Last modified 15 January, 2009

The Man's Book

The Man's Book is the authoritative handbook for men's customs, habits and pursuits – a vade mecum for modern-day manliness. Organized in a man-logical way, it records unspoken customs, catalogs essential information, and guides you through the sometimes complex rituals of a man's life. It is also up to date: it notes the latest trends and anticipates what lies ahead.

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.

Table of contents (pdf)         Sample chapter: Drinking (pdf)

2009 Edition (USA)

The Man's Book 2009 The third and most recent edition of The Man's Book will be published by Little, Brown in the United States on 6 May, 2009. Expanded, revised and retypeset, this is the first time that the definitive almanac for men will be available in America. New features include: 16 more sections, 35 more figures and numerically indexed sections and subsections.

Hardback, 240 pp
Little, Brown, 6 May, 2009
Amazon: USA, Canada

2007 Edition (UK and Commonwealth)

The Man's Book 2007 The second edition of The Man's Book was published in the UK in September, 2007. Revised and expanded, it includes some 30 new sections and four new chapters (Sports, Smoking, Cooking and Idling). Updated throughout, The Man's Book remains the essential road map for men. It also has a new look, having been completely re-designed by the author.

Hardback, 224 pp
Phoenix, 19 Sep, 2007
Amazon: UK, Canada

2006 Edition (UK and Commonwealth)

The Man's Book 2006 The first edition of The Man's Book was published in October, 2006 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson. It is organized by subject into nine chapters, including an almanac to the year. It was designed and typeset by the author.

Hardback, 192 pp
Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 14 Sep, 2007
Amazon: UK, Canada

Foreign Editions

The Man's Book has been translated into German, Italian, Russian, Finnish and Hungarian.

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.

Amazon: Germany, France, Japan

Reviews

GQ   A must-have book for any discerning man-about-town
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.

The London Paper
An almanac of all things bloke-related, teaming with statistics on alcohol, sport, women, and, er, urinals.

The Literary Review
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.
      Or this:
      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...

The Independent
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.'

lovereading.co.uk
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.

The Globe and Mail
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.

London Times
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.

NUTS Magazine
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.

The Gerry Ryan Show
'Every syllable is vital.'

Sunday Sport
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.

The Bookseller
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.

ZOO Magazine
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.

Irish Independent
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.

Thomas Fink

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The Man's Book
The 85 Ways to Tie a Tie
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