Let me start off by saying that if you don’t have a highly receptive sense of humor–I’m talking, you’re the type of person who could very possibly be seen chuckling at a funeral, for whatever reason–don’t even open this book.
I’m serious. Matter of fact, if you ever see it in the aisle of a bookstore, or come across it at a friend’s house, or browse a website that has excerpts from it, go anywhere but there.
Just trying to help you out.
That said, Chad Kultgen’s novels take some getting used to, even if you are a Funeral Laugher (I admit it, I laugh in all uncomfortable situations. Quit judging me). Yet I can’t deny that this thing influenced the writing of Quarter Life Crisis, and a lot of other fiction pieces I’ve written, both long and short.
To say that the book is vulgar is beyond an understatement, and I still can’t in good conscience admit that all the narrator’s thoughts in here are the way average men think and talk to each other (though a lot of it is spot on).
If you’ve never heard of it before, Kultgen’s debut novel The Average American Male is more a character analysis than an actual story with a plot. It concerns a nameless protagonist who basically gives the reader a stream of consciousness account of his thoughts and actions throughout a couple of days, during which he thinks mostly about having sex with his girlfriend, having sex with every other woman he comes in contact with when he’s out in public, having sex with women he sees on TV/in magazines/on porn sites, and otherwise lamenting how stupid people act when they think nobody’s watching. Add in some gay jokes, penis jokes, and a bunch of video games and you’ve got a fairly accurate idea of what’s between the covers.
Not the most uplifting book, but there’s something to be said about the uncensored, unapologetic nature of the prose. Not gonna lie, it’s something I’ve tried to achieve in my own writing–a tone of honesty I actively sought to inject into Quarter Life Crisis when I was composing it–though I admit that by the end of American Male you get the sense that Kultgen was really just going for shock value with most of this.
Not to say this isn’t how some guys think, or even that this isn’t how all guys think some of the time. I just wouldn’t go so far as to say this is how all guys think, all the time. We’re gross, but we have our moments.
Anyways, if some of your favorite comedies include The Hangover, Old School, Wedding Crashers, Jackass, Borat (you get the point) this book should be right up your alley, though I will say it makes all of those look like they should’ve been rated PG-13.
If you, however, hated all those films and think R-rated movies should be outlawed, avoid this thing like the plague.
You’ve been warned.
P.S. Pick up my novel Quarter Life Crisis on August 5th. Visit the website GetOverCollege.com for more info.