Ladies Man

More by Leonard Cohen
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Subscribe to Screen International Screen International is the essential resource for the international film industry. Find out more. Validate Accessibility. At this point I think Kenny needs a new job and he definitely needs to get laid. There's too much pressure building up and guys needs sex. Well, who doesn't. So he goes to see a whore and gets some more sex.

Kenny is still unsatisfied. Poor Kenny? Yes, poor Kenny. I feel for the guy. Sometimes we don't know what is specifically driving us up the wall, maybe it's the job or the girlfriend or the hornininess or the lack of real friends but probably it's all of the above and so there's no perfect fix to that problem of having an imperfect life. Richard Price knows that and so do I and I sure wish Kenny knew that too. Kenny and Donny find themselves on Christopher Street and then they find themselves going to a bunch of different gay bars because reasons, and Kenny is completely uncomfortable about being around so many faggots and yet he's surprisingly not homophobic, just nervous and horny, and let me tell you, as a queer it was a real relief to know that Kenny is not a hateful guy, he's not going to judge me, he's just confused and horny like 9 out of 10 guys his age or any age.

At this point I think Kenny needs to have a real heart-to-heart with his girlfriend, the kind of talk that is truly open and honest and emotionally naked and almost impossible for 9 out of 10 guys to have who are his age, or any age. It was hard and he almost talked himself out of it but he did it. Good for you, Kenny. Small steps baby, small steps.

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And then Donny calls and he realizes yes! People need friends, it's a human requirement. The novel is minor note and full of free floating anxiety and angst and anomie but it's a minor note that strikes the human chord if you know what I mean. Minor note in the best sort of way, the real way, a book about a real person with real problems and I see myself and every guy I know in Kenny and I want things to end on a hopeful note because there's hope in life, it's a real thing. Who's perfectly happy anyway? That's not life. I dunno. Maybe he needs a hug. I mean, who doesn't? I sure do. Not right now but you know, sometimes. View all 14 comments. Dec 29, Jeff Suwak rated it it was amazing.

From the moment he published his first novel, The Wanderers, Richard Price has been praised for his incredible talent for writing dialogue. His prowess is so great in that area, in fact, that many of his other literary skills are sometimes overlooked, including his remarkable talent for revealing the inner workings of his character's minds. It is a talent that is put on display in Ladies Man perhaps more than any of his other works. The convoluted and contradictory internal world of " From the moment he published his first novel, The Wanderers, Richard Price has been praised for his incredible talent for writing dialogue.

The convoluted and contradictory internal world of "ladies' man" Kenny Becker is illustrated masterfully. It is sometimes frustrating, sometimes hilarious, and usually a little bit of both at the same time. Kenny doesn't know what the hell he wants.

The Ladies' Man

He wants relationships to assuage his loneliness, but he doesn't want to be bothered by others' needs. He's always horny, always on the prowl for sex, yet the moment he finds he becomes full of uncertainties and fearful analyses. He is, in short, the prototype of the modern man, and while the book offers a fascinating exploration of New York's 70's party scene, the book is perhaps most interesting in how it provides a glimpse at the origins of modern manhood.

Kenny is insightful and wise, in a way, but those things offer him no ultimate conclusions or ideas of how to live his life.

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He is aware of his destructive need for sex and the damage that his narcissism causes in his life, but none of that changes the failed routine he is caught in. There were times when I literally yelled at the book. Laying there alone in bed, reading, I actually shouted things like come on Kenny, get your head out of your ass, man! At other moments, I laughed like a lunatic.

After reading the novel's peep show scene, I had trouble falling asleep because I was laughing so hard, and the moment I woke up the next morning, started laughing again. The late's perspective is also interesting from our modern vantage point, because we can see the shadow of HIV looming over the events. As Kenny penetrates deeper into the underground party scene, attending sleazy sex parties, I couldn't help but think about the specter of that deadly disease that was floating around the city even then.

