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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

J LHLS Archives: November 2005

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Why do Men Have Nipples?
Hundreds of Questions You'd Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Martini
By Mark Leyner and Billy Goldberg, M.D.
Three Rivers Press (a division of Random House), 2005

Review by Ida Vega-Landow

When I selected this book for review, I was under the impression that it was a serious, informative tome written by a doctor and a scholarly layman, using a question and answer format to respond to all the questions that are most commonly asked of doctors at parties. And was it? Well, yes and no.

You see, while Billy Goldberg is a real doctor who works as an emergency room physician in New York City, Mark Leyner is a real smartass who normally writes topical, satiric humor, a la Dave Barry. You may have read some of his books, My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist; Tooth Imprints on a Corn Dog, I Smell Esther Williams, etc. This dynamic duo makes a credible attempt to answer the questions most frequently asked by party guests of anybody who is introduced as a doctor, in the form of a table of contents divided into chapters with headings like "YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT for food questions ("Why are you served juice and cookies after you donate blood?"), "BODY ODDITIES" for physical questions (like the titular question "Why do men have nipples?") and even "ALL YOU (N)EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX (for the answer to such old wives' tales as "Does using a tampon for the first time make you lose your virginity?"). But the running (or run-on) dialog Dr. Goldberg uses between chapters to describe a party that he and Mark went to, where he was pestered with dumb questions like the aforementioned while Mark made a pest of himself by getting drunk and giving impromptu lectures on Life, the Universe, and Everything, as well as the many transcripts from their Instant Messaging, which resembles a Marx Brother's movie script, lets you know that neither of these gentlemen (a word that is debatable in Mr. Leyner's case) really takes this book seriously. [more]

Posted by Ida Vega Landow @ 01:00 PM PST [Link]

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