Modern Romance, by Aziz Ansari
[Image courtesy of bookdepository.com]
I enjoyed this book more for the writer’s witty prose than its content, because I was constantly wondering about whether I was learning anything new from it.
I’m glad that Ansari did a better job with his conclusion, because that’s where he summarized the key learning points he derived from his research, interviews and personal experience, and I must say that a lot of it makes sense, bringing greater clarity to what he had tried to show with the data and anecdotes throughout the book.
I also really like the fact that he used his personal experience to either support or debunk theories he gleaned from his interviews and readings, and his stand about the need to avoid adopting an extreme position towards the pros and cons that technology has brought to people seeking love in this era of SMSes, e-matchmaking and endless sea of social media platforms.
The only word of caution I have for anyone who’s thinking of trying this book, whether it’s for its informative or entertainment value, is that you have to bear in mind this is a book written by a stand-up comedian, so be prepared for some wacky comments here and there. Some folks may not be able to accept them for what they are – silly jokes.
VERDICT: This book is probably good enough for someone looking to have a broad understanding of how many people look for love, and how most view relationships today. It might even offer some tips on how one can make the best use of technology to make friends and find a partner. Just remember not to take some of the writer’s comments too seriously.
For those who want to know more about the book, here’s an overview from bookdepository.com:
People today have more romantic options than at any point in human history, and thanks to social media, smartphones and online dating, our abilities to connect with these options are staggering. Yet we also have to face new and absurd dilemmas, such as what to think when someone doesn’t reply to your text but has time to post a photo of a pizza on Instagram. But this transformation of our romantic lives cannot be explained by technology alone. Whereas once most people would find a decent person who probably lived in their neighbourhood and marry by the age of 23, today we spend years of our lives on a quest to find our soulmate. While Ansari has long aimed his comedic insight at modern relationships, here he teamed up with award-winning sociologist Eric Klinenberg to research dating cultures from Tokyo to Buenos Aires to Paris, crunch the quantitative data and interview some of the world’s leading social scientists. The result is an unforgettable tour of the romantic landscape.