I’ll start this review by pointing out that I love when authors read their own books for the audio. Honestly, to date, those are the only kind of audiobooks I’ve listened to. I also love Aziz Ansari. To me, he’ll always be Tom Haverford from Parks and Recreation, and that’s kind of what I expect him to act like at all times. He pretty much never disappoints me in that respect. This book, co-written with sociologist Eric Klinenberg (bolded because he gets no mention on the cover), was not something I expected Aziz Ansari to write. It’s a nonfiction book about dating in a modern sense, and covers almost every facet of online dating, as well as looks at other studies that figure into our dating lives.
Some of the information I heard I recalled from a social psychology class about relationships that I took in college. Some of it was new, and some of the statistics were pretty shocking. In between studies and statistics, there were also facts gleaned from focus groups done in several different countries, including the US, as well as information from a Reddit account set up by the authors. I found it entertaining and informative.
Since I listened to the audiobook, I will mention that I enjoyed Ansari’s narration. It’s his tone and comedic spin that make the book seem less heavy and more fun to read. He’s funny and his voices as he reads quotes from focus groups, text messages, and Reddit made me laugh out loud at times. It felt like having a really long conversation with Aziz Ansari. The other thing I liked was how he also shared situations from his relationships that helped flesh out the studies and statistics.
I do feel a little like Klinenberg (the sociologist) was pushed to the background. While Ansari helps get Klinenberg’s work and ideas out as well as his own, I feel for the sociologist behind the curtain. I do also feel like the amount of information in the book may have been easier for me to process if I would have sat down and actually read the text. However, it still made my commutes to and from work much more enjoyable.
Overall, I enjoyed the audiobook, particularly because of my love of Ansari and his comedy. The information in the book was helpful and informative, without being overly dry. The peppering in of anecdotes to flesh out statistics and conundrums was also very welcome. My only criticisms are that, for me, it may have been a book better read in text, and I’d prefer academic sociologists to get as much due as they deserve, though it does seem like Ansari was heavily involved in the research as well. I also did not hear any afterwords or dedications from the audiobook, so it’s possible he got some more credit in the book. Also, he doesn’t list the book on his own website, so maybe Aziz Ansari did it mostly on his own. The world may never know. Regardless, it’s a solid, fun book.
Also, a good song to pair with this book would be Modern Love by Matt Nathanson. It is now stuck in my head.
Recommend: Yes, especially if interested in the topic. Humor makes everything more fun, but this also isn’t some comedian fluff.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Did you enjoy this book? Still floating on your TBR? Let me know in the comments!