Thursday, August 26, 2010

CBRII: Bachelor Kisses by Nick Earls

I read this book in conjuction with The Brain that Changes itself. This one is a kind of 'dick lit'. Instead of a twenty-something woman looking for love and a career among her wacky friends, you have a 25 year old man looking for love and a career amongst his wacky friends.

Nick Earls, the author, is a doctor and researcher, and his protagonist, Jon Marshall, is a doctor taking his first fumbling steps into melatonin research. It seems that even when chosing books based purely on their bright covers and claims of humour, I end up reading about brain studies performed on animals (in this case, hamsters).

I spent a year doing clinical research in a cardiac ward, so many elements of this book are familiar to me. Even the characters remind me, very vaguely, of people I know. The bright but socially inept flatmate who's looking for a 'dating formula' reminds me a little of a man I did much of my undergraduate with. Jon's other flatmate is a sexually confident woman working on her thesis. While she isn't exactly like people I know, yeah, there's some similarities.

The book is written from Jon's POV and without quotation marks, with everybody else's speech written in italics. It works surprisingly well, creating a very stream-of-consciousness style that comes across as sincere, almost intimate. It could have been one of those irritating wank-fests involving a man having a lot of sex with women you just can't fathom desiring him, but because you're drawn so completely into Jon's thoughts, you're bewildered as well, instead of contempteous.

All in all, Bachelor kisses is clever, funny, and you'll never look at a jam jar in quite the same way again.

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