Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

74%

37 Critic Reviews

Ansari’s eminently readable book is successful, in part, because it not only lays out the history, evolution, and pitfalls of dating, it also offers sound advice on how to actually win today's constantly shifting game of love. Often hilarious, consistently informative, and unusually helpful.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

The #1 New York Times Bestseller

A hilarious, thoughtful, and in-depth exploration of the pleasures and perils of modern romance from one of this generation’s sharpest comedic voices

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?

Some of our problems are unique to our time. “Why did this guy just text me an emoji of a pizza?” “Should I go out with this girl even though she listed Combos as one of her favorite snack foods? Combos?!” “My girlfriend just got a message from some dude named Nathan. Who’s Nathan? Did he just send her a photo of his penis? Should I check just to be sure?” 

But the transformation of our romantic lives can’t be explained by technology alone. In a short period of time, the whole culture of finding love has changed dramatically. A few decades ago, people would find a decent person who lived in their neighborhood. Their families would meet and, after deciding neither party seemed like a murderer, they would get married and soon have a kid, all by the time they were twenty-four. Today, people marry later than ever and spend years of their lives on a quest to find the perfect person, a soul mate.

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.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Aziz Ansari

See more books from this Author
Aziz Ansari is a stand-up comedian and an actor. He is on his fourth major stand-up tour, which was filmed for his next stand-up special, “Aziz Ansari: Live at Madison Square Garden.” His last special, “Buried Alive,” premiered on Netflix in 2013. He currently stars as Tom Haverford on the Emmy-nominated comedy Parks and Recreation with Amy Poehler and other great people. He’s appeared in several films as well, including This Is the End, Funny People, and 30 Minutes or Less. He enjoys eating fresh pasta and watching multiple hours of critically acclaimed TV dramas in one sitting.
 
Published June 16, 2015 by Penguin Books. 288 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Political & Social Sciences, Self Help, Romance, Literature & Fiction, Parenting & Relationships, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Education & Reference, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon2
Peak Rank on Jul 05 2015
icon27
Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
1
Want to Read
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Modern Romance
All: 37 | Positive: 29 | Negative: 8

Kirkus

Good
on May 06 2015

Ansari’s eminently readable book is successful, in part, because it not only lays out the history, evolution, and pitfalls of dating, it also offers sound advice on how to actually win today's constantly shifting game of love. Often hilarious, consistently informative, and unusually helpful.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Above average
on May 01 2015

Despite Ansari’s insistence otherwise, most of this material has been covered exhaustively elsewhere, but Ansari’s oddball sense of humor does bring something new and refreshing to the conversation.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Sarah Lyall on Jul 06 2015

The result is a sprightly, easygoing hybrid of fact, observation, advice and comedy, with Mr. Klinenberg, presumably, supplying the medicine — graphs, charts, statistics and the like — and Mr. Ansari dispensing the spoonfuls of sugar that help it go down.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Barbara Ellen on Jun 22 2015

What emerges is a book that is somewhat inconclusive (how could it not be on such a vast subject?), but is nonetheless entertaining and illuminating.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Helen Lewis on Jun 04 2015

I finished the book feeling that the time I’d spent with Ansari was not unpleasant, but rather unmemorable – and I wonder how he would have fared without his academic wingman. In that sense, it is not unlike many of the dates it describes: we had fun together, but I wouldn’t text him back.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance | See more reviews from Guardian

NPR

Above average
Reviewed by Linda Holmes on Jun 16 2015

The result is perhaps not startlingly new information about relationships, but a solid and interesting tour of what we know about how things are changing, all delivered within Ansari's silly but smart sensibility.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance | See more reviews from NPR

All About Romance

Good
Reviewed by E L Hussey on Jan 18 2016

I completely recommend this book to all ages, whether you are single, married, or somewhere in between. It puts today’s romantic climate in a perspective that neither demonizes nor glorifies, showing a multitude of sides and opinions that effectively paints a well-rounded picture of modern romance.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance | See more reviews from All About Romance

Examiner

Good
Reviewed by Kristin Wilson on Feb 08 2016

Modern Romance is full of wit and wisdom. Overall, the book is very insightful, well researched, and funny, all at once. The reader walks away with a better understanding of the problems and benefits of dating in an age where technology is a big part of daily life.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance

