I picked this up when the iBookstore had it for $0.99. Had I paid anymore, I think I would have regretted buying The Average American Male. It’s apparently a book that is categorized as “Fratire” that includes such literary masterpieces like The Alphabet of Manliness. Granted, I didn’t know any of that when I got the book, Mostly I just saw reviews about how raunchy it was. For $.99 I thought, “What the heck.”
Now, I could go on and on about the satirical aspect of the book, but for the most part, I think over analysis of satire is almost as self-defeating just as much as none. Satire will work differently for everyone, so my reaction is not going to be useful to you. But there were problems with the book itself, story and structure-wise.
Through-out the book, there are chapters that are titled “Some Chapter” instead of giving it a chapter number. They are other moments in the life of the unnamed protagonist’s life that has nothing to do with the story, never are referenced again. They were a good thing as well as a bad thing for me. Bad in that I don’t think they were needed except to pad a novelette into a novel. Good in that I think they were the funnier and stronger parts of the book. But even that good point is a bad one because I just admitted I would rather read “sketch literature,” for lack of a better term, than the actual story this book was meant to present to me.
With the vagueness of the title comes an overall vagueness of character. Granted, I can see where this was purposeful. I think it was poorly executed. I don’t see what meaning is gained by its use and not just give the character a name and a specific job. For me, it just gives me a sense of selfish pretentiousness of both the author and the story.
Character development was basically stagnant. The worst Adam Sandler movies have more over all character growth than this book. And it is a shame, because every time you think it will happen, an apparent need to not change at all overcomes the character and disappointment settles in the reader.
If you can find it cheap, want something that is everything from funny to morally vacant in different ways to different people, I would say it’s a quick read and will stay with you. But I think it is a book geared, despite being touted as satire, the guys that think they, too, can be pro wrestlers or UFC fighters.