Cad: Confessions of a Toxic Bachelor

Overview

You know him. He's the funny, sweet guy with the great eyes who asks you a million questions and seems mesmerized by every reply. He takes you on the greatest, longest date of your life. He swears he loves cats and cuddling. And his apartment is so clean. He just might be the One.

Then he doesn't call, doesn't write. He sees you coming down the street and he hides behind a tree. He's a cad. And this is his story. After all the girl's guides to sex in the city, here -- at last --...

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Overview

You know him. He's the funny, sweet guy with the great eyes who asks you a million questions and seems mesmerized by every reply. He takes you on the greatest, longest date of your life. He swears he loves cats and cuddling. And his apartment is so clean. He just might be the One.

Then he doesn't call, doesn't write. He sees you coming down the street and he hides behind a tree. He's a cad. And this is his story. After all the girl's guides to sex in the city, here -- at last -- is the view from the other side of the bed. In Cad: Confessions of Toxic Bachelor, Rick Marin offers himself up for an in-depth look at man's superficial nature.

At 28, a brief, doomed first marriage thrusts him back into Bachelor Hell. A journalist as eager to make it in Manhattan as with its female population, our emotionally myopic hero can never seem to tell if the woman in front of him is too crazy or too sane, until she gets too close. Falling out of love as often as he falls in, he vows more than once to clean up his act, only to relapse into another bender of beauties, blow-offs and bad behavior -- all in desperate pursuit of the woman who can redeem him.

In this rollicking, frequently insensitive and ultimately poignant memoir, Marin proves a master of the light touch even in his darkest hours. Part Hugh Hefner, part Hugh Grant, his tale is a rake's progress (in spite of himself) from incorrigible cad to reconstructed romantic. It is one man's story, but many men will read it as their own. And for any woman who has ever wondered, "What was he thinking?" This is what he was thinking.

Rick Marin has been a reporter at the New York Times Sunday Styles section, a senior writer at Newsweek and secretly wrote an advice column on men for a major women's magazine. He lives in New York and Sag Harbor.

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Editorial Reviews

Kevin Greenberg
This memoir of the early 1990s recounts the author's transformation from disgruntled divorcee to swaggering bachelor. Marin, a regular contributor to the New York Times Styles section, humorously describes the uncertain years he spent polishing pickup lines and sleeping with as many single women as would have him. Marin's witty reflections on his younger self serve as a cautionary tale for any young man about town who's ever tried to convince himself that being single is fun.
Publishers Weekly
In this withering account of one man's travels in dateland, journalist Marin visits an insane asylum, spends a year as a gourmand yuppie, woos a recent college graduate with Pop-Tarts and comes on to a teenage celebrity. And those are his tamer anecdotes. Marin, who starts his tear in the early 1990s after separating from his wife, also pursues a writing career that has him interviewing B-list celebrities like Vanilla Ice. As he cruises through his 20- and 30-something years (and most of the single women) in New York, Marin tells an episodic tale that's more than the sum of its hilarious parts-he also evokes a male psyche that's pulsating with provocative nuggets. (On honesty: "Women blame men for acting fake.... But women are the ones speeding from zero to intimacy like a Ferrari. Which is more artificial?") In the hands of a lesser writer, the book could have been merely a self-indulgent series of diary entries. But Marin's comic timing, insight and self-deprecation vault it to something greater. Marin has achieved the most elusive of literature's paradoxes: a deep and complicated exploration of the superficial. Men and women should be equally enthralled by the portrait of someone torn between finding the right woman and finding the right-now woman. That there's a happy-but not Nutrasweet-ending only reinforces the image of a real person in all his messy and comic humanity. (Feb. 14) Forecast: Are readers itching for a Sex in the City for guys? Hyperion hopes so; it plans Valentine's Day promos and will probably get major review coverage in both men's and women's magazines. Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Mock-serious confessional memoir from journalist Marin, who displays an overdeveloped sense of entitlement and appreciation of his own sly humor as he attempts an ironical, insightful picaresque. As his narrative begins, Marin is on the prowl for sex, having recently split with his wife of three years. He appears to be a fumbling, no-score kind of guy, but all too soon he's achieved a "string of meaningless encounters." He's as ready as the next guy "to summon the Bachelor Beelzebub and bargain my soul for some Faustian kicks," a stance that quickly gets tiresome. So do his would-be pithy observations: "Relationships are all variations on a school-yard dare: 'I'll show you mine, you show me yours' "; "No guy wants to be alone. We want to be with other women. Then when we're out with other women we want to be alone"; "If only hothouse flowers didn't demand constant climate control"; and the running joke, "There are two kinds of women . . ." Marin's prose suffers from a crabbed spontaneity, he provides too much detail, and many of the jokes lack enough spark to ignite a smudge fire. (Those years at the New York Times Sunday Styles section seem to have given him an inflated opinion of his own wit.) The author can, as he freely admits, be a lowlife, and when he says, "I'd seen flashes of neediness, humorlessness, and pretension. Which brought out in me flashes of disdain, acerbity, and superciliousness," he might well be talking to the mirror. It isn't a big surprise that his most honest moments come when confessing his warped behavior to a purely platonic female friend; what does come as a surprise is how sensitively he writes of his father's death. A good thing this "toxic bachelor" isn'tlooking for absolution-he won't likely be getting it from any but those initiated in his approach.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786868827
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 2/14/2003
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 0.81 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 5.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Rick Marin has been a reporter at the New York Times Sunday Styles section, a senior writer at Newsweek, and secretly wrote an advice column on men for a major women's magazine. He lives in New York City and Sag Harbor.
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2005

