Modern Romance Review

Author: Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg

Series or standalone: Standalone

Genre: Nonfiction

Publisher & Date of Publication: Penguin Press, 2015

Source: Library Audiobook

Summary: At some point, every one of us embarks on a journey to find love. We meet people, date, get into and out of relationships, all with the hope of finding someone with whom we share a deep connection. This seems standard now, but it’s wildly different from what people did even just decades ago. Single people today have more romantic options than at any point in human history. With technology, our abilities to connect with and sort through these options are staggering. So why are so many people frustrated?…For years, Aziz Ansari has been aiming his comic insight at modern romance, but for Modern Romance, the book, he decided he needed to take things to another level. He teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg and designed a massive research project, including hundreds of interviews and focus groups conducted everywhere from Tokyo to Buenos Aires to Wichita. They analyzed behavioral data and surveys and created their own online research forum on Reddit, which drew thousands of messages. They enlisted the world’s leading social scientists, including Andrew Cherlin, Eli Finkel, Helen Fisher, Sheena Iyengar, Barry Schwartz, Sherry Turkle, and Robb Willer. The result is unlike any social science or humor book we’ve seen before.

In Modern Romance, Ansari combines his irreverent humor with cutting-edge social science to give us an unforgettable tour of our new romantic world.” (Goodreads)


Review: Modern Romance is a well-researched, informative book on what today’s dating world is like. Ansari and the team of social scientists he worked with spoke with people of all ages and from around the globe to find out what dating is like in the world of technology. Most people my age (21) can probably relate a lot more to the information in this book than I could. I have never used dating apps or even social media to meet guys, so the portions of the book that discussed that were lost on me. However, I have been in a relationship for over a year, so the sections on social media lurking were definitely relatable. The sections that discussed dating in other countries were the most interesting portions of the book. The dating culture of Buenos Aires was eye-opening, albeit cringey, and the lack of a dating culture in Japan provided great insight into how different romance can be in other parts of the world.

I highly recommend listening to this as an audiobook. I know that if I had read the physical book, I would have been bored. Hearing Aziz Ansari’s narration is a must for the full delivery of the humor in this book. Otherwise, it would be dry and the jokes would probably fall flat. Modern Romance was entertaining enough, but Aziz Ansari’s narration was the main source of entertainment, not the actual information in the book. I would recommend this to people who are curious about online dating and haven’t dabbled in it yet. I imagine that for someone who is experienced with it, this book wouldn’t be telling them anything new.

Rating: 3.5 stars


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