|Last modified 15 January, 2009|
The Man's Book
At a time when the sexes are muddled and masculinity is marginalized, The Man's Book unabashedly celebrates being male. Chaps, cads, blokes and bounders, rejoice: The Man's Book will bring you back to where you belong.
2009 Edition (USA)
2007 Edition (UK and Commonwealth)
2006 Edition (UK and Commonwealth)
Note, however, that the nuance of the original English text, as well as my detailed attention to typography (I wrote each section to exactly fit the page) is lost in translation, and I urge you to buy the English edition instead.
Thomas Fink's compellingly brilliant guide to manly life...is a fascinating guide to being a man in the 21st century, dealing with such tricky matters of modern etiquette as who the best designer is (GQ favourite Paul Smith, unsurprisingly), why an older mistress is de rigeur and 85 different ways to tie a tie. It will make a wonderful present, or simply a great guide to the confusions of modern life.
An almanac of all things bloke-related, teaming with statistics on alcohol, sport, women, and, er, urinals.
Every now and then, a book comes along that makes you ask yourself: why didn't I think of that? In this instance, I'm referring to a volume that contains within its slim covers every essential piece of information that a man is likely to need in order to be a man; a manual of manliness; an elegant bible packed with facts, and padded, but not puffed, with original observations that are always provocative, and often profound.
Thomas Fink...has turned his scientists mind to what a man - any man - needs essentially to know, and then distilling that information into a single, sleek volume. So is his book...susceptible to the charge of being obsolete, on the grounds that we now live in a world without rules? Well, no, because much of what it contains is facts, which cannot be superceded (for example, in the section on Drinking & Smoking, the author explains with characteristic clarity the difference between the various kinds of beers, from lager to Guinness, to bocks and lambics: a necessary draft of knowledge, I should have thought, for any self-respecting man.) And when he turns to rules, he sticks to the old-fashioned ones, such as wedding etiquette, which even now a man would be foolish to ignore. And when, at last, Fink offers us his personal opinions...they are so elegantly phrased that they seem to embody the very qualities they seek to describe... Consider this, for example:
A white dinner jacket should not be worn, not in the summer, not by the sea.
A man's dress is made remarkable only by its absence of defect.
True enough, and the same could be said, I would say, of prose style in general. It could certainly be said of Fink's, which is not showy, but sure...
The Man's Book is above all useful: it deserves to sell in truckloads, and it probably will...
Manliness is a matter of knowing stuff, facts and skills; and, right now, men don't know anything. The Man's Book...reflects...a relish for codification. For Thomas Fink, we live in 'a time when the sexes are muddled and masculinity is marginalised'. But The Man's Book will solve this... 'Blokes, chaps, men on the Clapham omnibus,' he exhorts, 'rejoice.'
Whereas The Dangerous Book for Boys is a great gift, illustrated and glossy, this is very much more a straight reference book packed with useful information from how to tie ties to a gude to London night clubs - from darts strategy, conkers and fish to dating, gentlemen's clubs and whisky. It's really everything you need to know to be grown-up and cool.
Furiously British, with lists of London shirt makers and dates of bank holidays and teams in the World Cup of cricket. But it has a fascinating gimmick: It is written by a theoretical physicist who loves diagrams and algorithms. He makes up mathematical formulas to represent tie knots or the chances of having a happy marriage.
There are few more reassuring things in life than a dependable set of instructions. A new guide to the habits, protocols and pursuits of the modern man by Thomas Fink covers everything from marriage, to snuff, with firelighting and first dates in between.
A big celebration of the human male form, spelling out all the stereotypes that make us so unique. A must, if urinal etiquette confuses yous
The Montreal Gazette
The fundamentals of English gentleman-ship are detailed in this little handbook by a theoretical physicist who lives in London and Paris. The arcane points of etiquette, style and just being a man "at a time when masculinity is marginalized" are listed with dry wit and incomprehensible formulas. There are formulas for the number of shirts a man should own, assessing the beauty of a woman, when to marry and how to choose a urinal. All hilarious and possibly informative.
More bits: Bondage (the cult of James), lists of restaurants, fish and tailors, the craft of tying knots and an almanac.
'Every syllable is vital.'
To be a man in 21st Century Britain is not easy... What a man needs is an edge - and this book is it. Herein lies The Knowledge, a hoard of facts and info that'll make you look better than Brad Pitt, cooler than Johnny Depp and smarter than Stephen Hawking... A Godsend, fellas...
New Statesman Virile and proud of it
Oh, what an ignorant buffoon I have been. No messing around, readers - this latest "pocket bible" was not meant for me. I am drawn to it for much the same reason that men secretly own Sex and the City: complete bewilderment at the opposite sex. Needless to say, I stumble quickly in chapter one. Circumcision, lower left testicles, high balls. Good heavens, what a minefield. So resilient to the last I recruit a tour guide: my own in-house uber-masculine metrosexual. He seems pleased with this arrangement, and eagerly takes command
Chapter two, "Drinking and Smoking", opens with a quotation from George Best: "I spent 90 per cent of my money on women, drink and fast cars. The rest I wasted." While driving, my Man's Man starts slamming the dashboard amid alarming belly laughter. He is literally convulsing with admiration.
He elaborates: "ultimate male resolution for 2006 - have a pint with Charlie Kennedy!"
Thomas Fink, the theoretical physicist pouting smugly from the inner jacket, is displeased by this marginalisation of masculinity. He wants gentlemen everywhere to stand up and take note. Ladies should be aware that it makes for an illuminating afternoon when they do.
This simple cover, drawing on a more sophisticated and classic look, marks it as a lifestyle guide for the mature metrosexual. From details about spirits, to a comprehensive summary of the life of James Bond, this collection is sure to appeal to men of all tastes.
Bloke facts, rules and tips... Stacks of handy, ZOO-style info: how to start a fire with a Coke can, make cocktails, build a treehouse.
Presented like a cross between Old Moore's Almanac and Schott's Miscellany, this tome offers breathtakingly odd information for any man seeking a little more sophistication.
For instance, should you want your shaving brush to have very fine bristles, then seek out the neck hair of a badger. Most shaving brushes are made from the underbelly of said animal and that's so, like, common.
There's also a survival section about how to impress your partner - or mistress, if you haven't dumped her yet - if the two of you find yourself stuck in the countryside. Metrosexual Man would have had no idea how to start a fire, for example.
What good is Creme de la Mer moisturiser when you find yourself in the woods with the cold night setting in? So that's why Thomas Fink offers the definitive guide the the burning capabilities of more than 20 trees.