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Guest Book Review: Ad Hudler on The Score

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When I heard about The Score: How The Quest For Sex Has Shaped The Modern Man by Faye Flam, I realized I needed a man’s man to tackle a review of the book so I turned to Ad Hudler who’s forthcoming Man Of The House made him an ideal candidate. Here’s his review of The Score, penned in the voice of his main character, macho man Linc Menner.

I’ve been going through a mid-life gender crisis these past few years. It has concerned my wife, amused my daughter, boggled my friends.

For the past 17 years I’ve been a stay-at-home dad and corporate spouse, writing my novels in between household errands and loads of laundry. Well, the job is almost done – my daughter graduates high school next year – but I’m now realizing that all those years in Girlyland have done a number on my inner male, and I’ve gone crazy trying to reclaim it: I’ve discovered power-lifting and have gained 35 pounds. I traded in the minivan for an F150 pickup truck. I’ve started wearing clunky work boots. It’s easy to see, then, why any book that discusses gender-behavior differences would intrigue me.
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In her new book, “THE SCORE: HOW THE QUEST FOR SEX HAS SHAPED THE MODERN MAN,” science writer Faye Flam sets out to explain the secrets and sources of guy behavior in the courtship arena. She starts out well enough, being a fly on the wall at a $2,150-per-person seminar on how to score with chicks. Great idea. But by the end of the book I found myself longing for a “Larry the Cable Guy” movie . because Larry succeeds where Faye fails: he explains why men do the crazy things they do to get laid.

More of the review after the jump

There are some interesting tidbits, to be sure. We do learn that testosterone in men drops by 50 percent when they get married and have children. (Ouch!) Flam also astutely explains that “if you take any girl you can get, you must be a loser. But if you are picky, you must be a winner, and her emotional circuitry is designed to respond to winners automatically.”

Unfortunately for us, though, Flam seems more interested in bugs and worms than people. Reading her book was like watching Microscopic-Animal Planet: (“Just watch now as these randy paramecium pursue each other in passion!!”) We learn that the pecker of the mosquito fish can extend to 70 percent of the length of his body, interfering with his need to escape deadly predators. (Take it, Larry! Run with it! Go!) We learn that when mushrooms want to get laid they send out little fibers called mycelia. Flam even
quotes one of the country’s top experts on…sea urchins. I couldn’t help shake the feeling that the author doesn’t genuinely enjoy people, like the proverbial reclusive library-lady who owns 58 cats.

There were times when parts looked promising, such as the beginning of chapter 12: “Who’s Your Daddy? – Father Males and the Sex Appeal of Mr. Mom.” But even this section quickly devolved into penguins and then voles. Larry?!? Larry? Can you help us out here, Larry?! This book needs some hot-blooded, artery-twitching MEN!

Yes, some of the Wild Kingdom data was interesting. We learn that chimpanzees’ Y chromosome is healthier, which explains why they have bigger balls than us. And I thought it very handy that squids have a lance on the ends of their peckers.

But where were the focus groups of women sharing secrets about men over cosmos after work? Diane Ackerman, one of my favorite U.S. science writers, would have partied with men night after night, painting an amusing, enlightening picture of human males pursuing poontang. Flam should have done just that. She should have rolled up her sleeves and dived into the hazardous dating world to research this book. To hell with the eyespots on peacocks’ tails!

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Ad Hudler is a stay-at-home dad and author who lives with his family on Florida’s gulf coast. His popular comic and often controversial novels are printed in multiple languages. They include “Househusband,” “Southern Living,” “All This Belongs to Me,” and, most recently, “Man of the House,” the sequel to his first novel. He can be reached through his website, www.AdHudler.com.

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