Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Book Review: Rick & Bubba's Guide to the Almost Nearly Perfect Marriage

This book purports to help you appreciate your marriage. The authors aim for a light touch, revealing their imperfections, funny moments, and pleasant memories, while providing “insight into matrimony.”

I wanted to like this book, because I like books about marriage, especially ones with a good dose of humor. This book, however, did not hold my interest, as it was really, almost without exception, anecdote after anecdote with a skinny point near or at the end of each chapter.

Stories go on sometimes for pages with what seemed to me a fairly contrived, at times painful, attempt to be funny. There are plenty of naturally funny turns of phrases throughout the book, but some stories seemed intended to serve the purpose of providing an opportunity for doggedly determined wittiness, as in the chapter called “Lost”, an almost six-page narration of Rick's wife's refusal to accept help while driving. This story went on and on, the point of which was to “prove” that women can be equal in the flaw of not accepting help with directions.

Other chapters, such as “Last-Minute Shopping” are spot on with good suggestions about gift giving in marriage.

Still other chapters seem to have as their goal stories in defense of husbands, sort of “Why We Are the Way We Are”.

All in all, this struck me as a disjointed, uneven, and at times annoying, book, almost as if its goal was never chosen, with the result being that sometimes the authors were heroes, sometimes victims, and sometimes almost lost, as in the chapter named “United We Stand, Divided We Blame Dad.”

This book is certainly misnamed, as it is not a guide; there is little guidance unless you count the multitude of illustrations as cautionary tales. This book would have been more aptly named, “Rick & Bubba's Warning Against the Very Imperfect Marriage.”

There are few references to the Bible and, to the best of my recollection, no citations to any biblical passages.

The “Bonus! The Best of the Book of Blame” included at the end of the book consists of 50 articles (as in the Constitution), the majority of which contain these words: “the husband's fault.” If a female had written this book, it would be called male bashing. I'm not convinced it's not, just because two guys wrote this.

I would not recommend this book to others, unless someone just wanted to laugh about how men and women are different.

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