Disclaimer. I have never watched Aziz Ansari’s shows before and I feel particularly neutral about him. All I know is that he is a well-renowned and smart comedian, and I remember not being impressed with his performance when I watched him host an awards show many years back for a short 3 minutes on TV. With that said, this review will purely be based on merits of the book itself rather than the comedian.
1-Sentence Summary. After facing his own dating slump, famous comedian Aziz Ansari teamed up with professional sociologist Eric Klinenberg to write an entertaining book chronicling the challenges of romance and dating in the modern world.
Why I Picked it Up. There wasn’t a single review of this book that was negative! Everybody who read it have only good things to say about it. Plus, getting a comedian’s take on modern romance and legit research is just too novel of a setup for me to resist.
Why It’s A Gem
- INSIGHTFUL READ ON DIFFERENT TRENDS OF ROMANCE. There were plenty of good questions that was answered as the authors try to compare the dating trends between different decades & generations, different personalities, different communication platforms and even different countries. And many of the answers were well-thought through with legit research data to back it up. I definitely didn’t expect to say this about a comedian’s book, but I couldn’t stop thinking that the world could have been a much better place if more people are reading this material! It’s not just helpful for those who are single and looking for a partner, but also insightful for those who are maintaining a long-term relationships.
- GIVING JUSTIFICATIONS FROM ALL ANGLES. The book fills the gaps of why people do what they do in the romance world, even when they do it in the most dumbfounded ways like why are guys not normally making the first move in certain countries? Why are divorce rates increasing? Why do we break up through a text when we despise it if we were treated in the same way? Even the sleaziest of people (like those guys who randomly text their naked photos on Tinder) were given possible justifications and rationales for their behaviour. This book is more than just about modern romance, it is a lot about understanding people’s motivations and behaviours too.
- FUNNY, UNIQUE CHARACTER VOICE & WELL-STRUCTURED FLOW DEVELOPMENT. One of the reasons that the book is so delightful to read is because it was written in a tone as if Aziz is talking to a pal about the discoveries and fun facts that he and Eric had made. So, although there are plenty of facts and research data, Aziz’s retellings of it makes them more understandable and fun to read. Sometimes, he will even include footnotes with his commentaries or witty remarks about his random thoughts on the topic, which can be rightly refreshing when done in a non-fiction book. Plus, the structure of the chapters have a good flow, going from the generic dating trends, to focusing more on the specifics and enriching relationships. Character development was also there as Aziz’s recounts his own chronological dating experiences from chapter to chapter.
Why It Can Be A Rock
- IT WASN’T AS FUNNY AS I EXPECTED. This is a biased opinion purely on the fact that I was influenced by so much hype over how funny this book is, that I was expecting to roll myself on the floor laughing while reading- which I didn’t. Still, I do chuckle here and there, and there were paragraphs that were so funny, I reread them aloud to my nearest friends. No doubt, it is still one of the funnier books around, but I just had a much higher expectations on the humour that I was hoping to get.
As A Reading Panda, I’d Give It :
(10 out of my 10 bamboos)
Any book that can balance excellently between being a highly hilarious, yet still very insightful read gets a full marks from me any day.
Aside from the fact that my personal expectations were hoping for a hilarious read Level 999 till I choke on my food, that is really the only downside of this book. Everything else about it is near to perfect and is a highly re-read material! I especially liked that there are plenty of takeouts in the book about being nicer and respectful to other people, whether you intend to date them or not and to treat others decently as human beings rather than just a faceless text message.
If you’ve never read non-fiction books because you find them boring, I very much recommend that you give this book a try. Although it is factual-based and rides on legit research, it is told in a very entertaining and easily digestible manner that you’ll have fun learning about the world along the way. Plus, the topic centres around the most relatable subject in the world – Love.
On a side note, if you have ever wondered what Aziz’s humour sounds like, here is a standup show from 2014 he did about meeting your future wife at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Believe me, the book is funnier though.
Have you read Modern Romance? What do you think of it? Are you a fan of Aziz? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comment below!