I went back and forth on whether to write up an actual review on this one. Not because it’s not a good book, but because I couldn’t decide right away what kind of book it is. PunchRiot is a literary(tm) platform after all. Must keep hands and feet inside our stated vertical. The gods of segmentation are jealous gods.
But, the question: What is this book about? Dating and managing relationships? Life advice and guidelines for men? Humor? A somewhat picaresque sailor’s memoir of Navy life? The answer is Yes, D, all of the above.
That is no accident; it is by design. The author points this out in his introduction where he cites Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club, novelist and poet Charles Bukowski, author and psychologist Jordan Peterson, and various pickup artists and writers on intersexual dynamics and game as all influencing the form, function, and direction of his book, the goal being to reproduce the spirit and tone of past online communities where men swapped notes on what worked and what didn’t in terms of dating, pickup, and relationships.
The point is, this book is complex yet uncomplicated in its lessons and purpose: to push men to develop the resolve, frame, and behaviors to be successful at dating, intersexual dynamics, and managing relationships.
It is complex in that it does many things at once. It teaches without being preachy. It informs by providing some insight into the challenges of military life from the perspective of a man looking back on his younger self. And it entertains. Whether you think you have anything left to learn about women or not, as a memoir the stories are entertaining and do not disappoint.
The interesting thing about Fuccfiles is that by immersing the reader in his exploits and adventures as he tells them, candidly, warts and all, Stone not only points out the obvious lessons in each chapter, but also helps engaged readers get a feel for or sense of the mindset needed to make themselves their own “mental point of origin” by way of all the storytelling. Whether that’s intentional or not, I have no idea, but it’s an effective technique. By the time you reach the last page, you’ve spent almost two-hundred pages visualizing scenarios from the author’s perspective. Some of that can’t help but rub off on you.
Salty mentors, horny sailors, sketchy bars, quick and dirty couplings, successes and failures, hard lessons–there is a lot here and Stone pulls no punches. He keeps it as real and down-to-earth as it gets and invites the reader along for the ride as he provides both play-by-play and color commentary so that lessons learned from his failures and successes can’t be missed, only ignored.
Men swapping notes, indeed.