Ladies' Man by John Ramster

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Ladies' Man by John Ramster

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Kerry King
Reviewed by Kerry King
Summary: A blast of political incorrectness anyone? Well then how about a jolly, un-pc romp through Simon's sexuality? Simon likes boys. But Simon also likes girls. Well, a girl anyway. Hold on, how did that happen?
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 352 Date: June 1999
Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN: 978-0316849562

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Simon is a travel agent. He is his own boss, with his own ideas. Like the one where he always thought that the song should have been When A Man Loves Another Man although I'm not sure Percy Sledge would entirely agree with those sentiments.

Ruth works for Simon and is not only a model employee, she is his best friend in the world, ever. She understands his dreams and he encourages her desire to be more than just a single mother. A perfect combination then of fun-loving singletons, both seeking their Mr. Rights.

That is until Simon decides that he isn't sure he really wants to find Mr. Right. And he isn't sure he wants to be Ruth's best friend any more. In fact, Simon isn't sure about much these days apart from the fact that he wants to be Ruth's boyfriend.

Needless to say, the news that Simon is Suddenly Straight does not go down very well with his friends. Or with any of his ex-boyfriends. None of them believe there is any such thing as Gay Man Turned Straight. But one thing is for sure; he's definitely in foreign territory and finds the prospect of sex with a member of The Fairer (and frankly, much less hairy than he is used to) Sex, terrifying.

After some hilarious "lessons" and advice given by some of Simon's straight, male friends - and we're talking rat-up-a-drainpipe straight - which include a cunnilingus technique cringingly perfected on the foam of a cappuccino - the tale proceeds to a pleasing, but logical conclusion. The pieces fall into place in this story, quite early on. I don't like to spoil things for myself by trying to figure out how the book will end, although in this instance, whilst the author doesn't make it too complicated, it's not entirely transparent either.

Ladies Man is John Ramster's first and at the date of writing, his only outing and received relatively critical acclaim. Whilst irrelevant for anything other than the ring of authenticity, I'd have to say that if I were to guess the author's "orientation", the detail in the gay areas of the book appear to be florid enough to have "personal experience" stamped on them. I found this oddly comforting as I like to think that what I am reading is not all directly plucked out of the air, especially in an arena in which I have absolutely no experience. This also goes for books on industrial espionage, macramé and serial killers.

In all, Ladies Man is a short, very funny, fast read which makes for a great beach book or something to take your mind off the train journey into work. The subject matter is certainly not one that I have encountered within the realm of Bloke and Chick literature and made a welcome change from the lie-in-bed-playing-Playstation-scratching-my-arse-and-contemplating-world-domination-if-I-could-only-be-bothered type Blokelit books and from the pink, marabou feathered realm of Airhead Goes Shopping.

In a similar vein, you may like to try John O'Farrell's May Contain Nuts and in fact anything by Nick Hornby, my favourite of which being High Fidelity - one might be fooled into thinking that these books were written by men, for men, but if you ever wondered why your boyfriend alphabetises his CD collection, the answers to this and many other queries are often found within Hornby's pages.

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Buy Ladies' Man by John Ramster at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Ladies' Man by John Ramster at


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