Tuesday, July 08, 2008
monday tuesday book review - things i've learned from women who've dumped me, edited by ben karlin
Getting dumped sucks. No matter your age, gender, or the size of your emotional investment, there’s little worse than listening to someone tell you that she’s tried you out, found you to be less than favorable and would like to return you now. And although we’d all like to be able to claim that we’ve never been dumped - that we’re far too desirable to ever be the dumpee, it’s an experience that’s happened to the best of us at one time or another, and one we can all relate to regardless of race, religion, or sexual persuasion. (And if you tell me that you’ve never been dumped, then I’m calling you a liar. Also, your pants are on fire.)

But being dumped - although very painful - can also be very funny, especially after traveling a comfortable distance of time. And so, with a list of contributors that is nothing if not promising, Things I’ve Learned From Women Who’ve Dumped Me, a collection of relationship-based essays compiled and edited by Ben Karlin (former editor of The Onion and former executive producer of The Daily Show), certainly had potential. Unfortunately, and as was the case with all my ex-boyfriends, potential isn’t enough.

Just like any relationship, the book certainly had its high points. Tom McCarthy’s recollections on the Christian Camp girl who got away in “Don’t Leave Too Much Room for the Holy Spirit” made me laugh out loud and was my personal favorite, while Neal Pollack’s “Don’t Come on Your Cat” and Patton Oswalt’s “Dating a Stripper Is a Recipe for Perspective” were also particularly enjoyable, but I found these occasional gems to be too infrequent to sustain the entire collection. Many of the essays were fine enough, however not great, and some – like Stephen Colbert’s gimmicky contribution – were downright disappointments.

Overall, Things… is an easy, breezy read that is sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, but sometimes falls short, making it a bit too spotty for my overall taste.  So I dumped it.

Things I've Learned from Women Who've Dumped Me
Edited by Ben Karlin
2008, 223 pages

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