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Picks and Pans Review: The Reluctant Metrosexual

updated 09/06/2004 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/06/2004 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Dispatches from an Almost Hip Life
By Peter Hyman
ESSAYS

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Any woman who's urban and single has dated the author, or his facsimile: smart, witty, quirkily good-looking and terminally self-absorbed. The metrosexual is a dandy, yet certifiably hetero; he is romantically attached to his days of recreational pharmaceuticals, backpack travel and slave-wage jobs, all cushioned by a comfortable upbringing where rescue is a phone call away.

In this latest contribution to the lad-lit genre, Hyman's essays seek to define the metrosexual with aphorisms: "Men with disposable incomes who like to shop are this year's black." His best essays have a self-deprecating' quality; we learn that a fact-checking stint at Vanity Fair—handling queries such as which actor was originally cast in the role of Indiana Jones (Tom Selleck)—left him with an "ability to be the most annoying, smart-assed guy at a dinner party." Other essays seem stagey (getting a Brazilian bikini wax), but Hyman's certainly good for a summer fling, even if you don't want to commit.

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