The Heming Way by Marty Beckerman is a testosterone-injected parody of a self-help book with some literary analysis thrown in. It’s a very short, illustrated book – because real men have little time for reading in between African safaris and drunken womanizing.
The full title of the book is, The Heming Way: How to Unleash the Booze-Inhaling, Animal-Slaughtering, War-Glorifying, Hairy-Chested, Retro-Sexual Legend Within… Just Like Papa!, which appropriately sets expectations that those seeking political correctness and a banal biography of the writer need to keep on looking. This is not it.
For those looking for a fun read, this book is hysterical. The sharp, intelligent one-liners littered throughout the pages had me laughing out loud. The observations are amusing and occasionally brilliant, but not so much so that a level-headed reader will be persuaded by the misogynistic diatribe. Still, beneath it all is a real message: Modern society has made men weak and dependent.
It’s true enough that if society collapsed and we were all left to hunt and forage for food; build a shelter and just not die, most men wouldn’t survive. We don’t have the skills for this sort of thing.
Being manly these days simply means you like sports, drink beer and rule the barbeque grill on weekends. You can hang a picture and maybe build some prefab furniture from Ikea, but only after studying the instructions and putting it together wrong two times first. “Working hard” implies that you sat at a computer all day. It’s not a Hemingway sort of man, and that’s what Beckerman highlights, siting sources for his references.
Hemingway had demons – lots of them. He tried to confront them by needlessly risking his life or tried to quiet them with excessive drink and infidelity. His inability to find peace led him through one of the most self-destructive lifestyles ever documented, and while it is an interesting life he led, it is also a tragic one. It is not one to be imitated or revered and the book makes this evident, too.
The Heming Way is an over-the-top, laugh-out-loud, boisterous romp of how to be a man’s man with the colorful history of Hemingway’s accomplishments and failures as its basis. It’s a truly enjoyable read, but it’s not a manual for anything other than how to poke fun at being a man, or not being a man, as the case may be. I highly recommend it.
Available now in e-book and print from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.