Reviewed by Al H.

The Maxims of Manhood: 100 Rules Every Real Man Must Live By is a humor/reference book delving into the very minds of real men everywhere. A map of the male thought processes. And yes, to all the women reading this, men do have thought processes.

Jeff Wilser, the author of this handbook to all things masculine, has broken the male mystique into 100 simple rules. Each rule consists of an explanation, an example (Maxim In Action) and any possible exceptions (Maxim Exceptions) and can be read during a single trip to the bathroom. A definite bonus. Few men are willing to slog through anything more complicated. We’ll miss the game!

The maxims are not laugh-out-loud funny. Instead, they’re a great tongue-in-cheek chucklefest. Another bonus. A real man will rarely show his emotions, and it’s never a good idea to laugh if you’re reading in the bathroom.

Wilser did omit and subsequently violate one vital maxim. During a number of the chapters, he spends an exorbitant amount of time apologizing for the way men act. He violated the one maxim that many men hold dear – “Maxim #0: Don’t apologize, ever!” (This maxim does not appear in the book.) In violating this maxim, he pushed the book away from a pure humor work to one that slides every so slightly into the realm of self-help. No real man wants to read that.

Fortunately, it’s only a minor push. Most men won’t even notice. The Maxims of Manhood: 100 Rules Every Real Man Must Live By is a fun read and one that will cause men to nod in agreement while women will groan in recognition. But, it’s not for everyone. Just almost everyone.

A real man will find the book useful. What’s a real man? Quite simply, he already lives his life according to the 100 maxims. When he goes to a public restroom, he instinctively knows which urinal he should take. He thinks a window treatment is a drive through medical procedure. This book will be a quick read to fill in some of the blanks in the real man’s store of knowledge. He’d never admit to any blanks.

Women who happen to know a real man will also find this book indispensable. Especially if the real man that they know happens to be a husband or boyfriend. The book will explain why a real man will drive for hours without asking for directions. And, why the real man would rather have a tooth extracted rather than say “I love you” to his wife or girlfriend although he’ll blurt out “I love you, man” to his buddies whenever he gets plastered.

Sadly, some men are too far gone to truly appreciate these maxims. “Sensitive” men who make granny shots, go to Yoga classes and travel with more than two pairs of shoes. This book isn’t for them. If asked, these men will say that Lavender is a plant or a color or, horrors, both. Real men know that Lavender is the stripper at Sugar Dolls who works the weekend shift.