Monday, 30 January 2017

Love Addict: Confessions of a Serial Dater by Koren Shadmi Review

Freshly dumped K gets signed up to online dating site Lovebug by his rambunctious roommate to lift his spirits. What starts off as a series of disastrous dates leads to an extremely active sex life as K discovers a world of women ready to fool around with him. But where will all of this temptation lead our once-meek protagonist?

I was in a bit of a mood when I picked this one up. I was sick of reading one crap book after another and was looking for something to be absolutely killer - I was only going to give this one twenty pages to wow me and then I was gonna toss it and stare at the wall instead. Well, it grabbed me in ten! Koren Shadmi’s Love Addict is a really great comic.

The opening ten page prologue is a truncated version of K’s last relationship from meet cute to breakup. I wasn’t expecting the speed but it was a perfectly paced beginning – no time wasted reheating the same romantic clich├ęs! The story then takes us through K’s dates with various women who come with their own strange stories, all of them compelling. It’s the best kind of reading experience where you don’t feel like you’re reading a book, it’s just happening.

Never having done online dating, particularly in a vast metropolis like New York City, I can’t tell if this is an accurate representation of the experience but I get the feeling that this is semi-autobiographical and “K” is really Koren (they look similar too). There is a large amount of sex in this book, graphically depicted in the art, so this isn’t one for the kids. I do wonder though if Koren did get this ridiculous amount of trim or whether some of the women were made up to drive home how the site consumes him.

The subject matter and art style reminded me of Bob Fingerman’s comics, which is to say the visuals are quite cartoonish. Did the comic have to be so explicit? Eh, it’s arguable, but it’s a book about sex so it’s not exactly unexpected, and it’s not like K’s shying away from the reality of the modern dating scene. It’s not like the author makes himself look that great either, particularly towards the end.

And that’s the other thing: the book doesn’t have anything original or profound to say - sleeping around is shallow, partying all the time becomes sad after a while, and sex with someone you love is more fulfilling - it’s just very entertaining to read. Even though I could see where K’s headed, I didn’t mind the predictability when I was enjoying the journey so much.

But it’s not like it’s a one-sided indictment of online dating either. Prior to joining Lovebug K didn’t think much of himself or his work until he discovered he’s considered to be quite a catch and women were impressed with his illustration skills. It did his self-esteem wonders and made him take some chances with his work that got him closer to where he wanted to be professionally; it’s just that he took things a bit too far and got carried away with what the site had to offer.

Koren Shadmi’s Love Addict: Confessions of a Serial Dater was an excellent read. It grabbed me from the start and I was hooked on seeing K’s story through to the end. I recommend it to adult readers looking for an entertaining and humorous look at modern yoof dating, and particularly for fans of Joe Matt’s comics.

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