The Average American Marriage

The Average American Marriage

3.4 8
by Chad Kultgen
     
 

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In the beginning, there was The Average American Male.

Maxim called it "pure filth."

Even Penthouse called it "appalling."

The New York Times called it "the literary love child of Neil LaBute, Judy Blume, and Eminem."

Now, Chad Kultgen's unforgettable antihero is back—this time as a married man.

I can feel something hot

…  See more details below

Overview

In the beginning, there was The Average American Male.

Maxim called it "pure filth."

Even Penthouse called it "appalling."

The New York Times called it "the literary love child of Neil LaBute, Judy Blume, and Eminem."

Now, Chad Kultgen's unforgettable antihero is back—this time as a married man.

I can feel something hot twisting and burning in the pit of my stomach. For a fleeting moment I think back to a time when I was with Casey, my girlfriend before Alyna....I tried to initiate something by grabbing her tit and kissing her when we walked through her front door. She turned to me and said something about how our relationship didn't always have to be about sex. I remember how much I wanted to smash something when she said that, how much I wanted to scream in her face that our relationship was only about sex....Relationships between men and women are only about sex. The rest of the sh*t is incidental.

Welcome back.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Kultgen's sequel to The Average American Male, his unnamed narrator is now unhappily married to Alyna and they have two kids, Andy and Jane. Bored in his sexless marriage, the narrator spends his days watching babysitter porn and fantasizing about his officemates. Enter college student Holly McDonnel, 21, the "hottest chick in the place." Predictably, an affair follows. There are keg parties, pot smoking, and a trip to a gay wedding. The narrator runs into trouble when Alyna finds dirty pictures of Holly on his cell phone and kicks him out of the house. There are hardly any surprises here: STD scares, couples counseling, and an eventual reconciliation with Alyna. Derivative, dull, and misogynistic, this is not a satire of modern life; it is a sad book written by a cynical man. The lame attempt at social commentary regarding Facebook, phones, and the younger generation's neediness feels like an old man shaking his fist at the sky. If you want middle-aged men behaving badly or dealing with suburban blahs, read Lolita or White Noise instead.
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Penthouse
Praise for The Avergae American Male: “An appalling book we couldn’t put down.”
New York Times
Praise for The Average American Male: “Since its publication in 2007, [Average American Male] has become an unofficial, if somewhat undercover bible for a certain strain of Xbox-playing, Maxim-collecting Gen Y males.”
Associated Press Staff
“’50 Shades of Grey’ for the 30-something male. It is crass, lewd and politically incorrect, but also mindlessly fun and engaging.”
Denver CO Westword
“Chad Kultgen is the epitome of everything that is lewd in this world.”
Kirkus Reviews
The narrator from Kultgen's earlier novel (The Average American Male, 2007) is back--if anyone is interested. Kultgen's title makes it clear that his narrator is now married. His wife is the long-suffering Alyna, and they also have the requisite two kids, Andy and Jane. But how anyone could marry this self-centered, sexually-obsessed and irresponsible slimeball strains our credulity. Our family man is working a dead-end job doing not much of anything. His marriage is dull, his children are boring, and his main concern is that he's not getting any. Alyna is also concerned about their marriage's monotony, and they try some marriage counseling, but it doesn't take. Things take a turn for the better (from the narrator's point of view) when he hires lubricious 21-year-old Holly as an intern, and it's clear these two are eventually going to mate like otters. Holly has gotten her sex education from Internet porn, something our Average American Male knows quite well. She's also well-versed in how the modern woman uses social media, so when she sends compromising photographs that the AAM receives on his cellphone, he's both delighted and turned on...until Alyna discovers the photos and kicks him out. For a while, he lives in a hotel room and visits Holly in her dorm room, barely finding his way through the haze of marijuana smoke. Eventually (and predictably), she also begins to find the narrator tiresome, and he tries to reconcile with Alyna, who has hired a self-described "shark" as a divorce lawyer. Even if Kultgen intends this as satire, it's hard to believe anyone can develop an interest in such a narcissistic, unsympathetic and downright odious narrator--one who makes Shallow Hal look like Heathcliff.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062119551
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/12/2013
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
243
Sales rank:
1,106,153
Product dimensions:
7.80(w) x 5.20(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Chad Kultgen is a graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. His novels include The Average American Male, The Average American Marriage, The Lie, and Men, Women & Children, the basis of a feature film by Jason Reitman. He lives in California.

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