Ex-Boyfriend’s Handbook by Matt Dunn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Edwards girlfriend of ten years, Jane, has left him. There was no discussion, no fight, no warning; she just packed her stuff and left. She leaves a note explaining that Edward has let himself go in every way imaginable, and she can’t live with it. He has 3 months to get his life in order for when she gets back, or else.
Because it’s not done very often, I am a fan of books that are told from the male perspective and are also a part of a genre that I enjoy. The Ex-Boyfriend’s Handbook one ups that because it is, in fact, written by a male, which gives it a very different feel than normal. I would not call a romance novel by any stretch of the imagination – because it really does lack all the heat and passion that one would find in a romance novel, but it does include all attributes of boy-meets-girl, which I truly enjoy.
I really liked Edward, even in his fat, “I don’t care” state of mine, he seemed like a very stand-up kind of guy. This, I guess, really is the point. The book really focused on how while being a good, faithful person really just isn’t enough for women, especially when it seems like the guy has sort of checked out of life and is just living day-by-day as if there is another to come. Edward’s growth through the book is wonderfully mapped out. I enjoyed joining him on his relationship epiphanies, when he has pealed back another layer of his life, and has taken the next step on figuring out where he has gone wrong.
Edward’s best friend, Dan, is another story. As expected I’m sure, I do not like him. What an all around jerk! I think some of my favorite parts of the book are when Edward would say something to his lady admirers about him that was completely appalling and utterly untrue. I think I did most of my chuckling at these parts.
I honestly believe that this book would make a great movie. I could see it easily being converted into a romantic comedy quite successfully.