Globe and Mail

Above average
Reviewed by Kate Carraway on Jun 19 2015

The book is super-hetero, which Ansari acknowledges...There is also less about sex-sex than there should be for a book so much about hookup culture, but that could be responding to Ansari’s smart-but-never-alienating, dirty-ish-but-never-filthy brand.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance | See more reviews from Globe and Mail

AV Club

Good
Reviewed by Ryan Vlastelica on Jul 06 2015

If Match.com or OKCupid wanted to increase the number of successful relationships that start through their sites, they’d send out a free copy with each membership. Users would fall upon it with relief: at last, a clear voice in the insanity.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance | See more reviews from AV Club

The Economist

Above average
on Jul 11 2015

Readers should not expect a serious work of sociology, but a breezy survey of the relevant research. Though Mr Ansari’s jokey tone eventually becomes cloying (his punchlines work better on stage), his quest for answers seems genuine.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance | See more reviews from The Economist

Toronto Star

Above average
Reviewed by Sadiya Ansari on Jun 20 2015

If you’re single, Ansari’s book helps shed light on the everyday encounters that drive you nuts (Why hasn’t he texted back?) while for those who aren’t dating, it provides insight into how the digital age has complicated traditional courting problems. Whatever your lens, it makes for an entertaining read.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance | See more reviews from Toronto Star

The Independent

Below average
Reviewed by ALICE JONES on Jun 05 2015

It is lively and entertaining without ever being clear about who or what it is for. It is neither quite funny enough to be a comedy or quite serious enough to be a study.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance

Washington Independent Review of Books

Good
Reviewed by Mick Cunningham on Jul 23 2015

Modern Romance is a fun and enlightening read for anyone who wants to understand today’s pairing scene.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance

BookPage

Good
Reviewed by Julie Hale on Jul 25 2015

His report on the contemporary pursuit of a perfect partner mixes solid research with hilarious riffs—all delivered Ansari-style. It’s an irresistible pairing.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance

The Sydney Morning Herald

Above average
Reviewed by Daniel Herborn on Aug 14 2015

When it switches from light anthropological survey to advice mode, Modern Romance doesn't land on any particular revelations about how to approach dating, but it is a topical and consistently funny look at a subject often written about in frivolous, unsatisfying fashion. Treat yo self.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance

Slate

Above average
Reviewed by Amanda Hess on Jun 04 2015

Ansari is perfectly positioned to recast himself as our modern dating guru. He is, mercifully, not a pick-up artist, though he did kinda play one on TV. After spending seven seasons on Parks and Recreation as the clownish playboy-entrepreneur Tom Haverford, Ansari the actor has emerged as a lovable public personality with a winking swagger.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance

Tulsa World

Above average
Reviewed by ANNA CODUTTI on Jun 28 2015

“Modern Romance” may not be a how-to, but — like the young man whom Ansari said he helped get a date after reading his texts on stage at a Tulsa tour stop — its insight can definitely help men and women up their game or at least figure out how people behave.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance

London Evening Standard

Above average
Reviewed by Richard Godwin on Jun 25 2015

The insights on dating and the schism between our real and phone selves are compelling enough that if I were single I’d want to read this book. As I’m not — neither is Ansari, by the way — I take a wry comfort in it, mixed with a mild regret that Tinder wasn’t around when I was single.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance

Paste

Above average
Reviewed by Tyler R. Kane on Jun 17 2015

...though the book doesn’t shove readers in any particular direction, and it doesn’t provide concrete solutions to the realm of modern dating, most millennials will walk out of Modern Romance with an increased appreciation for the beings that exist behind iPhone screens.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance

Huffington Post

Above average
Reviewed by Alice Charles on Sep 22 2015

Full of interesting facts and fun details and illustrations, Modern Romance is an engaging and very funny read for anyone who has ever been in love - or planning to be.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance

Vox Magazine

Above average
Reviewed by BRADLEY BABENDIR on Jul 02 2015

With his first foray into the literary sphere, Ansari handedly accomplishes what he set out to do. Modern Romance provides insight into what people do to find love. He infuses their stories with his sass and parallels their shame with much of his own.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance

Entertainment Focus

Good
Reviewed by Pip Ellwood-Hughes on Feb 21 2016

Modern Romance: An Investigation is a really fascinating read and one that I found hard to put down. Ansari was clearly committed to doing a thorough job with Klinenberg and that shines through in the book.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance

