Monday, February 25, 2013

Book Review: Chad Kultgen - The Average American Marriage (2013)



This is the first time that I've ever done a book review, but there's a first time for everything. I'd like to put up a review for every book that I've read from this point forward, since I enjoy reading just as much as listening to music.

That leaves us with Chad Kultgen's newest release, The Average American Marriage. It's the sequel to Chad's debut in publishing; The Average American Male and continues the character's story just like I would've expected. There's no change in prose at all - this is very much the same guy that we were introduced to in the first novel, but he's now married and with two kids; Andy and Jane.

The plot is very simple, it's more or less about a man who's unhappy with his wife because she's not fucking the hell out of him like they used to do back in the old days, so he decides to cheat on her with a hot new 21 year old intern. Oddly, he expects this 21 year old to have feelings for him and she doesn't; it's just sex - so he comes crying back to his wife where he endures the same sexual dissatisfaction, this time amplified due to his cheating which almost attempted to break up the marriage. (But if you ask me, I think that his wife knew exactly what was going on and was just abiding her time until he realized what he'd done.)

If someone told me this was what it was going to be about, I would simply tell them, "Fuck no, I'm not reading that. It sounds like a Lifetime movie." but with Chad's raucous writing style, this is far from any Lifetime movie you've ever had the misfortune of watching. The book is really aimed at the male demographic, but adventurous females might get a kick out of it as well - and it's extremely comical, especially in the chapter regarding feces. Though cheating, divorce and custody are some of the most serious words in human cohabitation; Chad finds a way to make it all a little tongue in cheek. You definitely can understand this guy, but you also feel where Alyna (the wife) is coming from at the same time.

It's a very vivid novel, I could literally picture the two of them arguing in the restaurant, or Alyna making the dinner in the kitchen with the wine and such - I swear to you that I would hear their voices as I was reading the text; almost as if I was watching the whole thing unfold in a movie format created by the projector of my mind's eye. But perhaps due to living with a couple that definitely shadowed this fictional one in some aspects; it was almost fresh - like a librarian that went through the massive amount of "books" stored in my head and pulled out that one as I read. The book is a bit longer than the Average American Male which some might consider as it's downfall; because I really didn't feel that the story should have taken quite so long to unfold. Yet there's also the ordeal of Carlos' Gay wedding and I think that definitely was a subject to address, as it's current to today's culture - not to mention controversial for some of the more "closed-minded individuals."

Another subject that the book addresses is Facebook. I consider this a very big part of the human era, as many people both famous and not use social networks and most commonly on their smartphones. This generation grew up with Facebook and I would certainly agree with the character's stance on the subject in regards to the social network as being a great way to get "laid", but also a great way to cheat on one's marriage. I believe the site is personally a bane to cohabitation because of this - there are millions of other women who one can get easy contact with, if they should feel just the same as the character.

If I've learned anything from Chad's latest book, it would be to consider it a cautionary tale of sorts. The main character never really aspired to much, he just wanted to have a much sex as possible and that seems to be all that he wants from the human experience. He mentions while at a party (both a little drunk and stoned) that when one gets old, they seem to lose their drive and things at their menial labor job "don't seem to suck as much." He claims that this is because of the fact that one has to work in order to support the family. But nobody can really be to blame but himself, since one should already be aware that sex = children and once you have the children, you'll spend the gist of your life supporting them and watch as everything that you could've attempted flies away. This is not to say that it is foolhardy to have children, but that it's better to achieve a monument in your life before you do.

In short, The Average American Marriage is an extremely depressing look on the state of American marriage through the eyes of a man who saw nothing more to attain. It makes me wonder if cohabitation is the killer of dreams, if we're only supposed to meet and fuck and then let the elders raise the children as was done in ancient times. Nevertheless, I certainly recommend it to those who are interested in continuing the saga (please read The Average American Male first!) as well as those who want a slightly black comedy/dark humor approach to marriage.

But here's the funny part. Some of the things in this book I've heard from married men. So is it fiction, after all?

Rating: A certainly solid read at 8/10. Not for the squeamish!

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