George, Nelson One Woman Short

ISBN 13: 9780743218603

One Woman Short

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9780743218603: One Woman Short
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L.A. native Rodney Hampton is a pro at juggling women. He and his best friend, Timothy Waters, spent many years scoping out honeys and macking coeds. But when Tim gets married, Rodney begins to wonder if his ailing mother is right -- is he really one woman short? After compiling a list of ex-girlfriends, he sets out in search of three missed chances at matrimony. The question is: Will anyone of the trio let this "love 'em and leave 'em" man back into her life?

L.A. native Rodney Hampton is a pro at juggling women. He and his best friend, Timothy Waters, spent many years scoping out honeys and macking coeds. But when Tim gets married, Rodney begins to wonder if his ailing mother is right -- is he really one woman short? After compiling a list of ex-girlfriends, he sets out in search of three missed chances at matrimony. The question is: Will anyone of the trio let this "love 'em and leave 'em" man back into her life?

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Review:

Lounge lizard, PR man, and con artist Rodney Hampton imagines monogamy as a kind of hell, and considers himself a juggler of women, a virtuoso at casual sex. But when his best friend ties the knot, the hero of One Woman Short gets spooked. He's now 33 and has dated 133 women. Will he ever find the One who will convert him to the monogamous creed? Or is she somewhere back there in the past, among the dozens of increasingly interchangeable faces and bodies?

Best known as a chronicler of hip-hop, Nelson George spent many years penning culture pieces for The Village Voice. No wonder One Woman Short suffers from a problem endemic to novels by critics--it seems to waver somewhere on the boundary between fiction and nonfiction, often resembling a piece of cultural commentary rather than an act of the imagination. Apt yet strangely disembodied observations disrupt the story ("The nineties, a time people once thought would introduce the paperless office, has in fact been a decade where more trees have been killed than ever before in history.") And Rodney himself sometimes appears less like a character and more like a symbolic figure--a walking, talking embodiment of various 20th-century American trends.

There's no reason, of course, why Rodney shouldn't be a relentless exponent of pop culture. Growing up African American in Los Angeles, we're told, he always felt "a missing character in Boyz N the Hood--one who stood firmly between Ice Cube's ghetto pragmatism and Cuba Gooding's collegiate aspirations." Still, his instants of emotional nakedness come when all this pop-cultural static falls away and he must confront his dying mother, her house lost to fire, her mind fading in a subpar retirement home. These sad moments truly compel the reader. And while Rodney would probably be an annoying flake with a wandering eye in the real world, it's to George's credit that he manages to become likable, and even intermittently tragic, on the page. --Emily White

About the Author:

Nelson George is a writer, filmmaker, and cultural critic who's been working professionally more than twenty-five years. He is the author of eight works of nonfiction, most recently Post-Soul Nation, five novels including the national bestseller One Woman Short, and several screenplays. George lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780684864617: One Woman Short : A Novel

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0684864614 ISBN 13:  9780684864617
Publisher: Touchstone, 2000
Softcover

9780739410974: One Woman Short

Simon ..., 2000
Hardcover

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