Stewart Dagman (Dag), a mid thirties British bloke, is engaged to be married to his live-in girlfriend of ten years, Andrea Ellis. And guess what? She's pregnant. But Dag also has this fresh young "bit on the side," Cat Gray, and guess what? She's pregnant too. So what's a guy to do?
On one hand, I found INFIDELITY FOR FIRST-TIME FATHERS side splittingly funny -- even the thoroughly British parts that a poor American like me didn't get. Dag is being assailed by a fiancee whose desire for the physical is much greater than his own, and Barrowcliffe does a hilarious job of describing the way men in their thirties and forties are continually cruising for women in their twenties. The story is a comic roller-coaster, the reader propelled from one twist to the next. I don't think there's a single potential turn that Barrowcliffe failed to make, except for the one at the end. There he crashed.
Which brings me to the part that isn't funny: The entire plot. It could have been an interesting (and yes, still funny) tale of a guy's attempt to do the right thing, but Dag doesn't hold up his end of the deal. He comes across incredibly selfish and unlikable, which would be fine if he wasn't the lead character, but he is, and three hundred some pages in his whiny company are enough to kill any joke and completely total any "deeper meaning" the story might have fostered. His slapstick conversations with his best friend, Henderson, don't improve matters. Basically the reading experience consists of following an immature guy through a series of incomplete breakups and near misses while he makes sometimes apropos, sometimes totally nutty comments about everything from politics to relationships (what else?) to dealing with your in-laws. And the thugs? The electronic surveillance? The births? Can we strain credulity any further?
When I first read INFIDELITY FOR FIRST-TIME FATHERS, I laughed. I fully admit I laughed. But I'm not laughing now.
- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Headline; 1 edition (9 August 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0747271038
- ISBN-13: 978-0747271031
- Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 23.1 x 2.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 522 g
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