Mar 24

Book Review: Year of the Cock

Year of the Cock: The Remarkable True Account of a Married Man Who Left His Wife and Paid the PriceYear of the Cock: The Remarkable True Account of a Married Man Who Left His Wife and Paid the Price by Alan Wieder

I should find it ironic that the memoir of a man who produces reality television should read so much like a reality tv show itself. As with the worst of unscripted television, I found myself fascinated, yet repulsed, horrified, yet enthralled.

Alan Weider is proof positive that if women could read men’s minds, we would never, ever date them. When Weider’s workaholic schedule and puerile lack of empathy damage his 2 year marriage to his wife Sam, Weider decides that her anger and frustration is intolerably denying him his life’s privilege–that of drinking himself blotto and fucking everything with a vagina.

Without explanation, he does just this, moving out of the apartment he shares with his wife into a bachelor pad where he can screw the numerous young hotties LA has to offer. He does offer half-hearted reasons for this, e.g. when Sam’s father died, he had to be a grown up and support her emotionally, and that was too hard for him, boo hoo, but mostly he just lets his dick lead him around. His wife, meanwhile, calls him incessantly, but he never returns her calls or listens to the voicemails.

Finally, after many months of balling every woman he can, buying a ridiculous car, and drinking far too much alcohol, Weider starts to worry that his penis is small. This feeling becomes an obsession, the American version of Koro. He starts to do painful penis-enlargement exercises. In between all-night benders, where he drinks too much and laments that his penis is too small to screw all the women he wants to screw, he measures his dick over and over again. Finally, he goes to a psychiatrist in hopes that he can get some drugs.

When the Xanax the shrink gives him doesn’t work, he finally calls his wife hoping that if he can reconcile with her, his penis-size-obsession will lessen. She, shockingly enough, wants a divorce. At this point he has real remorse, and finally cries and pleads his way into a temporary reconciliation.

I’m not sure how I feel about this book. It feels like a morality play, writ with excessive swear words for a modern audience. I skipped quite a few of the passages wehre he talked about his cock. I’m not as interested in his penis as Weider is, but I think that perhaps no one on the earth is as interested in his penis as Weider is. What was the reader supposed to take from this? “Guys, listen to me, it just isn’t worth it to buy a Porsche, drink like a fish, and fuck 20-something hotties?” Or maybe the lesson is, “Guys, it doesn’t matter what a selfish douche you are, no matter what you do, your woman will take you back (at least for a litttle while)?”

Or maybe the reader was supposed to just cringe, slightly revolted, as a disgusting man showed us more about himself than anyone really wanted to know. Maybe men were supposed to read this and laugh, seeing their own lustful selfishness writ large in a (humorous?) script, like an x-rated Homer Simpson. As for me, I feel amused, horrified, and guilty at having enjoyed it, as I do when I’ve seen a particularly egregious example of reality television. “Have they no shame?” followed by the realization that I, too, have no shame, because I didn’t have the decency to turn away.

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