Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Generous Man

I'm always trying to find ways to identify books I might like to read. My tastes tend to run counter to the masses so looking at best-seller lists and the such isn't going to do me much good. It's not always the case, particularly with some non-fiction (Gladwell for example. I will also be reviewing Superfreakonomics in the near future.) but you're not going to find me reading Nora Roberts or James Patterson.

How to find books, then? I came up with the idea of finding books represented by the same agent who represents Jeffrey Moore. He wrote two excellent novels, Prisoner in a Red Rose Chain and Memory Artists. I figured if his agent likes his work enough to represent him, that person may like things I do.

Turns out Moore is represented by a big agency in England that represents primarily European writers. Doesn't bode well when I'm trying to find something my library has (we don't carry too many books written in French). But lo and behold, The Generous Man, written by the Dane Tor Norretranders, was translated into English and the library had it. So I read it.

It was a pretty interesting book. Mostly it talks about how being generous signifies to potential mates that we are superior because we can afford to handicap ourselves by giving something to someone else. The book examines this concept sociologically, developmentally, evolutionarily, psychologically, to the point where it started to just become tiresome to me. The parallels to the principles that Neil Strauss outlines in his book about pickup artists, The Game, is almost uncanny. Peacocking, for example, is discussed (a peacock feather is even on the cover of the book). Being as the epigraph to the book is a quote from artist Jens Jorgen Thorsen that states "I paint to get pussy", it's not a stretch to make the connection.

If you're into psychology or sociology or evolution and those aspects as they apply to getting laid, this is recommended. If you want to learn about attracting women in a more entertaining fashion, check out Strauss. If you're just looking for a good read, well, there's a big list of books to your left. Find one on there.

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