A hilarious, thoughtful, and in-depth exploration of the pleasures and perils of modern romance from one of this generation's most popular and sharpest comedic voices.
At some point every one of us embarks on a journey to find love. We meet people, date, get into and out of relationships, all with the hope of finding someone with whom we share a deep connection. This seems standard now, but it's wildly different from what people did even just decades ago. Single people today have more romantic options than at any point in human history. With technology, our abilities to connect with and sort through these options are staggering. So why are so many people frustrated?
Some of our problems are unique to our time. "Why did this guy just text me an emoji of a pizza?" "Should I go out with this girl even though she listed Combos as one of her favorite snack foods? Combos?!" "My girlfriend just got a message from some dude named Nathan. Who's Nathan? Did he just send her a photo of his penis? Should I check just to be sure?"
But the transformation of our romantic lives can't be explained by technology alone. In a short period of time, the whole culture of finding love has changed dramatically. A few decades ago, people would find a decent person who lived in their neighborhood. Their families would meet, and, after deciding neither party seemed like a murderer, they would get married and soon have a kid, all by the time they were 24. Today people marry later than ever and spend years of their lives on a quest to find the perfect person, a soul mate.
For years Aziz Ansari has been aiming his comic insight at modern romance, but for Modern Romance, the audiobook, he decided he needed to take things to another level. He teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg and designed a massive research project, including hundreds of interviews and focus groups conducted everywhere from Tokyo to Buenos Aires to Wichita.
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Entertaining and informative
There were several moments that left me laughing out loud. Aziz is a comedian, and its shown in his writing and narration. I could not put the book down during the first half, it was well researched, well read and hilarious. Aziz and his research partner provided great insights into modern dating and technology. I felt inspired and entertained!
The second half of the book, I felt more of Aziz's personal bias come into play when discussing marriage, sexuality and romance. I found the interviews of the elderly and marriage to be really entertaining as well as the differences in various cultures around the world. However, the final chapters on cheating were largely only supported by the Reddit thread and seemed to promote infidelity, disloyalty and open sexual relationships in lieu of marriage or committed partnerships. It just felt like the first half of the book was a hopeful and interesting analysis into finding love and the final few chapters left me feeling it was a search for sex instead.