Caleb J. Ross' booklikes

The official booklikes blog of author Caleb J. Ross.

You Can Make Him Like You

You Can Make Him Like You - Ben Tanzer You Can Make Him Like You is definitely the best thing I’ve read by Ben Tanzer. And considering I’ve read, and really enjoyed, just about everything this man has written, my opinion comes both well-informed and well-deserved.This is one of the best, if not the best, depictions of the transition from empty childlessness to fatherhood I’ve ever had the opportunity to experience. Tanzer has succeeded in imbuing every interaction, every situation, every political pot-shot with the metaphorical acceptance of fatherhood. The point being, simply, that to be a father means to be changed, whether you want to or not.For example:1. Constant questions: the first-person narration is built as a series of questions, some rhetorical, some honest, all answered by the very voice that asks them, which gives us an economical yet satisfying understanding of Keith, the 37-year old prisoner of extra-marital fantasy. The self-reflection and internal Q&A plays well into his imagined events– sex with secretary, winning a bar fight, and on and on. This is a mid-life crisis Corvette in his head.2. Inability to concentrate: A series of loud neighbors prevent discourse between the to-be parents, Keith and Liz. The neighbors are always there, for better or worse (usually worse), to diffuse every building verbal explosion.3. Inability to accept change: You Can Make Him Like You takes place during the run-up to the 2008 presidential election between John McCain and Barack Obama. Keith, a McCain supporter, is unable to dodge his impending role as father, just as he is slowly learning that he is unable to dodge the election of Obama (whose campaign discourse of Hope and Change adds to Keith’s hesitation to appreciate either Hope or Change as a good thing).Perhaps no interaction better and more concisely describes You Can Make Him Like You than a quick dialog toward the end of the book, between new parents Keith and Liz. Liz, after a tense meeting with Keith’s parents, says to Keith, “that went well.” Keith responds, “I think you’re right, it’s not like we came to blows or anything. Of course, my dad would kind of need to be in the room if we were going to have a fight, yes” (pg 151)? Keith is simply a man learning to be a father without ever having had a worthy point of reference. This is a book that every to-be father should read.