Book Review: “Modern Romance” by Azziz Ansari

I came to recognize Azziz Ansari through Amy Poehler’s book, “Yes, Please” and the TV series “Park and Recreation” where he acted as conniving colleague of Amy and tried to sabotage whatever she was promoting – building a park. Turned out he’s a pretty funny Indian comedian, who even produced his own series “Master of None” in a Netflix TV series. In this book, Azziz went into the key differences in today’s romance/dating scene, mostly due to the mobile technology and how people are handling it internationally: Japan, France, and Brazil. It’s a fairly entertaining book for me who has passed through that stage and still find that stage of life challenging for those people old and young looking for love in all places. Hopefully, this book shed some light or provide some antidotes for those who face the difficulties. I know it does for me.

A quick summary of this book.

– Historically, people marry someone in their neighborhood or small circle of friends, friends’ friends. We now have more choices and supposedly have a better chance of finding our own soul mates.
– Texting to “hookup” or date and even break up is a norm. Making a phone call and handling face-to-face conversation seems to have taken a backseat.
– New tools on our cell phone like Tinder App with a simple swipe to connect or reject people. Neat! Of course, the downside is relying just on the looks.
– Men in Japan are less aggressive in asking women out, partially due to economic uncertainty and fear of rejection. The official label for such men (60~70% of all 20~30-year-old men) are call “herbivores” who lack interest in getting married and finding a girlfriend. At least, Azziz got to eat lots of Raman.
– People in Paris/France tend to be more tolerant of infidelity or open to “open” relationship, which doesn’t seem to work here in U.S.
– Women in Brazil were “harassed” more often by men due to the culture and probably lack of stigma against it – yet.
– It’s not just a “laugh-it-off” type of book but a reasonably-researched, coupled with some experts’ (sociologists’) findings and advises.
– If you read the audiobook version like I did, you would be picked on by Azziz like most comedians for being a “lazy fuck” and not wanting to read the book.
– In the conclusion, Azziz encourages people to take the time to know the real person behind the pictures and texts in the mobile. It may be worth the investment and enjoy it!