I was a little daunted when offered this book to review but I was so wrong to be so! I genuinely thoroughly enjoyed it and did two things that I very rarely do when reading “development”-type books. I laughed out loud and I read it in a single afternoon. I was expecting a heavier tone but was surprised by the lightness of the text and of the humour therein – particularly in the sections on relationships, women and sex.
Initially, I did not wish to be reminded of what I should have done as a boy; I can do enough self analysis and reflection without harping back to the mistakes of my own youth. Maybe it was this potential attention on my failings that daunted me? Thankfully, I did read it and even now, in my allegedly more mature years, I enjoyed it and learned from it. Oh if only had a son to pass this to!
The book covers many areas that are typically un-discussed or even taboo within male circles and society and starts, quite surprisingly, with frank discussions about being a man. In fact, what it takes to be a “real” man as opposed to the stereotypical image of one. This, as if not enough to make me sit up and pay more attention, is followed with considerable discourse on the typically most feared domain of manhood, that of emotions! It offers advice, examples and some “tests”, all of which are easy to understand and to personalise (if one is a “son” I guess!). The chapters on emotions contain such statements as “we become what we think about the most” and include the hugely debilitating issue of self criticism. I can say with total honesty and no little embarrassment that if I had understood these issues during my own hectic, hormone-filled, fakely-exuberant youth then I would certainly have made different decisions on many, many occasion. The book covers both “philosophical” and practical issues such as interview techniques, how and why being kind is being strong, happiness, attitude and how to listen to women. Now tell me that those issues would not be useful to any son!
As if discussion on emotions and self esteem were not enough, the author then moves into the realms of relationships and, with welcome inevitability, relationships with women. Oh if only someone had told me back then! You need not get the wrong impression here; it is not about how to “pull” women nor does it provide the best chat-up lines; it offers sensible, mature, experienced advice on what to look for (rather than at), how to communicate (which advises listening – note to all men here!) and even how to spot and avoid certain hazardous circumstances and personalities. It would seem that we men are sometimes the target of “dangerous” female personalities too! The author continues the lighter touch in his treatment of sex and the advice regarding learning how to enjoy a woman’s enjoyment which may resonate with men of all ages and if not, he sensitively enters the realm of divorce.
I thoroughly enjoyed Roy’s book. Whilst there is no allusion to age in here, it does lend itself to teenagers and male youth but personally I would not restrict its reading to just this age range or the specified relationship (father/son). I would suggest that most, if not all, of my male friends read this book and bite that most explosive of male “bullets” – communication – and give it to their own sons; whatever their age! Oh, and by the way, if any of you women out there would like an insight into male “psychology” and/or behaviour then you should read it too. If nothing else you will learn something and probably laugh a little too.
Review by Phil Birch, Business Editor at the3rdimagazine.
The book is not in the shops until June 2013 but can be bought online through www.DearSonBook.com.
If you would like to add your feedback to Roy’s new book, “Dear Daughter”, you can do so here