Audiobook Review: Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

25147880Title: Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, Eric Klinenberg
Genre:  Nonfiction
Publisher: Penguin
Length: 6 hours 16 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Publication Date: June 2015
Rating – 3/5

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...

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I think I am finally catching onto the audiobook movement! I am starting to find it soothing to listen to audiobooks where I used to not be able to get into them. Radical! I’m really excited about it. I think my favorite genre to listen to via audiobook is nonfiction memoirs or biographies. Maybe in the next few weeks I will try out a fiction title to see how I like that.

When I first heard that Aziz Ansari was releasing a comedic book, I instantly wanted to read it. This want of mine increased tenfold when I read that it was concerning the topic of modern romance (as suggested by the title). It’s a fairly short audiobook at about a little over six hours so I knew I could listen to it in one day. It started off pretty well and I loved listening to Aziz narrate. He told little jokes that I’m sure didn’t make their way into the books and were solely for audiobook patrons but he did mention that audiobook listeners were missing out on some good charts that are included in the book. I was sad about that, but that’s okay. The audio was clear, he read at a nice pace…I love the music at the beginning and the end. Having him narrate was definitely the best part of the book for me. That said, I gave this book three stars. It wasn’t really what I was expecting and fell short of my expectations. I love Aziz Ansari and think he is so humorous. I found this book to be just a tad bit humorous and I was expecting it to be so much more. I was expecting/wanting a comedic take on romance, which don’t get me wrong, there were some humorous elements to this book but just not to the degree that I would have liked. It was definitely more of a study on Modern Romance…it really reminded me of listening to a rather interesting thesis comparing the romance of yesterday to the romance of modern times including topics like online dating, marriage, divorce, infidelity, how to meet people, dos and don’ts have online dating, etc. I definitely feel like this book is for single guys and gals, though it is interesting to read/listen to even if you are attached or married (but that’s just my opinion).

While I didn’t love it, I did like it so I ended up giving it a 3 out of 5 star rating. I thought it was interesting and it had alot of factual information that was obtained through studies, research and surveys. It is definitely a well researched, well formed book. If you are interesting in reading about these topics, check it out and let me know what you think…if you felt the same way as I did or if you absolutely loved it and why. Happy reading everyone!

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