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"Him Her Him Again The End of Him" - funny title, funnier book

Him In a rare fit of sanity I decided to take a friend's advice and read (for pleasure!) Patricia Marx's comic novel Him Her Him Again The End of Him, which I've had sitting on my shelf for awhile now (long enough for it to have been out in paperback a few years now).

I took the book home because how could I not be intrigued by that bizarre if unwieldy title? Glad I finally picked it up and read it. Marx, a former Saturday Night Live writer who was the first woman elected to the Harvard Lampoon, has taken the bad boyfriend tale to new levels of comedy, skewering men, women, academia, television and various other deserving targets with what certainly seems to be delight. That knife on the book cover? It ends up in everyone and everything, figuratively speaking.

Here's how the story goes: Girl meets boy at Cambridge. Boy is a pretentious wanker (he's pursuing a degree in Ego Studies). Girl's own academic goals are unclear (she changes her thesis as often as I change my Brita filter - thank you, Parks and Recreation, for that joke). Boy is deeply unreliable. Girl is deeply obsessed. And so it goes, until it doesn't.

Marx is a master of painful, revelatory comedy, the sort that makes you laugh even as you cringe at its all-too-keen perception of human nature (ie, your own personal failings). But that makes Him Her sound a lot less fun than it is. Read it. You'll laugh.

 

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