Narrator: Aziz Ansari
Length: 6 hours 14 minutes
Read: June 2017
A hilarious, thoughtful, and in-depth exploration of the pleasures and perils of modern romance from one of this generation’s most popular and sharpest comedic voices.
At some point every one of us embarks on a journey to find love. We meet people, date, get into and out of relationships, all with the hope of finding someone with whom we share a deep connection. This seems standard now, but it’s wildly different from what people did even just decades ago. Single people today have more romantic options than at any point in human history. With technology, our abilities to connect with and sort through these options are staggering. So why are so many people frustrated?
Some of our problems are unique to our time. “Why did this guy just text me an emoji of a pizza?” “Should I go out with this girl even though she listed Combos as one of her favorite snack foods? Combos?!” “My girlfriend just got a message from some dude named Nathan. Who’s Nathan? Did he just send her a photo of his penis? Should I check just to be sure?”
But the transformation of our romantic lives can’t be explained by technology alone. In a short period of time, the whole culture of finding love has changed dramatically. A few decades ago, people would find a decent person who lived in their neighborhood. Their families would meet, and, after deciding neither party seemed like a murderer, they would get married and soon have a kid, all by the time they were 24. Today people marry later than ever and spend years of their lives on a quest to find the perfect person, a soul mate.
For years Aziz Ansari has been aiming his comic insight at modern romance, but for Modern Romance, the audiobook, he decided he needed to take things to another level. He teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg and designed a massive research project, including hundreds of interviews and focus groups conducted everywhere from Tokyo to Buenos Aires to Wichita.
This is definitely one of those books that I probably would never have picked up in real life had I not first fallen in love with Aziz Ansari’s show Master of None. I remember watching the show last year, just a few episodes, and it was okay … I didn’t get too far in and got busy and never watched more, until this year when I binged the whole two seasons and thought it was so so good, and I was just a little bit in love with Aziz by the end of it.
Since I had wanted to pick up a new audiobook but didn’t know what to listen to yet, I figured I’d try out this one since I now knew who this Aziz Ansari person was and since he was funny in the show, maybe his book was funny too.
This book was awesome. It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, which was a recount of Aziz’s experience in the dating world. Instead, it was a collection of data collected about modern dating, or modern romance, accounts of people trying to date in the digital age. Now, I consider myself lucky, since I met my husband well before the digital age took off. In fact, he didn’t even have a cell phone when we met and since the only thing you could do with a cell phone back then was phone someone (my phone was a flip phone, so texting was super annoying), it wasn’t totally necessary, but still weird. However, I feel like dating in this day and age, when lots is done over messaging and texting, people meeting through apps and forums and dating sites, I would honestly have no clue how to even get started.
So, even though I consider myself a married old lady by now, this book was still fascinating! Dating in the modern age is something I would never have even thought about. Sure I’ve seen other peoples’ struggles with dating, but it never clued in to me how hard it can even be. I pretty much loved everything about this book and honestly wanted to listen to it again once I finished. I think in the end, I just love reading books that deal with the human experience and even though I’m not a single millennial trying to date, this book was just a fascinating listen and I would definitely recommend it!
Oh my gosh, hands down, this was a great narration. I mean, Aziz was definitely making fun of people who wanted to have the story read to them (lazy f****, he would call them) but I just loved listening to him read it! I think it’s because I fell in love with him after watching his show, but I think he just has a way of telling a story that sucks you in. I loved the little bits thrown in just for audiobook listeners and I think his narration is what made me want to go back and listen again. Plus, I usually speed up my audiobooks to 2x the speed, but Aziz’s pace and just listening to him had me turn it up to only 1.25x which is so rare for me! I would definitely recommend the audio version, even though I’m sure you’ll be sad to miss out on the charts.