“What goes around, comes around,” was the phrase that sprung to mind when reading “A Guy Like Me” by J.S. von Dacre. A phrase that isn’t quite fair on the main character, as I will attempt to explain… Or perhaps you will disagree. The controversial perspectives of this book forms the beauty of it.
We are introduced to our main character (nameless) who, from his own admissions, describes himself as a womaniser and he is quite happy with this lifestyle. In fact, some of his comments I almost wanted to poke him in the eye for. But as we get further into the story we are given glimpses that all is not a deliciously corrupted lifestyle any longer. His womanising ways have dwindled to almost nothing over recent years and he has turned into something of a lone wolf, haunted by a ghost of the past, present and future all rolled up into one; Caroline.
We are pulled deeper into the knowledge that this one woman alone occupies his thoughts. He wonders if Caroline has “found herself a guy like me”. I am fairly sure this dominating thought is why his womanising ways have slowed, as it has occupied his thoughts increasingly for the past few years. Which is where my own thought occurred, “What goes around, comes around,” as I reached the end of the story.
I couldn’t help sympathising with his character. As much as some of his narration had the same effect on me as waving a red rag at a bull – as is the intention – there is a vulnerability that he doesn’t want to admit. He has been pulled into a situation his character is not familiar with, or ever expected to be immersed in. Suddenly, the morality of being womaniser might not be the worst outcome of a man…
This book is a provoking address of a controversial situation. I know there will be many conflicted points of view by readers over good and bad here with many opposing opinions about the characters. It is a hard hitting and emotional topic, preying on the reader’s own experiences with this personal situation. For a short story, J.S. von Dacre has packed in a lot of moral turmoil to deal with and shows a talented skill. I enjoyed the depth that was achieved in “A Guy Like Me” and I can heartily recommend this book.
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