Title: The Average American Male
Author: Chad Kultgen
Publisher: Harper Perennial (2007)
Rating: 3 stars
The Average American Male is an average tale of an average, modern bro. Our nameless protagonist is employed doing something uninteresting and unimportant. He finds himself in a relationship that he wishes he could get out of, but doesn’t want to leave the sweet deal of consistent sex.
While cheating on his lady friend, drinking too much, and wanking constantly, he does some superficial philosophizing on women and relationships that are stereotypes at best. However, the way he talks about mothers and marriage has a ring of truth to it. While his anecdotes can be funny, his musings are incredibly misogynistic (and frankly he’s one of the most immoral and unkind protagonists I’ve encountered).
Underneath the antics and humor is a truly depressing story, where none of the characters undergo a significant transformation or do anything meaningful with their lives. The characters are archetypal and uninteresting: the average man, the gay friend, the crazy ex, and the cool girl.
(SPOILER) When the protagonist met Alyna, the cool girl, he showed signs of growing a heart (and I had a brief hope that this would turn into a male romance novel), but when she stopped being a nympho he lost interest and even became disgusted with her. At the end, he finds himself settling because he doesn’t think there is anything better, so he casts his lot with a woman that he is rapidly losing respect for. How effing depressing is that? But honestly, he’s a scumbag, so I was kind of glad that he wasn’t happy in the end.
The Average American Male was written to shock, to appall, to be the real grit of the male psyche in all its lasciviousness and superiority (this is clearly sexist..I’m actually a little surprised that a male-bashing woman didn’t write this book). While I think that men probably do think similarly, I can’t bring myself to believe that ALL they think about is buttsecks, video games, and pooping. If it is, well, it’s pretty obvious why women are on the rise.