Dating– love it, hate it, play with the idea, or do what Cecily Knobler did when she wrote her book: try to figure it out. She’s Crazy, He’s a Liar, Now What?: A Single Girl’s Guide to Understanding the Sexes isn’t the guide every single person needs, but it is a source of relateable laughter that can help the cynic smile at this ubiquitous topic.
Guys, don’t let the subtitle keep you from picking up the book. At first glance it might seem like it’s a guide for single girls. Knobler, a single woman, has a mission to shed light on different perspectives on dating.
Knobler takes trips down memory lane and reveals the source of her quirky sense of humor– a bit reminiscent of Sarah Silverman, but not as twisted. In refreshing lightness, she shows us that laughing at our own pathetic lives is a perfectly acceptable coping mechanism. In light of her stories, the book is mostly about having common sense.
The funniest parts of the book are Knobler’s transcriptions of her roundtable gender discussions. These talks are a clear indication of how much advice people need regardless of background, belief, or marital status. Wisely chosen, Knobler’s counterparts range in personalities that exemplify the range of perspectives people have. Not everyone thinks about dating the same way! Oh, that’s why there are so many books on dating. As far as guidance is concerned, none is given in these discussions. Though, one can get to know what the other gender thinks from these talks. Just listen carefully.
Knobler also spends considerable verbiage on Fein and Schneider’s The Rules. Supporters and non-supporters represented, Knobler is clear that she is not a Rules girl. What is a Rules girl anyway? She responds to that question in more ways than one.
The book could have done without the glossy magazine-like paper, the pages of which were tempting to turn as if they were a magazine. Why the gloss? Probably to make the color illustrations pop. Maybe Knobler really wanted to write a comic book, which would have totally worked given the content, especially with the roundtable talks. Though her narratives could have made a fun manga as well.
While “guide” doesn’t justify all the content, the book has its how-to moments. Useful? Maybe. That really depends on how lost the reader is in his or her quest for true love. For those who have a handle on the dating scene, read it for sheer entertainment value. As far as her target audience is concerned, it can be as useful for guys as for the female who needs girl time. Throughout the book, Knobler has a lot to say especially to guys, mostly in the first half. Perhaps Knobler thought guys would give up on the book before the halfway point, and thenceforth focused on the girls.
As the author of AlphaDog, the dating guide for men, reading She’s Crazy, He’s a Liar tended to be frustrating at times. The gender differences Knobler pokes fun at can easily avoid relationship problems when we know our own personality types. (Though, I learned something about women reading this book, and I’m a woman.) Overall, it’s a fun, easy read with lots of pictures to keep the reader wondering what’s next, some interesting facts that show Knobler did some research, and plenty of healthy chuckles.