The Modern Gentleman: A Guide to Essential Manners, Savvy and Vice (Anglais) Relié – 27 août 2002
Descriptions du produit
Revue de presse
“Peculiar, brilliant, funny, smart, and it will turn you into a cool person.”
--Augusten Burroughs, Running With Scissors and Dry
“Offers a thorough set of instructions on how to function as a refined member of
“As refined and potent as single malt scotch…in the theatre of his personality,
Tesauro emerges as a messiah of manners.”
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Biographie de l'auteur
PHINEAS MOLLOD received his law degree from Vanderbilt and is a member of the New York County Lawyers Association and the Kentucky Bourbon Circle. He lives in New York City.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Commentaires en ligne
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
The Modern Gentleman is essentially a guidebook about the very basics and a particular lifestyle - the authors. The vast majority of advice given in this book is vital `common sense', most of the guidance is tongue and cheek, delivered with advertising copy wit, word play and a glut of clichés, but some of their suggestions are useful for the urbane wannabe and can be applied immediately.
After a few pages of reading the text, it dawned on me that it's essentially written for young, twenty-something single men, who have finally arrived in the real world after college and it is time to shed their fraternity Neanderthal habits and grow up. In between the lines one can almost sense the author's telling their old acquaintances to shed their Sports Bar mentalities, buy cravats, smoking jackets, don English bowlers, and find the `Oscar Wildean dandy' that lies within us all. It's time to throw away Mettalica and Nine Inch Nails and develop a taste for Beethoven and Tchaikovsky. Everyone knows that jazz is the music of choice for the urbane man, and the authors give us a list of the basic artists to listen to in order to develop our gentleman ears. Let us not forget the all-essential silver flask in the breast pocket, to pull out and sip undisturbed in the empty elevator, in a gentlemanly fashion. (I'm afraid they lost me on that one. Flasks are for top-up drunks, not 21st century gentleman.)
Overall this little guide is a list of dos and don'ts about personal hygiene, what to read and what to drink, why it's not a good idea to burp at the table during a dinner party, and that the occasional facial at the local beautician is now socially acceptable and a perfect "me time" activity. For the young man "coming out", this book is an essential manual about lifestyle and manners. Though some of us do not aspire to be Wildean dandies, knowledge of a good red wine will not go astray.
I had expected the authors to stick to the obvious tenets of Gentlemen's Finishing School 101: regularly trim burgeoning nasal (and other personal) topiary, attend to itches IN PRIVATE, maintain eye contact with a lady's face, etc. I was fascinated and charmed to see the authors swashbuckle their way across a much wider swath of territory. The thoughtful advice proffered includes not pressuring a pregnant girlfriend for intimacy (or to take a particular course of action regarding the pregnancy) and refraining from ogling a dancer performing at an adjacent table in a "gentleman's club" without making a payment. (Truth be told, I had never, ever, realized that this type of establishment called for such enlightened etiquette. Then again, my venues of entertainment happen to be concert halls, but more of that later on in this review.) The authors also advise a best man to calm down the groom beset by pre-wedding jitters and to handle the latter's wallet for gratuities and checks. A truly considerate touch!
A part of a lifestyle guide is to navigate the delicate balance between honoring one's authentic self while developing grace and savoir-faire. In this regard, I was really irked to see the readers being advised to fake an interest in classical music. To quote directly from the source; "Below are eight must -haves that, like answers to $800 and $1000 Jeopardy questions will show off your musical breadth." Investigating new cultural avenues is laudable. However, faking an interest to impress others is deplorably sophomoric.
In the same vein, cutting through the thicket of excessive verbiage in the book is exhausting. Isn't clobberring others with one's erudition at odds with projecting a subtly sophisticated aura of "to the manner born"? I always had the impression that trying too hard was the most distinctive mark of the poseur.
Now for the downright questionable advice. The authors devote far too much space to the topic of alcoholic libations. The sub topics covered on this matter even include the machinations of transporting it in a flask (to be secretly sipped, for instance, at the house of a girlfriend's stuffy parents). The authors also blithely encourage lying to a lover about the number of previous sexual partners.
The book has potential to be a great graduation gift to a young man ... once the authors and their editors take some quiet hours (minus their flasks) to re-think their ideals and to rewrite the book in a more accessible lingo.
There are some useful tips, though, such as which liquors are best for use with a flask. But, for the most part, the information given is what a gentleman would do in the normal course of things.
The book is quite comprehensive, covering countless situations in which a gentleman may eventually find himself. The book is well-written and makes for a moderately entertaining read.