Synopsis (from Amazon):
Dan Hilles is a pretty regular kind of guy – regular job, regular bunch of mates, regular male aversion to shopping. But following his break-up with long-term girlfriend, Stacey, he finds himself single again. He’s been out of the game for a while and is a little out of practice. Soon, the very irregular and increasingly worrying issue in Dan’s life is the extended drought he finds himself suffering. And we’re not talking the climate change, scorched earth, God I’m parched variety. You’ve got to hand it to Dan though – it certainly isn’t from a lack of trying. With stalwart mates Ollie, Jack and Rob on hand to lend their collective pearls of male wisdom and arrange the odd road trip, you’d think Dan’s days of languishing in a sexual wilderness would be numbered. Even best friends can’t help prevent the kind of surreal holes Dan just can’t seem to help digging himself into. And with each failed attempt, his self-esteem plummets to the point where he wonders if ‘little Dan’ will ever work again. Good job he has Kelly, his reliable and sympathetic colleague, to confide in. As a woman, she can perhaps shed some female light on why he’s failing so miserably with the opposite sex, balancing out the testosterone-fuelled ‘advice’ from the lads. Surely Dan can’t go wrong with Kelly teaching him the various intricacies of a woman’s mind. Steven Scaffardi’s first novel will have every guy laughing out loud in recognition and every girl secretly worrying – is this how men really think? A new talent to watch out for on the ‘lad-lit’ scene.
WARNING – This book will make you cry… with laughter!
I’m a big fan of lad-lit (I read a hell of a lot more of it than I do chick-lit, and I’m a chick!), and Scaffardi has packed everything you could possibly want into this voyage of self- and sexual discovery. Dan is a tragically comic character – let’s face it, we all know a guy who isn’t so successful with the ladies and tries just a little too hard with hilarious outcomes – and his mates are just as daft. All are present and correct – the smooth cheater who thinks he can bag any woman he fancies (and usually does), the big bruiser who is a bit soft in the head, but his heart is in the right place (and he’s there to pick up the leftovers from the others – all those not-so-pretty friends who are left over when the smoothie has had his pick), and the brains of the outfit who isn’t always quite as sharp as he’d like to think, but usually comes good.
And then there are the women. You know the types – all those scary first dates that ever went wrong and made you the joke of the week with your buddies, all the bunny boilers in the making and clinging vines and whining jealous types, march in and out of poor Dan’s love life without him getting even a sniff of a chance of getting them into bed.
The plot follows a tried and tested path, and you always know where Dan is going to end up come the end of the book, but the journey to get to that point is so funny you don’t care that you know what’s going to happen because you genuinely want it to happen that way.
This has a broad appeal and would be the perfect gift for the lad in your life, or even the chick with a knowing sense of humour who will recognise her man-mates on the pages, and there are sex gags and innuendos galore which will have you giggling from start to finish, while you cheer Dan and his mates along the way.
Reviewed by Kell Smurthwaite