The Chase is a fast paced, entertaining book, which purports to tell you ‘Everything you need to know about men, dating and sex,’ from ‘Australia’s Number 1 sex, dating and relationships columnist,’ Samantha Brett.
Cautionary tales, interviews and relationship theories are interspersed with highlighted tips and alerts; as well as a number of regimes and challenges, including her 30 day ex detox diet. Readers of Samantha Brett’s regular blog, Ask Sam will be familiar with many of the basic premises of the book but this is more cohesive and finished version. The Chase has evolved out of her columns and has been augmented by interviews with, and questionnaires from, hundreds of men.
It is, fundamentally, a fun read. It’s about taking charge of your own dating destiny and finding your ‘ultimate’ man. In the tradition of self help relationship manuals it provides you with rules and checklists to follow. Although she does say that ultimately your own intuition will tell you whether or not a particular man is worth your time and that this is something that nobody and nothing else (including dating books) can do. She also stresses that no partner can provide every missing element in our lives. As she says, ‘All that “you complete me” bullshit spawned by the film Jerry McGuire is just that: bullshit.’
Samantha Brett writes a blog for the Sydney Morning Herald/Melbourne Age; ‘Ask Sam’, and appears regularly on a number of Australian television shows including The Today Show and A Current Affair. She also produces and hosts a US TV show The S Word: Sex Secrets USA. She splits her time between Los Angeles and Sydney.
And therein lies the rub. The book is very US centric. The cautionary tales scattered throughout the book are mostly Los Angeles based and the text is littered with words such as ‘candy’ and ‘junior high’. This is likely to be an understandable turnoff for many Australian readers and it would be lovely to see a local version.
However the fundamental message that I took from the book is that you should respect and look after yourself, whilst maintaining a sense of perspective. Whilst I might quibble with some of the tactics she proffers, and I don’t know that I necessarily agree with that men always need ‘the chase’; this is ultimately a book about knowing your own worth and taking charge of your own destiny. And who can argue with that?
The Chase by Samantha Brett is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $24.99