The ever hip and funny comedian and Parks and Recreation star embarks on a surprisingly insightful exploration of the complex realities of dating today.
Long before Ansari was born to his Tamil parents, people got together and married the least offensive prospect in the neighborhood. Sometimes, they looked no further than their own apartment building. Over time, and if they were lucky, they managed to form an enduring bond that grew into something a lot like love. It was crazy by today’s contemporary Western standards, but Ansari’s incredulousness with this anachronistic state of affairs is tempered with such a high level of earnest intelligence and compassion that he immediately establishes himself as a serious investigator. The author has plenty of jokes, for sure, but he also did his homework, teaming up with noted sociologists—including co-author Klinenberg (Sociology/New York Univ.; Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, 2012, etc.)—assembling focus groups, and even comprehensively exploring the idiosyncratic dating cultures of Tokyo, Paris, and Buenos Aires. Ansari also examines real-time text exchanges between singles in the United States. Is there anything more anxiety-inducing than waiting for a potential partner to return a text? Has texting become the last refuge for weak-kneed dopes too afraid to dial a woman directly? Increasingly sophisticated smartphones and dating apps provide today’s singles with options their 20th-century counterparts could never have imagined. However, as Ansari cleverly demonstrates, those marvelous advances create their own unique headaches, as unlimited choices can leave the lovelorn paralyzed. Ansari’s eminently readable book is successful, in part, because it not only lays out the history, evolution, and pitfalls of dating, it also offers sound advice on how to actually win today's constantly shifting game of love.
Often hilarious, consistently informative, and unusually helpful.