Vogue

Good
Reviewed by Anne Payne on Oct 24 2015

The narrative voice is strictly Ansari’s, but the data backup from Klinenberg takes “Modern Romance” from extended comic monologue to dating guide and thought-provoker.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance

Racism Review

Below average
Reviewed by Shantel Buggs on Nov 07 2015

The book, however, is deeply flawed when it comes to any form of analysis of race. Considering Ansari’s awareness around issues of race in his comedy, I found the glaring absence of race in this book extremely disappointing.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance

National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Aileen Donnelly on Jun 16 2015

...it’s not exactly a humour book — though its footnotes are actually jokey asides, and you’re bound to laugh out loud more than once while you’re reading it.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance | See more reviews from National Post arts

http://skrishnasbooks.com

Good
Reviewed by Swapna Krishna on Jun 24 2015

...Modern Romance is absolutely worth the read. It’s fascinating to see what dating in today’s world is really like, especially with (1) online dating and (2) texting, especially considering it’s been so long since I’ve been in that situation. You’d think this book would leave you dejected at the state of modern romance, but it actually doesn’t.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance

Quick Book Reviews

Good
Reviewed by David Ben Efraim on Sep 03 2015

All things considered, if dating in the modern age is something of an indecipherable mystery, rest assured you're not alone, and you'll definitely be able to shed some light on it with this book... and have a belly full of laughs at the same time.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance

Nomad Reader

Good
on Jul 21 2015

Modern Romance was as funny as I hope, but it's layered with deep thinking and fascinating sociological data I didn't expect. This unusual combination helps make it impulsively readable. It's entertaining, hilarious, and informative.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance

The Reading Date

Good
on Jun 26 2015

Ansari touched on these dating topics in his stand-up routines – and found that his audience could relate to his dating woes. With Modern Romance, Ansari expands on the topic in an informative and interesting way while also providing lots of laughs.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance

Just a Lil' Lost...

Good
on Jun 16 2015

He infuses the cheekiness and earnestness that he’s known for in his comedy making for an informative and entertaining read.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance

Forever Young Adult

Good
Reviewed by Mandy Wan on Feb 17 2016

I had high hopes that this book would dazzle me with its humour -- which it did -- but it truly impressed me with the breadth of investigative legwork involved.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance

http://www.seattletimes.com

Above average
Reviewed by Sarah Lyall on Aug 12 2015

I could have done without some of the statistics and studies, frankly, but they were broken into digestible chunks and so slid by easily. The best part of “Modern Romance” comes when Ansari and his team get people to share the most embarrassing aspects of their romantic quests...

Read Full Review of Modern Romance

https://thehungryreader.wordpress.com

Excellent
on Jul 28 2015

“Modern Romance” is a funny and insightful book on how to navigate the terrain of love in the digital space...Aziz with his insights will make you reconsider and think of online dating differently for sure and at the same time make you see how investing, both in terms of time and effort might actually lead to something amazing between two people.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance

http://bookloverbookreviews.com

Good
Reviewed by Jo on Jun 16 2015

What comes through as you read Modern Romance is that Aziz Ansari has not simply set out to write a funny book (although it is that). It is clear he had an interest in better understanding what motivates people’s behaviours and has invested the time and sought the advice of experts in order to do so.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance

http://rhrealitycheck.org

Above average
Reviewed by Eleanor J. Bader on Jun 05 2015

Whatever your preferences, Ansari argues that that everyone deserves to be happy in their domestic lives. Nonetheless, the reality check that he has tossed into the mix about not holding out for an idealized person who doesn’t exist reminds us of several longstanding truths...

Read Full Review of Modern Romance

https://generationgbooks.wordpress.com

Good
on Jun 14 2015

...it’s hard to ignore what the two years of research yielded. I hope a great many people will read this and keep some of the points in mind...I only gave it 4 because the selfish side of me expected more humor. Otherwise, gold. Read it to be entertained and enlightened.

Read Full Review of Modern Romance

Reader Rating for Modern Romance
84%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 1661 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review

Reader reviews & activity

Vanessa Montano

Vanessa Montano 16 Sep 2015

Added the book to want to read list

×