Audiobook Review: I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You

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So…. I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You was a book club pick recently chosen by our Wink 3 group to read for the upcoming October’s meeting. We posted a variety of titles and went with the one that had the most votes, as on the night of our meeting, we couldn’t reach consensus. I think we were also looking for a “lighter read” this time around. I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You came away as the winner.

I will freely admit to you that I cringed a little inside when it was first pitched and then won out in the votes for it. There was just something about it that made me hesitate. Sorry, I just had to share. However, I found it the very next day at the library, available to download in audiobook format. Brilliant! I thought, as I will more than likely prefer to listen to this in audio. And I will say that I was perhaps just a wee happier to have listened to it over reading it. Had I been reading the hard copy I’m certain I would have numerous dents and holes in the wall from the number of times I would have wheeled this book across the room. Although, had I read the hard copy I would have been better able to SKIM liberally over this man’s superficial bullsh**.

It’s a disaster.

Oh, Richard Haddon, you frustrated me to no end. Gosh how I despised this tool of a man. I cannot romanticize or even enjoy a book when it portrays the kind of man that Richard Haddon is. Oh, Richard Haddon, you are maddening in your self-absorption and simply far too much of an annoying, whiny, self-absorbed goof.

I could not listen to one more moment of this man’s ridiculous life and his line of thought, so I pulled the plug on it. (I was well over half-way through it.)

Credit however, can truly be granted to Courtney Maum, the author. She has written in this man’s voice and perspective with spot-on accuracy.  It certainly does provoke a reaction. Well, certainly it provoked me enough and enough to end it.  Maum does write with amazing accuracy when capturing that particular male voice – the superficial, self absorbed, whiny kind of self pitying blame he puts on others for his inability to be faithful and not grasp what and how to keep his marriage, etc.

Our 2 star rating for the book = bad but not without some merit, for Maum nails that cheating, whiny, self-absorbed male voice very well, but again, I cannot claim to have enjoyed the book with a character as ridiculously annoying and frustrating as Richard Haddon. (Am I repeating myself too often here?)

The audiobook narration wasn’t a bad route to go however- Sam Deveraux had the right sound to his voice, albeit he sounded far older than the character actually is (Richard is only a 32-34 year old), but his wry tone was decent to listen to and didn’t cause me to want to veer off the road as much (read the “as much” within the above about wanting to throw book across the room).

I also really need to include Diane’s thoughts here that she expressed on Goodreads. It was so spot on, and gave all the reasons why I abandoned as well, but it also reminded us here as to why we started the Literary Hoarders. In part it was to provide reliable recommendations, thereby saving you from gleaning your recommendations from Glamour or People magazine. ;-)

“The review blurb on Amazon said this: “In this reverse love story set in Paris and London, which Glamour hailed as one of the “10 Best Books to Add to Your Summer Reading List Right This Second,” a failed monogamist attempts to woo his wife back and to answer the question: Is it really possible to fall back in love with your spouse?” The blurb later references the “charming and engrossing portrait as one man’s midlife mess.” It sounds interesting and appealing, yes?

But 25% into the book, I just couldn’t go any further. The husband/ narrator just sounded too whiny, claiming that he wanted to revive his marriage while pining for his mistress, plotting to keep connections to her, and continuing to lie to his wife. Maybe it’s that I’ve been a wife myself, but I couldn’t stop feeling seriously annoyed at how self-indulgent this guy sounds, not to mention how he repeatedly misses the point of reconnecting with his wife. (And again, maybe it’s my own projection but gosh, I found it almost painful how little he seemed to care about his daughter.)

Maybe the story — and the character — takes a turn as the novel progresses. I got as far as I did because I kept thinking the author was setting up the background of this guy’s selfishness to show his efforts at redemption. And maybe I’ll return to finish it and find out. But for now, I just couldn’t stand reading one more page. And really, this probably serves me right for relying on Glamour magazine for book recommendations.”

Diane also had a great number of “likes” for her thoughts, so it does appear others feel the same.

So, oh well, what can you do, our book club made an icky choice this time (okay, that is my opinion, I don’t know if anyone else has started to read it yet). It’s a “Boy Book” as Jackie here likes to coin them.

It’s not like this was the first time this has happened. ;-)

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