‘Walk Like a Man(iac): The Story of Everyone Who Became a Man in the 21st Century’ takes a look at the journey of modern men by exploring the central ‘first time’ moments that shaped their collective development.
Focusing on the timeline from early 1990’s to now, each chapter recounts what each ‘first’ meant in the life of all 21st century men before exploring the strange circumstances that surrounded each of the author’s ‘first times’.
Retracing the sequential journey of modern men, the early chapters relate to boyhood and adolescence. First sexual awakenings and girlfriends, followed by initiations into alcohol, crime, work, driving and even communal post-game showering occupy the book’s initial chapters. Nikki Webster, childhood pandemics of ‘Cooties’, and ‘V-neck’ crime are discussed, alongside personal anecdotes of weeping in front of a cop, crashing a car on top of a roundabout, and contemplating retirement from team sport in order to hide my manhood.
The following chapters see the reader leaving adolescence and entering the early stages of manhood. Challenges such as falling out with mates, drunken injuries, pursuing older sexual partners, and dealing with romance in the workplace emerge. From his own portfolio, the author recounts the embarrassing moments of sustaining a serious injury during a drunken wrestle, forgoing his duty of care at a primary school to chase forbidden love, and the time he had his dad spoil a passionless romantic rendezvous involving cheese toasties.
The latter section of the book looks at the final stages of becoming a man, and broaches moving out, soul-crushing dead-end jobs, first fights and ‘fallen soldiers’. The accompanying stories detail: living in a tin-roofed annex with a recovering drug addicts and elderly men, getting sucker-punched after a date calls a group of bystanders the ‘C’ word, surviving a misguided armed-robbery, and seeing the horrors of parenthood after watching a friend hose poo off his infant children.
The book concludes with musings about the possible futures in store for modern men. Will it be ‘Tamagotchi-come-full-circle’ as their relationships, like their Dinky-Dino in its 12 days of utterly dependent life, starve and drown in their own waste? Or will they go on to solve climate change?
Parting with words of wisdom and affection, things are ultimately left, as they’ve always been for this group, uncertain, with the future left up to the reader.
About The Author
Jake O'Donnell can’t swim, sing, or properly ride a bike, and he’s never paid for a haircut and been happy with the result. He has, however, spent the night in a dumpster, sliced his chest open sliding across the dance-floor, played a game of cricket in a French hostel lobby, had a senile old man blast diarrhoea next to his car, and been sent home from the hairdressers for having dirty hair.
Apart from occasionally wearing salad dressing for aftershave and drinking beer out of ashtrays, he’s pretty decent bloke, just don’t bring up his dead hermit crabs.
His debut book 'Walk Like a Man(iac): The Story of Everyone Who Became a Man in the 21st Century' reached #1 on Amazons Best Sellers list for Adult Humour within the first month. Between 2017 - 2018 he was the chief writer for a travel website and has produced comedy skits and marketing video content on a freelance basis.