Like Brothers' Stony De Coco, Kenny is drawn to a dream that does not fit with the masculine expectations of his upbringing.

Man's man/ladies' man: motifs of hypermasculinity.

He wants to be an English teacher, but is plagued with doubts because of the perceived insignificance and the career's unimpressive financial prospects. But his internal struggle is really just part of who Kenny is. He analyzes everything in his life and then places the worst aspects of it under the microscope, until that is all he sees. At times, he catches glimpses of the fear of death that drives most of his behavior, but he either does not know how to explore its significance, or simply chooses not to.

It's much easier to run to the next lay, to the drink, to the next laugh, and so that's what he decides to do. Over and over and over again, he runs in this hedonistic circle of desire, appeasement, and guilt. Hell, looking at him that way, his life might just be a metaphor for America.

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Ladies' Man is one of the funniest books I've ever read. It's also an amazing look inside the brain of the modern man. I couldn't help but see aspects of myself in there. It's a book that I walked away from feeling like I had a better understanding of myself and of life in general. I can't think of any higher compliment that I could possibly pay a work of literature. Jul 03, John rated it really liked it Recommends it for: those who enjoy a bite of the raw. Shelves: raw-hunks. But this one, written in great heat -- in every sense of the word -- at the end of his 20s, has a liveliness that surpasses that of his more famous multi-vocal depictions of greater New York in transition.

New York is the subject again, of course, Price can't get away from that, but in this case he works in disarming minor key: a late-t Richard Price had already begun to get into screen work when this book appeared, about , and he went on to fame for his movies, and for novels like CLOCKERS. New York is the subject again, of course, Price can't get away from that, but in this case he works in disarming minor key: a late-twenty-something first-person urban-breakup narrative. Things aren't working out with LaDonna marvelous name!

The carnival rides this aging child wanderer prefers are heterosexual, but the more fascinating loop-de-loops occur while gadding about with the old friend who reveals, about mid-novel, that he's gay. LADIES MAN suffers the occasional moment of flat dialog, not quite rendering a nervous system in sonic terms, and its straightforward storytelling can seems once or twice too much so.

But this novel is the one that proves Price is a natural, burning to get across, and proves to that, while ever alert to the least shift in fashion and surface, he never fails to see deeper, and to reveal what really hurts. View all 5 comments. Jan 15, Eric rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction. I found this while in a post-divorce haze. It helped. So did the sit-ups, women and beer. Really enjoyed this book Ladies' Man by Richard Price. Not written for kiddies or sweet little old ladies, here is a piece of fiction written by a real man for real men or those women like myself who want to know the inner workings of how some men, most men think.

New York born and raised protagonist Kenny Becker's a confused, frustrated, semi-misogynist-romantic approaching middle age and the dreaded mid-life crisis Add to the meaningless mix, a lively city with the hustle bustle of hundreds of people passing by focused on themselves with little connection to each other. By turns depressing, hilarious and over-the-top downright dirty, this book has it all I read part of the Saturday chapter to my guy and watched him turn beet red! In hindsight the correlation of names "La Donna" and "Donny" I realize is no coincidence.

Highly recommend this book to all the guys but if my two grown sons read it, they'd probably throw it against the wall, out the window, into the trash, burn it or tear it up and try to flush it down the toilet. It's that good. Four stars plus.

Urban Dictionary: Ladies Man

Sep 07, Mike Cuthbert rated it liked it. I went back to the late 70s for this Picador reprint and quite enjoyed the trip. This is not, however, a pleasant novel. Price, who later wrote for The Wire and had such best-sellers as Clockers and Samaritan, writes tough.

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In this case his subject is loneliness and losers, chiefly Kenny, a man of determined ambitions but little accomplishment. As we meet him he has taken a sabbatical from college and is selling household supplies door-to-door. We soon suspect that household supplies has more fu I went back to the late 70s for this Picador reprint and quite enjoyed the trip.