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Reviewed by Mike Powell for Readers' Favorite
Starting with a mythical, but very amusing 'history' of shopping, Dan Van Oss throws caution to the wind and risks the wrath of women worldwide as he presents his shopping survival guide: Shopping Survival Guide for Men - How a Man Can Survive a Shopping Experience Without Having to Gnaw His Own Arm Off. Written very much from an unreconstructed male point of view, I doubt whether even the most ardent feminist (female OR male) will seriously take offence at some of the age-old stereotypes that Dan presents. Painting men as helpless victims of the female desire to shop, Dan's book sets up various scenarios and allegedly gives men the tools to survive an experience that they would not really wish upon themselves.
Hopefully any female readers of the book - there are bound to be some who are curious about the title! - will end up laughing too; maybe a few will see a grain of truth in some of the scenes? Others may point out that male vices are just as intense, only different. While Dan talks about women looking through "her 14th sale rack," women will undoubtedly be able to come up with a dozen equally pointed counter-punches!
But for those men who really, REALLY can't stand the thought of a shopping trip with their loved one, there is all sorts of practical (devious?) advice. For example: "...always drop off your passengers at the entrance to the store. This will not only score you some most likely much-needed man points, but it also allows extra time for cranking that last part of 'Separate Ways' by Journey on the oldies station you can only listen to when no one else is in the car. Roam the lot looking for the best parking spot possible, as this will not only be your last manly act of the day, it will also provide you with more time to not be shopping."
Dan's survival guide is a humorous light read - a well-judged length too, ideal for a plane or train journey. Enjoyable, but, for many (hopefully) modern men, either slightly uncomfortable, or (probably more likely) a guilty pleasure!