Book reviews are a little out of my journalistic jurisdiction, but I’m never one to turn down quality entertainment. And really, book readings are a lot like theatrical performances: I sit back and relax while someone tells me an interesting story. So I was delighted to stop by 92YTribeca last week to see comedy writer Ben Karlin discuss his anthology Things I’ve Learned From the Women Who’ve Dumped Me.

Although you might not know who Karlin is, there’s a good chance you’re already a fan. Karlin has been the executive producer of both The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, he coauthored the book America with Jon Stewart, and he used to be an editor for The Onion. He’s also worked on the scripts of many major motion pictures. He even has eight Emmys and a Wikipedia page.

And he also has many famous, funny friends, who Karlin got to fill the pages of his book of heterosexual tragedy.  Andy Richter, Bob Odenkirk, David Wain, David Rees, Will Forte, and Patton Oswalt are just a few of the book’s contributors. With essays titled “Girls Don’t Make Passes at Boys With Fat Asses” (Richter) and “Get Dumped Before It Matters” (Rees), Things I’ve Learned From the Women Who’ve Dumped Me is chock-full of honest accounts of male heartbreak.

Funny dudes telling stories is a good recipe for paperback success, and Karlin put together a sincere bunch of guys who each have an insightful story to tell. You know how when women complain about their dating woes it’s often whiny and repetitive? Surprisingly enough, quirky comedians sharing their man-sob stories end up being endearingly sympathetic. And undeniably entertaining. Don’t tell me you’re not intrigued by Will Forte’s “Beware of Math Tutors Who Ride Motorcycles” or Neal Pollack’s “Don’t Come On Your Cat.” And though I know I should side with my sisters on this one, hearing these tales of kindhearted men wallowing in self-pity because of my gender makes me feel ever so slightly bad.

You can buy Things I’ve Learned From the Women Who’ve Dumped Me on paperback now, for around $12 new on Amazon.com. And if you’re in the New York area, stop by the new 92nd Street Y “arts and entertainment venue” in Tribeca. It’s exactly how you’d picture a community center in trendy downtown Manhattan: a comfortable lounge, a stocked bar, and an impressive lineup of speakers and performances.

About the Author

Molly Marinik

Molly Marinik is a dramaturg and a director with a dance background. She is also passionate about developing new audiences of theatergoers. Molly is the founder and editor of Theatre Is Easy (theasy.com) a comprehensive website dedicated to providing accessible information about the New York theatre scene. BS in Visual Communication from Ohio University; currently pursuing a MA in Theatre History and Criticism at Brooklyn College. She's also sassier than her bio would lead you to believe.

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