Foreword Reviews

Cupid Hates Me

True Dating Tales of the Self-Proclaimed Sexy Ogre

Clarion Rating: 3 out of 5

Marked by compassionate and comedic insights, Cupid Hates Me is an often satisfying memoir about relationships past.

Cupid Hates Me by Wedge Stevens is a witty and sarcastic account of one man’s dating history.

Beginning in his youth, the author recounts his many girlfriends, long- and short-term relationships, one-night stands, and disappointing dates. Relatively short chapters track each episode, then conclude with numbered lessons learned. One lesson repeats—“I had a lot more to learn about women”—as the work’s leitmotif. To maintain anonymity, creative pseudonyms are given to Stevens’s partners.

The book’s sarcasm trends heavy handed but functions as a defense mechanism to disguise or distract the narrator from his emotional pain. He recalls, for instance, repeatedly cutting himself, self-laceration that is described in both literal and figurative terms. Despite his poor body image and insecurities about weight fluctuations, his number of partners is high, and the narration proudly presents him as a relationship expert.

While on the surface the work seems designed to collect anecdotes about dating, it unfolds as a personal journey too. The narrator learns to tame his sexual promiscuity, cherish his relationships more, and avoid partners who possess little compassion for others. The result is a relatable dating tale, told in an entertaining and humorous way but also fraught with honest pain and disappointment.

The exhaustive and even encyclopedic account of the narrator’s dating past is overwhelming at times. Many of the early chapters add little to the central themes and story growth, though the book becomes more grounded, exciting, and familiar once Stevens reaches adulthood.

Accounts build up to and center one relationship each. They are deftly crafted, generating interest in their characters, even as they work toward conclusions that are touching, sad, or angering.

The “Pirate Queen” story epitomizes the book’s narrative structure, building on its organizing notion of “love at first sight” with relations of cosmic signs that destiny approves of the couple’s union. The ending, however, devastates the narrator, who feels that his sincerity has been exploited and that the Pirate Queen had been using him all along.

Straightforward prose neither dazzles nor disappoints. Its simplicity captures both mundane and spectacular aspects of relationships as they develop, conclude, or fade away. Elements of immediacy, humor, and consistency play in effectively.

Marked by compassionate and comedic insights, Cupid Hates Me is an often satisfying memoir about relationships past.

Reviewed by Philip J. Kowalski

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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