Saturday, June 3, 2017

REVIEW: Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg

Title: Modern Romance
Author: Aziz AnsariEric Klinenberg
Genre: Sociology, Comedic Non-fiction 
Publisher: Penguin Press
Release Date: June 16/2015
Acquired: Print copy sent by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

Now a New York Times Bestseller

A hilarious, thoughtful, and in-depth exploration of the pleasures and perils of modern romance from one of this generation’s sharpest comedic voices.

At some point, every one of us embarks on a journey to find love. We meet people, date, get into and out of relationships, all with the hope of finding someone with whom we share a deep connection. This seems standard now, but it’s wildly different from what people did even just decades ago. Single people today have more romantic options than at any point in human history. With technology, our abilities to connect with and sort through these options are staggering. So why are so many people frustrated?

Some of our problems are unique to our time. “Why did this guy just text me an emoji of a pizza?” “Should I go out with this girl even though she listed Combos as one of her favorite snack foods? Combos?!” “My girlfriend just got a message from some dude named Nathan. Who’s Nathan? Did he just send her a photo of his penis? Should I check just to be sure?”

But the transformation of our romantic lives can’t be explained by technology alone. In a short period of time, the whole culture of finding love has changed dramatically. A few decades ago, people would find a decent person who lived in their neighborhood. Their families would meet and, after deciding neither party seemed like a murderer, they would get married and soon have a kid, all by the time they were twenty-four. Today, people marry later than ever and spend years of their lives on a quest to find the perfect person, a soul mate.

For years, Aziz Ansari has been aiming his comic insight at modern romance, but for Modern Romance, the book, he decided he needed to take things to another level. He teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg and designed a massive research project, including hundreds of interviews and focus groups conducted everywhere from Tokyo to Buenos Aires to Wichita. They analyzed behavioral data and surveys and created their own online research forum on Reddit, which drew thousands of messages. They enlisted the world’s leading social scientists, including Andrew Cherlin, Eli Finkel, Helen Fisher, Sheena Iyengar, Barry Schwartz, Sherry Turkle, and Robb Willer. The result is unlike any social science or humor book we’ve seen before.

In Modern Romance, Ansari combines his irreverent humor with cutting-edge social science to give us an unforgettable tour of our new romantic world.


I THOUGHT THIS WAS AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. Without first reading the synopsis, of course. And then I read the synopsis, and decided that I still wanted to read it. And then I read it, and I realized that I never WANT to read an autobiography by Aziz Ansari, because this heavily researched sociology book I got instead WAS FREAKING AMAZING. And *breath*. Lets be honest though, I obviously WANT to read an autobiography, so uh, Aziz, when you get some time? Thanks.

I want to first thank the book Gods, for putting into the head of Mr. Ansari that an entire book involving the modern age of romance NEEDED to be written. Because it did, and what Modern Romance provided was everything I never knew I needed to know about love. It was a harmonious blend of facts and humour, wit and knowledge, and beautiful, beautiful pie charts. The book was divided into multiple chapters, each covering it's respective topics, which were at times random, and which were at times following the linear flow of the book. I wish I listened to the audio book, for the exact reason that while I was reading, I read passages in my head using Aziz's voice, and DAMMIT how cool would it have been to hear Aziz's voice read to me FOR REALS. I love this man's humour. I love this man's brazen attitude toward the disease that can be love.

Who knew that there are whole countries that AREN'T having sex ! So much so, that their government has stepped in to sauce things up. The GOVERNMENT! There were whole chapters in here dedicated to things I didn't even know were a thing. I won't tell you what they are, because I really do need you to be as shocked as I was. 

I hope Mr. Aziz has a few more book-topic ideas up his clever sleeves, because I for one cannot STAND knowing that I might be sitting here waiting for something that might not happen.

Recommended for Fans of: Love (first and foremost), Master of None, comedy, comedic writing, and super interesting world facts (love based, of course).



Aziz Ishmael Ansari is an American actor and comedian. He starred as Tom Haverford on the NBC show Parks and Recreation.

Ansari began his career performing standup comedy in New York City during the summer of 2000 while attending New York University. In 2007, he created and starred in the critically acclaimed MTV sketch comedy show Human Giant, which ran for two seasons. This led to acting roles in feature films, including Funny People, I Love You, Man, Observe and Report, and 30 Minutes or Less.

In addition to his acting work, Ansari has continued to work as a standup comedian. He released his debut CD/DVD, entitled Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening, in January 2010 on Comedy Central Records, and still tours nationally between acting commitments. In 2010 and 2011, he performed his Dangerously Delicious tour. This tour was self-released for download on his website in March 2012 and debuted on Comedy Central in May 2012. He completed his third major tour of new material, Buried Alive, in the summer of 2013. His fourth major comedy special, Live at Madison Square Garden, was released on Netflix in 2015.

His first book, Modern Romance: An Investigation, was released in June 2015.



A huge thank-you to Penguin Random House for providing a print copy of this book for review.

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