New York Times Review -- How to Remodel a Man

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BOOKS OF STYLE

Go to It, Ms. Fix-It
By PENELOPE GREEN
Published: October 3, 2004

HOW TO REMODEL A MAN
Tips and Techniques on Accomplishing Something
You Know Is Impossible but Want to Try Anyway

By W. Bruce Cameron

St. Martin's Press, 268 pages, $19.95.

Happy to dispute Ms. Gee is W. Bruce Cameron, a humor writer from Santa Monica, Calif. He has the knack, which he shares with Dave Barry and James Thurber, of playing the fool in a consistently hilarious way. In 1995, after writing eight novels, none of them published conventionally, Mr. Cameron began posting his works on his own Web site. (He thanks Al Gore in this, his second conventionally published book, for inventing the Internet.) The site had six subscribers, "four of which were related to me or are me," he said. Mr. Cameron, who writes not like a blogger but like a real columnist, was quickly picked up by The Rocky Mountain News in Denver and other papers.

Mr. Cameron has recently offered himself as a remodeling project — sort of like "This Old House," except it's "This Old Man," suggests his sister — and this book is the result. Remodeling tips include building a second bathroom, into which you can relocate any men living in your house, as well as burying the remote control in a man's pile of laundry to teach him to: A. see the piles, and B. actually move the piles.

Here's Mr. Cameron's response to dewy-eyed souls like Ms. Gee:

"I've read that men are from Mars — that is, they come from a life-less planet where the surface temperature ranges from 30 degrees to 200 degrees — and women originally hail from Venus, which is a steamy, oxygen-less planet where the barometric pressure would crush an aluminum can," he writes in "Dating and Romance and Other Things Men Can't Really Do."

His conclusion? "No wonder women and men can't get along with each other: They're both dead."

Come. Sit. Stay.