Book Review The Ex-Boyfriend Handbook by Matt Dunn

Title: The Ex-Boyfriend Handbook

Author: Matt Dunn

Format: Kindle

Published: 2010

I’ll admit the only reason I even got this book was the title sounded funny. It turned out to be exactly that. The story begins with Edward arriving home to find his girlfriend of 10 years, Jane, has left for Tibet for three months. She also took almost all the contents of the apartment with her. The note she leaves blames him and lists his faults.

Edward turns to his TV host friend, Dan, and his favorite bartender, Wendy, for ideas on how to spend the three months that Jane will be gone improving himself so he can win her back. (~~spoiler alert..if you don’t want spoilers, skip to the final chapter of the review.~~)

Edward’s friend Dan, the proverbial ladykiller, has no end of ideas about the steps he should take to improve himself before Jane’s return. None of these ideas are easy or cheap. Wendy, on the other hand, thinks most of Dan’s ideas are bad ones, and she tries to get Edward to look at the emotional issues and see things from Jane’s point of view. Dan is extremely superficial. Even Edward sees that Dan’s ideas are not the best, but he follows along because Dan gets a lot of attention from women, despite the fact that Dan’s relationships have the lifespan of a housefly.  Dan suggests dental work, expensive furniture, speed dating, and other instant fixes that aren’t so much fixes after all.

Edward then decides to hire a personal trainer, Sam. Sam is hard on Edward from the beginning, pulling no punches.  He has a hard time keeping up with Sam, and feels tortured. Slowly, Edward gets better, slimmer, and starting to quit his bad habits.  Eventually, he starts to question whether Jane was good enough for him, instead of why he wasn’t good for her.  The ending is slightly predictable, but the book has had you smiling up to this point, so you don’t care.

Overall, this is a humorous look at breakups, and having been through a few of my own, it was nice to see a slightly funny take on them. You feel Edward’s pain, but you also smile at Dan and Wendy’s different takes on what he needs to do and why.  I give this one 4/5 pages simply for the light take on things. I’d recommend it for a vacation weekend read as it’s a quick read as well as a fun one.





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