I'm writing a book on relationships *and* working on a theory of humor, and so, this book promises a great many insights, especially as the essays are largely penned by comedians: persons who are verbal, expressive, uninhibited, lacking all stage fright, compulsively confessional, and allergic to clichés. Everything I need in an information source.
• This book is not packed with information. Most of it isn't even witty. More like the same few lessons, said 40 different ways, like student essays about summer vacations. From cover to cover, I find myself not learning, not laughing, and not sympathizing.
• If you're reading for research and insight, this book is useless. If you're reading it for entertainment, it's not all that funny. Most of the chapters boil down to "We broke up because one of us was clueless. For purposes of comedy, I will now smirk while pretending it wasn't me" -- the same running gag used by MANY of the authors. YAWN.
• Oh, and Dan Savage's essay -- Thanks, Daniel, for that l-o-v-e-l-y lesson in gross anatomy. Gross.
• Bright spots: When you grow tired of banality, you might skip ahead and read the superb final chapter, "She Wasn't the One" by Bruce Jay Friedman. Patton Oswalt aims high and hits his target with "Dating a Stripper Is a Recipe for Perspective" (Lesson #41). David Wain's "Persistence Is for Suckers" (Lesson #4) is genius.