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Monday, June 20, 2011

In Search Of Mrs. Friedman - "Lost on Treasure Island" Review

Steve Friedman is a douchebag. That's what I thought when I first read in his memoir, Lost on Treasure Island, how he trolled for desperate, needy women at 12-step meetings all over Manhattan. But when I was done reading the book, and I had sufficiently reflected on the trials and tribulations of a man who would do a "fake-chin quiver" and tell women after meetings that "their stories resonated deeply" with him -- all in order to screw the type of damsels in distress who admit in meetings to blowing strangers to feel accepted -- I realized that Steve Friedman is every guy who wishes he had the balls to do something that I always imagined only Larry from Three's Company would ever do.

When the story begins, Friedman comes to New York City from the Midwest for an interview at GQ, but he wants more out of the big city than just a new and exciting job and an escape from the trail of pissed off exes he's left back at home, not to mention from the current girlfriend he's been cheating on. He wants to find love and a wife, in that order, which wind up being the treasures he'll find most elusive on the island that will become his new home.

Whether you root for him, against him, or aren't quite sure how to feel about a man who sleeps with married and engaged women, refers to John Tesh as "a blond Frankenstein" in a profile purely to be mean and advance his own writing career, and needs to be admonished by an old lady at a12-step meeting not to "fuck the newcomers," Friedman is a skilled writer who isn't afraid to make himself look bad if it results in the telling of an intriguing and entertaining story.

Though he may not have been fishing out of the same pond as your average New York guy looking for love in all the wrong places, (his job at GQ put him in direct contact with Hollywood starlets like Mary-Louise Parker and Barbara Hershey), his struggles to meet the one are no less frustrating and demoralizing to him than they are to mere mortals who have to settle for being turned off or rejected by teachers, receptionists and office managers from Not that Friedman doesn't turn to the Internet in search of Mrs. Friedman, but when he does, he even then finds a famous woman who proceeds to toy with his mind and his heart, leaving him attending 12-step meetings with a better understanding of what's truly important in life -- and it isn't trying to score easy blow jobs from severely damaged women. Whether Friedman's epiphany at the end of the book results in a more successful search for "the one," only Friedman will know. Those in search, however, of a funny, engrossing book that will make them at varying times want to high-five, smack, or hug its narrator
, should read Friedman's Lost on Treasure Island.



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