    Zero stars

    Rick Marin tells Elisabeth, his girlfriend of three months, that his visa is about to expire and that, unless he gets a green card, he will have to go back to Canada. She offers to marry him, an action that most decent people would consider an extremely generous gesture. As a thank you to the woman who allowed him to stay ¿and have a career¿ in the US, Marin bashes her and tries to portray her as a raving lunatic. Exhibit A of her insanity: She is not happy to have to relocate to Washington, DC, after he gets a job there. Exhibit B: She wants to move back home, to Oklahoma. Oh, yes, she¿s also moody and seems unhappy to be married to him ¿ a balding guy who looks like Millhouse from the Simpsons, has a series of sad jobs and still depends on financial support from mommy and daddy. Please, someone get a straight jacket for this woman! Despite all this ¿insanity,¿ Marin doesn¿t leave Elisabeth. It is she who dumps him for another guy (which, in my opinion, shows she¿s about the smartest person in the book.) He then uses his failed marriage as ¿material¿ to get women¿s sympathy and get them into bed. As pathetic as this is, I can¿t say I blame him. After all, you¿ve got to use what you have and Marin ¿ well, he¿s got nothing. So here comes the long, and very dull, list of his encounters with women. There is Kim, a girl he meets in Halifax who takes him up on his invitation and travels to New York. When she tells him she likes being close to him, he assumes she wants to marry him: ¿She was already on our honeymoon,¿ he writes. (Why is it that the men with the tiniest lives and fewest accomplishments tend to have the biggest egos?) When the same girl, who has crossed the Ocean to visit him, is hurt that he¿s dating other people, he accuses her ¿of speeding from zero to intimacy like a Ferrari,¿ but when a guy calls a woman he¿s been out with on three dates, he acts all offended. There is Tiina, a girl he compares to Glenn Close in ¿Fatal Attraction.¿ (No, she hasn¿t boiled any rabbits or done pretty much anything else, except get upset when he breaks-up with her over the phone). Kay, a beautiful and rich girl he ends up dumping for being ¿too normal.¿ Tabitha, an intern who becomes his SOG (Sort-of Girlfriend), since she is too young to be the real thing. (There are others, but it¿s all too boring to recount.) And Ilene, the woman he finally falls for, who spent $100,000 in therapy trying to get over a boyfriend she broke up with three years before, and whose main virtue seems to be that she sees right through Marin¿s lame lines. In the whole book, there is just one (unintentionally) funny line: ¿My issue was that I had no issues,¿ Marin writes. Right. And you also look like Brad Pitt.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2003

    Your cousin Down Under

    I shall look forward to reading your book Ricky. As you are aware im 34 and living in Melbourne Australia and am always having relationship problems.Ps I was shocked to hear from you. Hope your book is a huge success from your cousin Jon

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2003

    Entertaining, if not inspired.

    Although I did enjoy this book, it wasn't quite as much fun as I'd hoped. Marin is a competent writer, and he's had an interesting life, but I felt that it could have been funnier and that Marin's many attempts at cleverness occasionally failed. I would recommend Grant Jarrett's memoir, MORE TOWELS, or hornby's HIGH FIDELITY.

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