Love Monkey : A Novel

by Kyle Smith | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0060574534 Global Overview for this book
Registered by xallroyx of Huntington Beach, California USA on 3/26/2006
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by xallroyx from Huntington Beach, California USA on Sunday, March 26, 2006
Smith has clearly taken lessons from a few successful writers of chick lit ("Days Without Sex: 0"), but his boy version of Bridget Jones lacks the key ingredient: a sympathetic protagonist. Tom Farrell, 32, lives in Manhattan and works at a publication called Tabloid (a dead ringer for the New York Post), which proudly proclaims itself to be "America's loudest newspaper." Farrell's job is that of "rewrite man," redoing stories by shaping them into salacious shorts and then coming up with eye-catching headlines. As he puts it, however, his "most time-consuming hobby is collecting ex-girlfriends," and the novel-which chronicles five months in Farrell's life-is mostly a jumbled catalogue of his failed love affairs. There's Julia, a co-worker Farrell can't get out of his head; Bran, a platonic friend he might try to get into his bed; Katie, a budding lawyer; and Liesl, an earnest German paralegal. Smith, the book and music review editor at People magazine, writes in glossy and accessible magazine prose (Farrell describes a co-worker as "a girl whose hotitude was... off the charts") and his New York patter can be clever. Searching for its place somewhere between Nick Hornby in subject matter and David Sedaris in its wit, this novel rests uneasily between the two. Publishing and journalism insiders will enjoy Smith's spot-on description of the tabloid life, but women looking for insights into the male psyche, the real potential readership here, may not take kindly to Smith's unflattering dissection of his dates. Still, this is a lively, promising debut.

Journal Entry 2 by xallroyx from Huntington Beach, California USA on Saturday, September 29, 2007
It was different to read about the loves of a New York single from a male perspective. It took awhile for me to finish it, and I still am not sure if I figured out how the love ended up, but it was a worthwhile read.

Journal Entry 3 by gothamgal on Saturday, December 19, 2009
Wow! This appeared on my shelf as 'to be read' so I have no idea why this isn't showing up as such now.
This reads similar to an American style Hornby. I liked it, but it was a bit gratuitous as some points. Might check out more by this author.

Journal Entry 4 by Karenlea from Glendale, California USA on Monday, December 21, 2009
Adding to TBR bookcase...Thank You Nicole!

Journal Entry 5 by Karenlea at Glendale, California USA on Saturday, December 29, 2012
** spoiler alert ** I've read reviews heralding author Kyle Smith as the new Nick Hornby or a male version of Helen Fielding, but I felt he had much more in common with one of my favorite writers, Bret Easton Ellis. Love Monkey was a bit like Ellis-lite, as it had a lot of machismo and depravity in New York, but not in such excess. It was more Ellis in the characters thought than their actions.

The narrative is told thought Tom Farrell, a thirty-two year old journalist, who exerts a great deal of energy just trying to get laid. His sexual exploits become muddled, when he fixates on a beautiful copy girl, Julia, who places him in the friends, occasionally with benefits, category.

The story is entertaining and a quick read. I found it to be highly relatable, I completely get Julia and know guys that are just like Tom.


What's really well done is the way Smith highlights the differences in male and female thinking with regard to relationships. Julia is keeping Tom as a friend as she has multiple long term relationships with a few guys. She lets Tom take her out and they have the quasi-dates, but she keeps him at a distance while she is figuring things out with her various boyfriends. She is flirtatious with Tom, but always talks about her boyfriends. She consents to let Tom touch her, kiss her in a teasing way, but only when she is between guys. She knows Tom likes her and it gives her a sense of power.

Tom is different. He professes his love of Julia to all of his friends and even to Julia, but he freely dates other girls at the same time. He is not going to wait for Julia and sees absolutely nothing wrong with having sex as much as he is able, with whichever women he is able. He wines and dines women that would be a great match for him, but won't commit further, because he wants Julia.

He complains that Julia is dicking him around, but in turn, that's what he is doing to the other women that are interested in him. It's a vicious cycle.This book serves as a reminder of why men and women who have an attraction towards each other, really shouldn't be friends. Julia and Tom torment each other, as they constantly keep in each others lives, even though they are both getting emotionally screwed.

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