THE FAMILY MAN by Todd Strasser


Email this review


Known for his popular YA novels, Strasser takes on the grown-up themes of infidelity and aging in this slight comic novel of N.Y.C.'s Upper West Side. At 34, moneyman Stuart Miller leaves his Wall Street firm to move his business, his smart VP wife, and their adorable tot into an uptown co-op. Here, he promptly becomes obsessed with the doings of an exotic, exhibitionistic beauty in a run-down hotel across the street. At the same time, both his parents' marriage and his friend Eliot's begin to unravel over infidelities, but Stuart himself, however tempted, is a good-hearted Yuppie Everymale conscientiously fighting the seven-year itch. Laden with corn, cute puns, and tired jokes, the narrative dutifully trots after him as he wheels his daughter to preschool, orders Chinese with his shadowy wife, socializes, visits his parents, and gingerly circles in on the lady in the hotel. Rough, jealous Eliot is the only relief in this book of relentlessly nice characters, and his relationship with Stuart is its only interesting one. In the end (after some welcome dramatics), Eliot and his wife split up, Dad and Mom reunite, and Stuart realizes just in time that there's no place like home. There is some raunchy though politely worded sex here, yet despite the ""adultness"" of the material, Stuart's endless horniness and his concern as to how others cope with desire have a distinctly adolescent feel.

Pub Date: Feb. 23rd, 1987
Publisher: St. Martin's