For one 1970’s family, the center may not hold, but it certainly does fold.In 1978 Jimmy Carter mediates the Camp David Accords, Patti Smith tops charts with “Because the Night”, Suzanne Summers lets us all know that Three’s Company, too, and thirteen year-old Lou Cove’s free-thinking Jewish family moves from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to the Puritan wasteland of Salem, Massachusetts. His eighth move in ten years, Lou figures he should just resign himself to an adolescent purgatory of annoying paper routes, school bullies and endlessly being ignored by every girl he likes.Then one October morning, as the New England leaves are just turning into “foliage” and the air gains a crisp bite, an old friend of Lou’s father, free-wheeling (and free-loving) Howie Gordon arrives at the Cove doorstep with his beautiful wife Jeremy in tow. At the tail end of a cross-country honeymoon with the whiff of Berkley at their backs, the young couple is in need of a place to “crash” for a few weeks, maybe months. Howie is everything Lou wants to be: handsome as a movie star, muscled like a god and in possession of an unstoppable confidence. Howie and Jeremy are a breath of fresh air for the Cove’s, imbuing the entire family with an energy and sense of adventure they didn’t even know they had lost.Lou quickly becomes Hutch to Howie’s Starsky, talking late into the night as Howie explains the ways of the world (and women) to Lou over midnight joints on the roof, and joyrides around Boston. And then Howie drops a bombshell. At Thanksgiving dinner he holds up an issue of Play Girl Magazine, flips it to the center and there he is, Mr. November in all his natural glory. Howie has Hollywood in his sights and being Play Girl’s Mr. November is just the first step to being the next Burt Reynolds – now he needs to become Play Girl’s Man of the Year, and Howie knows just who should manage his campaign. As Lou and Howie canvas the uptight town of Salem, charming grandmas, school teachers and World War Two vets into voting for Howie, the Coves (and Salem) will never be the same again.Man of the Year is the improbable true story of Lou’s thirteenth year, one very unusual campaign, and the unexpected guest who taught him to be a man. As the year unfolds, Lou must face the harsh realities that his family might also be going through its own growing pains, and the harder truth that sometimes parents are just people, too. Hilarious, heartwarming, poignant and yes, well-muscled, Man of the Year is a coming of age story we all can cheer for.
Man of the Year Review
- May 24, 2017StephanieI was sucker punched by an interesting description, unfortunately attached to a purely terrible book. Massively dull and laden with awful, clumsy dialog - no humans on earth ever conversed like this, in any place or any decade. Instead of an actual sense of place, you get endless reminders of where the characters are (Salem, Massachusetts!) and what decade it is (the 1970s!) , with one awkward pop culture reference after another, over and over, like a catalog of product placement. Which is proba I was sucker punched by an interesting description, unfortunately attached to a purely terrible book. Massively dull and laden with awful, clumsy dialog - no humans on earth ever conversed like this, in any place or any decade. Instead of an actual sense of place, you get endless reminders of where the characters are (Salem, Massachusetts!) and what decade it is (the 1970s!) , with one awkward pop culture reference after another, over and over, like a catalog of product placement. Which is probably actually necessary, since the writing is so bad you'd probably never figure it out otherwise. A complete waste of reading time.more
- May 15, 2017DaveMan of the Year absolutely oozes with the Seventies, which for many has become something of a forgotten decade between the tumultuous Sixties and cocaine-infused, narcissistic Eighties. This coming-of-age story will be a blast to read for anyone who grew up during that time and is loaded with pop culture references that will surely trigger intense feelings of nostalgia. I received this book as part of a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for a fair and honest review.more
- May 11, 2017MavisI received this book for free from a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. I thought this book was well written and interesting. It wasn't a book I couldn't put down, but it was a story that held my attention. The last few chapters turned kind of dark which threw me off a bit but it did fit into the overall story. And yes, I did Google the title character, Howie Gordon the Man of the Year. 😉more
- May 12, 2017Jamie BellingerI would recommend this book based on the true-to-life, humorous memoir it is. I easily connected to the writing which made me feel like I was taking a stroll down memory lane with a good friend. Now I didn't grow up in the 70's's but I certainly felt the history fly off the pages in this good read, so thanks.more
- May 21, 2017Baer TierkelLou Cove's memoir of his 12yo self as he becomes a teenager in '70s America is fabulous! So awesome, completely captures the hue of the '70s, but his travails are truly timeless. He really is able to pull you completely into his young teenage brain as he deals with girls, weed, his family, and Playgirl magazine. Highly recommended (great father's day gift)more
- May 10, 2017Florence FalesI entered the giveaway because it took place in Salem Massachusetts in the seventies. When I realized the content of the book I was skeptical. I gotta say, the Man of the Year by Lou Cove was very entertaining. The characters were very likeable. The twist in the story was surprising, but otherwise enjoyable.more
- March 10, 2017Kathy ChurchI received this arc by entering a contest on Goodreads. I loved the book. I was 18 in 1976 and this book brought back a lot of memories. I can relate to the music, the autos and the times. Wonderful book.
- May 12, 2017Rhonda LomazowA wonderful coming of age story full of nostalgia for me.Picked it up&was drawn right in,Thanks to Flat Iron &Goodreads for this wonderful trip down memory lane,
- May 17, 2017Mary NeeVery entertaining! A true to life , funny memoir.
