With humor, audacity and cunning, Michael Weinreb penetrates the psyches of men as they weather the uncertainties of modern relationships. This debut collection delves into the inner lives of young single men and comes up with observations so sly, in prose so disarming and precise, that girls and boys alike will find themselves nodding, laughing and cringing all at once. These are men floundering in love, stuck in their heads and making all the wrong choices for all the right reasons. There is Jonathan of "All I Know About It," whose dizzying love affair crashes and burns, leaving him sobbing over the price of premium at a Texaco station; the anonymous narrator of "Bear Claws the Size of Her Head," with his pickup line so good he'll never disclose it; and Seth Hall, the motivational speaker in "What I Would Tell Her," who spends his days rousing roomfuls of shoe-store owners, but can never summon the courage to dial that last digit when he picks up the phone to tell Rachael -- "with an extra 'a' for emphasis" -- that he is in love with her.

In "Pictures of My Family," Alex Rosen, who addresses his own mother as "Hey, you," reluctantly heads to Rochester for his grandmother's 90th birthday and almost ends up telling his entire family off in a drunken toast that begins, "I look around this room, and I ask myself, 'Am I adopted? Who the hell are these people?'"

In the title story, we meet up with Alex again, a little older and maybe slightly wiser, as he tries to make it to the next level -- in life, love, work, whatever -- yet finds himself unable to shake old habits and, while swept up in the hedonistic pleasures of Las Vegas, makes a pass at his friend's self-absorbed girl of the moment.

In Weinreb's hands, stories of ordinary heartbreak and angst crackle with wit. A stunning debut, Girl Boy Etc. teems with perceptions as sharp as the shooting pain of a hangover headache and as familiar as the feeling of being dumped.


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Girl Boy, Etc.
by Michael Weinreb

Red Dress Ink
May 1, 2004
ISBN #0373250568
304 pages
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