Virago, £9.99, 1-86049-771-3
Contemporary Fiction, 2000
Bleeurgh! The next time I want a brain hemorrhage, someone just hit me in the head with a jackhammer. I think that will be a more edifying experience than this vile waste of precious paper that is A Handful of Manhood. I’ll try not to lapse into gutter invectives here, but I apologize if a few bad words slip past here and there.
The plot of this utter brain mush is a horny 60-year old man trying to get it on with a woman young enough to be his granddaughter while trying to ditch his wife. Add in the usual lame jokes about “that pill”, the “limp piece of dick”, and other brain-damage inducing repertoire and I feel quite ill. It’s like attending a stand-up comedy marathon where the speakers spew lame jokes non-stop. Worse, I paid £9.99 for this crap.
And more insulting is the fact that the two women in question actually start a brickbat catfight over him. Oh, it’s not supposed to be called “catfight”, I believe it’s called “characterization”, or at least what these deluded critics that praise this book sky-high must believe. I wonder if these critics are 60, paunchy, and are dreaming of getting it on with some jailbait. Hmm.
If that’s not enough, the entire book is writing in a monotonous style. I don’t know if it’s the translator’s fault or the author’s. Reading the supposedly-witty prose is like getting my ears sandpapered. As the stupid horny old man bungles up his attempts at seduction, as the dumb women indulge his antics instead of sending him into geriatric exile, as the whole farce degenerates into something akin to watching dogs play in a giant poop pile, I wonder what insanity compelled me to even think this book could actually turn up funny eventually.
Well, I hope Ms Hauptmann has her jollies raising horny old dogs on the Macho Pedestal. Now excuse me while I throw this book into the recycling bin. Being geriatric is never this embarrassing.