Book review: How to Find a Woman…or Not

How to Find a Woman...or NotImagine that you have an older divorced buddy who decided to throw himself into the world of dating. Imagine the same buddy going up on stage and delivering a comedy/advice show all about his dating adventures to you and all of your friends. If you can imagine that scenario, then you’ve imagined Gary Morgenstein’s new book, How to Find a Women…or Not.

Make no mistake, this book is highly targeted towards those who are in a situation similar to Gary: past a first marriage, a little older, and trying to get back into the dating game. If you happen to live in New York, you’ll also benefit from recommendations on where to take the older woman for a nice date.

The content delivery is exactly what you’d expect from a sarcastic standup comedian. There are few sentences that slip by without a parenthetical side commentary, which can make the book seem more stream-of-consciousness than it really is. The other thing you’ll find a lot of in this book is lists. Almost every page feature either a bulleted or numbered lists of things you should keep in mind. The downside of this approach is that it breaks up the flow of the book, so reading it straight through is a little bit tiring. The upside of this approach is that you don’t have to worry about getting lost if put down the book and pick it up later.

Where the book really shines is towards the middle, when Gary takes on Internet dating. Having been through the Internet dating experience and emerged with my own battle scars, I could really relate to this section. He deftly dissects the ins and outs of Internet dating and how to keep your sanity while making an attempt to meet someone interesting. I love the title of Chapter 10,  “Online Dating and Other Surreal Experiences”.

Gary really explores all realms of dating, including the value of gay friends, how to avoid losing your job while dating at work, why getting setup with someone by friends isn’t always a good thing, how young is too young, and of course, sex. He moves swiftly from one topic to the next, peppering the text with “Morgy Rules,” Gary’s pieces of advice that you’ll want to write down and remember, such as:

Remember the woman always chooses. ALWAYS. They decide if we can touch their private parts, not us. If they deign, we sleep with them. If they don’t, we don’t.

Note that this book is not a step-by-step guide to dating, but rather a book-length comedic rant about dating in general with some words of wisdom sprinkled throughout. Being younger than Gary, I had a little bit of trouble relating to some stories (dating women with children, needing to pack the little blue pill just in case, etc.), but I can definitely imagine those older than me relating very well to this. How to Find a Women…or Not is recommended if you enjoy sarcastic/funny writing on the complex topic of dating and the adventures a 50-something year old divorcee can still have in the quest for love and happiness.

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