How to unleash the booze-inhaling, animal-slaughtering, war-glorifying, hair chested, retro-sexual legend within… Just like Papa!By: Marty Beckerman Paperback: 90 pages Publisher: Infected Press (May 27, 2011) Language: English ISBN-10: 097006294X ISBN-13: 978-0970062949 Available through: www.thehemingwaybook.com, Amazon and Barnes and Noble online.
“The parody is the last refuge of the frustrated writer. … The greater the work of literature, the easier the parody. The step up from writing parodies is writing on the wall above the urinal.” Ernest Hemmingway
And thus we enter into the worlds of smokin, drinkin, warrin, huntin and womanizin. The Hemming Way is a tool to reintroduce a form of masculinity that has been lost since Papa’s death in 1961. That is Marty Beckerman’s vision of a post emasculate world that exists today and what it should really look like. Bigger than Tim Allen.
Within the liberal (usage not political) use of Hemmingway quotes, Beckerman takes the reader through the maze of “how to be a real man” from the joys of hunting womanizing and drinking to the true purpose of the book, masculinity itself. This is all done with tongue-in-cheek, bad jokes, worse commentary and a quality of writing of which Ernest might have approve. Then again…
The Hemming Way is not meant to be serious about anything, but there are some bits of bad taste sprinkled throughout. In his chapter “Men without women (… but with men?),” a lively discussion of the rightful place of a woman in a man’s life, Beckerman, exclaims,
[Women are] not made of sugar, spice, and everything nice; more like subterfuge, spite, and everything nightmarish. Your choice isn’t between psycho women and sane women (the latter don’t exist) but instead: how much psycho can you handle?
To illustrate his point, Beckerman inserts a picture of the destroyed World Trade Center with the caption “Almost as destructive as PMS.” To many, including this reviewer, this is rude and obscene comparison. But it is somehow redeemed with the idea that if Hemmingway was on one of the four hijacked jets on 9-11, the terrorist would have lost. Again, this is a “no-holds barred” type of book and sentiment, if men have any at all, is not permitted within its pixels. I am over it.
There is a glorification of death and one’s personal end. Hemmingway did take his own life at the business end of a shotgun. But there is also an important point about living life to its fullest. Beckerman writes:
What’s the point of withering away in a bleach-scented retirement home, playing endless card games of Go Fish and Bridge instead of going fishing like Santiago in The Old Man and the Sea or detonating explosives under bridges like Robert Jordan in For Whom the Bell Tolls?… Legacy is more important than longevity; you must plunge into the Abyss, not let it swallow you.
Here I totally agree with both authors. Life is not a “beach,” but a mountain to climb. Beckerman continues:
We are numbed in our high-def, Wi-Fi cocoons, eager for materialistic possessions—the newest, fastest, shiniest gadgets—instead of a fitting end to a life well-lived. If Papa hadn’t killed himself out of despair in 1961, he would kill himself out of disgust today.
So true and so sad.
This book is not for the faint hearted. This book is not for the wishy-washy. This book is for the manly-man who enjoys an occasional glass of white wine because he doesn’t give a sh#& about what others think. The reader is reminded of this in Beckerman’s very first line (after the Hemmingway quote, of course), “Men have a problem. We know in our hearts, in our DNA, that we are mindless, reckless, pleasure-seeking violent slobs.” And your problem is?
Sometime it is hard to remember this is a parody, that it contains more facts than fiction, but the fiction is there, and despite its over the top misogynist, carnivorous and alcohol-induced nature, this really is a fun book to read. Short, silly and seriously masculine.Author Marty Beckerman, America’s Luscious Beacon of Truth, has written for Esquire (where he served as an editor), Playboy, Salon, Discover, Gawker, Huffington Post, the Daily Beast, and every other worthwhile publication of our time. He has been quoted by the New York Times,the Washington Post, the Atlantic, MSNBC, ABC News, and Fox News, all of which mistook him for a serious pundit. Aside from The Heming Way, Beckerman’s literary masterpieces include Generation S.L.U.T. (MTV Books / Simon & Schuster) andDumbocracy: Adventures with the Loony Left, the Rabid Right, and Other American Idiots (The Disinformation Company). You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter. And you can find shirtless pictures of him at www.martybeckerman.com
Reviewer David Rosman is an award winning editor, writer, professional speaker, and college instructor in Communication, Ethics, Business and Politics. He also is a commentator for the Columbia Missourian and InkandVoice.com, and writes reviews for the New York Journal of Books.