Picks and Pans Review: Good Guys, Bad Guys: the Hite Guide to Smart Choices
Hite has gotten into trouble for the methodology employed in her "reports" on sexuality and relationships between the sexes. Widely accused of being unscientific, anecdotal and generally lightweight, a lesser ego might have turned her talents to writing, say, romance novels.
But not Hite: Her fourth book (written with Colleran, actress Lee Remick's daughter and Hite's assistant on two other books) is another unscientific, anecdotal and lightweight compilation of quotes from anonymous men and women about their relationships, their sex lives, their feelings on independence and intimacy. Only Hite didn't call this book a report.
The dirty little secret about most self-help books is that if you're of a mind to, you can usually find yourself represented. Like newspaper horoscopes, self-help material is oil en general enough to be vaguely applicable to most everyone; it can be comforting, for example, to read that other couples argue as frequently and viciously as you do, that other women have the same doubts about their mates.
But is there a woman alive who will actually "list the qualities you want...in your relationship. Make another list of what you don't want. Compare the two lists" and then decide whether to end the relationship?
This is typical, simpleminded psychobabble, despite Hite and Colleran's promise that "you might find some answers here about what's going on in love." Mostly what you'll find are whole passages lifted from previous Hite books; dopey questionnaires; faux hearty admonitions: "Of course, we can't mistrust everyone who has a penis!" and such observations as, "It is a wonderful thing to find a relationship that works for you."
Thanks, girls. We needed that. (Carroll & Graf, $18.95)