A wickedly funny picaresque touching on quantum physics, the Donner Party, arctic exploration, Greek mythology, Rocky I, II, V, IV, VI, and III respectively, and literary immortality, Dating Tips for the Unemployed is a wistful if wry ode to that awkward age—between birth and death—when you think you know what you want but aren’t quite sure what you’re doing.
Dating Tips for the Unemployed is a charming, fun, and poignant read. It was a little repetitive, and simultaneously funny and sad.
Dating and trying to the find the “right one” or at least the “right one at this particular time because I want to get laid or at least not spend a Saturday night on the couch with a remote in one hand and a pi I don’t know what I was looking for when I found Smyles book in the fiction section of my local library.
Perhaps what I was looking for was a story about a woman’s difficulty navigating the world of love and romance while also being out of a job, something I bet a lot of us can relate to. At first, Dating Tips for the Unemployed looked promising.
I did that here and particularly with the chapter titled “The Moon and the Stars”. ), bravura performance by a writer whose comic chops, literary inventiveness, and crisp prose produce the smoothest of literary smoothies, something like a cocktail of Dorothy Parker, James Joyce, and Philip Roth iced, sweetened, and blended.
It reminded me being young and going to bed with some callous asshole and entertaining ideas of permanent love with same despite being completly aware of what he is. The best books by the smartest, sharpest, and wryest writers are about people who are not nice. There’s a lot of playful banter about relationships/dating and some heady funny stuff like “Enter the Wutang”, which is delightful – Smyles has a real flair and talent for language play and a terrific eye for satire. Reading Smyles it almost seems impossible that someone could pack this much goodness into one book.
The second chapter is apparently a very long series of jokes (a couple pages of them detailing "This is how pathetic my unemployment is," then another few pages of them explaining "thisfiction/humor.
The problem I had was that everything sort of blended together after a while. I don’t know what I was looking for when I found Smyles book in the fiction section of my local library.
Perhaps what I was looking for was a story about a woman’s difficulty navigating the world of love and romance while also being out of a job, something I bet a lot of us can relate to.
What I most appreciated was its structure – you can start at the end if you like, or the beginning. My only compliant is the beginning, because it jumped around too much for my liking. This was a really unique book and I’m not sure what to make of it.
Each chapter is a self-contained story, which may or may not be memoir, not that it matters. In one story collection, she says that she never begins a novel/book at the beginning, but dives in willy-nilly. Sure, you have to do some work and fill in Dating Tips for the Unemployed is a charming, fun, and poignant read. She certainly knows how to encompass life, because life is tragic and funny all at the same time. In the end, I highly recommend this if you want a story about people stumbling through this silly thing we call life. Out of five stars, I stamp this with....mhmmm....4 stars. Something about the quirky writing endeared me to it, but I don’t think many will feel that way.
At first the storyline was scattered around so much that I thought it was different people. Whether this story amounts to fiction, nonfiction, or something in between ultimately doesn’t matter.