Saturday, July 17, 2004

Kyle Smith, Love Monkey.

Love Monkey is a wacky and entertaining story of an infatuation, a romance, a love-story, an unrequited sob-story. It's in the same vein as Nick Hornby's High Fidelity, a story of a man hopeless in love, and throws in a good wallopping dash of Manchild (with the protagonist at 30ish instead of 50ish).

Tom Farrell is a low-grade almost-editor at a trashy New York tabloid who falls for Julia in what he calls "doses" of her. A man who's not quite sure what he wants, other than her, Farrell's misadventures along his path reveal the author's insights into the nuances of relationships. Moreover, Smith brings new punch to traditional stereotypes of how men and women behave in the big city.

A paean to New York, the book loses much of its energy when it begins to depict the events of September 11, 2001. The writing falls into clichés, the love stories fall away, and what made the book entertaining to that point starts to wane.

All in all, it's a fun divertissement, but nothing special. Just another book that's not bad--and I'll certainly keep my eye out for Smith's next novel--but I wish I could remember what prompted me to place a hold on it in the first place.