Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Coming Of Age In Mid-America

Sensitivity 101 for the Heterosexual Male, by Philip Nork,  is the story about a boy named Phil.  It is a heart-wrenching saga of a boy who is devastated by his parent's divorce.  He often feels lost and alone.  He is shy, withdrawn and has very little confidence in himself.

Nana, Phil's grandmother, is a caring and compassionate influence in his life.  Phil feels like his grandmother is the only person who really understands him.  When Nana dies, Phil withdraws into himself and really believes that God is punishing him.  Phil is ten-years-old and has lost both his father and his grandmother.  This book is about how he deals with these tremendous losses and grows into manhood with a better understanding about what is really important in life.

"People seem to arrive just when you need them, or when they need you.  And the beauty is, sometimes even a small gesture can have a profound effect on you."

This book is a collection of stories about the girls and women that come into Phil's life.  He learns lessons from these friendships and encounters that help him accept himself and move to a higher level of fulfillment and happiness.  Phil has numerous sexual encounters and even ends up working as a gigolo for a period of time.  Phil's goal in these encounters is to make the girls feel good...they are attracked to him like a magnet.

I was very impressed by the honesty and sensitivity used in writing this book.  We all have choices to make in the process of growing up.  The choices we make are not always the best, but we make them with good intention.  The book ends with this thought, "You now know that you are accepted for who you are, so go...go...go and be happy."
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