Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg
Audio version for the win! Seriously, listening to Aziz Ansari read this book may have taken it from a three-star to a four-star rating for me. It’s entertaining for sure, but hearing the words delivered by Mr. Ansari made it all the better.
Mr. Ansari and Mr. Klinenberg take a look at how dating and marriage has changed in the last decade or so, with newer technology such as online dating, texting, and other social media methods of communicating. It’s an interesting read that goes beyond what I originally thought would be covered (essentially just courtship in the U.S.) to larger issues such as marriage and long-term relationships, infidelity, and relationships in other cities across the world.
I appreciate that the authors are upfront with the limitations of the book: it focuses primarily on middle-class relationships, and it is limited to (mostly) to the dynamics of heterosexual relationships. I’d really love it if they would embark on similar study and write follow-up books on LGBTQ relationships. Additionally, I appreciate that Mr. Ansari enlisted the assistance of a social scientist to formulate some surveys, studies and focus groups, instead of just sticking to some observational humor. This isn’t just a book filled with entertaining anecdotes; it has a heftier feel to me, if that makes sense.
My husband and I met on OK Cupid in early 2011, so I found myself nodding in agreement with a lot of what Mr. Ansari said. I was never a prolific dater, though, so I didn’t relate to some of the topics covered, but I still found them very interesting. Overall, I think that if you’re looking for a fairly quick listen (I think it was a little over six hours long) that will have you chuckling out loud, this is definitely worth checking out.