- March 24, 2017Barbara LeutheLoved the story.There is no better story than a true life story.Lou shares his ups and downs and makes the whole story so easy to relate to.Friends ,family and the struggles of growing up keep you reading.I received this book free as part of goodreads giveaways.more
- March 9, 2017Tiffany GuthrieFrom the very beginning, the book captured and held my attention. It was written beautifully, filled with humor along the way. I thought it was a great coming of age story, and it was easily relatable to. Please pick this one up!
- March 9, 2017LindseyThis book was a miss for me. I almost put it down several times but pushed on in the hopes that it would get better. It didn't. I am a big fan of the memoir genre, and I enjoy memoirs of non-famous people just as much as those of celebrities. Lou Cove, while not a celebrity himself, had parents who were friends with a celebrity of sorts, if you consider porn stars to be celebrities (I do). That is the entire premise upon which this book was written, and it sounded fascinating. However, the perio This book was a miss for me. I almost put it down several times but pushed on in the hopes that it would get better. It didn't. I am a big fan of the memoir genre, and I enjoy memoirs of non-famous people just as much as those of celebrities. Lou Cove, while not a celebrity himself, had parents who were friends with a celebrity of sorts, if you consider porn stars to be celebrities (I do). That is the entire premise upon which this book was written, and it sounded fascinating. However, the period of time in which the "man of the year" is a part of Lou Cove's life is brief, during his adolescent years. Also, the majority of the story does not revolve around this relationship. It is more of a "coming-of-age" story that happens to include occasional life lessons from a guy just starting out in Playgirl. He hadn't even yet become a porn star during the time period in which this story is set. That came later, long after he was no longer a part of the author's life. I definitely feel like I was promised a story that was not delivered, which would have been okay if the one I was given had been interesting but it just wasn't. I've read plenty of stories of adolescent boys smoking weed and trying to touch a boob. If you've read one you've read them all.I received a copy of this book from Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.more
- March 8, 2017Janice CafarelliThe memoir of a coming of age young boy and his very unconventional family. It takes you through the confusion of growing up and not knowing how to deal with the changes in his family dynamicsI could totally understand and feel what he was going through.. It captured my attention from beginning to end.more
- March 4, 2017KarnagesMistressI received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. It is an advance reading copy.
- May 31, 2017Gerard VillegasMan of the Year is a hysterical memoir as seen through the eyes of 12 year old Lou who gets a lesson in growing up by an older family friend named Howie. Beginning in the late 70’s where bellbottoms, platform shoes, and polyester pants were all the rage, Lou and his family move from the comfort of his Jewish roots at the east coast into a suburban affluent community in Boston. As he adjusts into his current neighborhood, his family attempts to keep up with the Jones by adopting the ideal of the Man of the Year is a hysterical memoir as seen through the eyes of 12 year old Lou who gets a lesson in growing up by an older family friend named Howie. Beginning in the late 70’s where bellbottoms, platform shoes, and polyester pants were all the rage, Lou and his family move from the comfort of his Jewish roots at the east coast into a suburban affluent community in Boston. As he adjusts into his current neighborhood, his family attempts to keep up with the Jones by adopting the ideal of the American Dream by assimilating into the culture including putting up a Christmas tree because, “it is American and it makes the house smell nice.” Cut to a visit by a family friend named Howie, a Bohemian hippy whose “free spirited/free lovin” personality starts to rub off on Lou to point that the young man starts to idolize him and agrees to join Howie on an adventure of debauchery and sexual learning. Starting with Howie’s clothes that reflect a 60’s flowerchild vibe, the impressionable Lou becomes enamored with Howie’s personal style that only be described as a Japanese kimono mixed with a bit of an African dashiki. Think a cross dressing Tina Turner and male belly dancer doing the dance of the seven veils. Soon Lou becomes Howie’s sidekick by getting involved into all sorts of rambunctious predicaments including a death defying jump off the roof to pretending to be a blind kid so he could enter the pornographic section of the newsstand. However, that it all takes the cake when Howie declares one Thanksgiving that he is the November centerfold of Playgirl magazine. In addition, he is campaigning to be the publication’s coveted “Man of the Year” title to which he drags Lou as his marketing assistant to various door-to-door sales pitches, the neighborhood witch, and even little old Jewish ladies playing card games at the community center. A roaring good time is had by all as Lou learns some valuable life lessons, including to never put your idols on a pedestal especially when they disappoint you.more
- April 22, 2017Chaya NebelA coming-of-age story narrated by a young teenage boy living an unconventional life in a conventional town. There are the typical ups and downs, surprises, embarrassing family moments, embarrassing getting-to-know-a-girl moments, etc. Makes one a bit nostalgic about one's own past and history, especially if you grew up in the 70s and 80s, as I did. Amusing.Thank you to the author and publisher for a review copy.more
- April 14, 2017Donna BlalockI loved Man of the Year. It brought back a lot of memories from when I was young. I could relate to everything from the movies to the music.I thought the book was the perfect amount of funny and serious put together. It was extremely hilarious, had me laughing through the entire thing.Do yourself a favor, get this book, Man of the Year is worth the read.I received an advanced review copy of this book from the Author/Publisher from winning a giveaway on Goodreads.more
- April 30, 2017Kristi LewisThis book was really interesting. It brought back memories of times during the seventies. It was entertaining.
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