end of the day is the author himself.
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