Book Review: Good News for the Desperate and Amoral

Working in a bookstore, you regularly come across books that make you raise a quizzical eyebrow. We’re not only talking about vague or flaky books here – like the dubious, but very successful conspiracy book about reptiles secretly taking over the earth – but also morally suspect material. Who am I to say people couldn’t cure themselves of terminal diseases just by meditation or positive thought? But you have to doubt the integrity of the authors of such books, who might very well be meditating on dollar signs.

Male chauvinist pigs – or ‘players’, as the more delusional might call themselves – can now rejoice with the titles Make Every Girl Want You and The System, which promises to get you laid within twenty-four hours, regardless apparently of looks, social skills or personal hygiene. Though the first book sweetly leaves an opening for long term possibilities, the focus is on short-term SEX, catering to those men who have – presumably for good reason from a female perspective – gone without for too long. The gist seems to be that females are teasing, incomprehensible beings that irritatingly refuse to grant men their every sordid desire.

As these books pander to the Achilles’ heel of men, so does Mr. Right, Right Now! move right in for the kill on the desperately single woman. It comes all but equipped with a lasso, to reel in the poor, prospective partner as it blurbs: ‘Man Catching Made Easy’. One would think that keeping the man would be the actual challenge. And one can only imagine the emotional carnage that might result from a man who has read The System running into a woman with Mr. Right, Right Now! on her nightstand. These books should only be sold with obligatory purchase of Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps so that both clueless parties develop at least somewhat of an understanding of the other gender.

However, there is thankfully freedom of expression in the Netherlands and there are só many books and só many viewpoints, that it is impossible for us at ABC to impose moral judgement on what we buy for stock and special order for customers. Ultimately, it is you – the customers – who decide what is on our shelves by the age-old economic laws of supply and demand. So if you see a scary, dubious book in the store, remember that there is probably somebody around interested in buying it. Be afraid, be very afraid…

Make Every Girl Want You – John Fate, paperback, Axcione Publishing
The System – Roy Valentine, paperback, Eye Contact Media
Mr. Right, Right Now! – E. Jean Carroll, paperback, HarperResource
Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps – Allan and Barbara Pease, paperback, Orion Publishing Company

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