The Misogynist, Hardback Book
3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Jomier broods. He broods about the present, He broods about the past.

He types his gloomy thoughts onto his computer screen - a digital journal.

When he has nothing more to say about the present, he returns to the past, copying entries from old notebooks onto his computer.

Jomier has reached the age of retirement. His children have grown up. He lives alone in London, embittered and humiliated after his wife, Tilly, had an affair and left him for Max, an uninhibited international banker.

Years later he still mourns the death of his marriage, often trying to pinpoint when, and why, it all went wrong.

With little now left to fill his time other than formulaic middle-class dinner parties, Jomier seeks refuge in his journals, recalling those years when he had expectations and when he was still loved by his wife.

Then Jomier falls for Judith and life starts to improve as, cautiously, they start an affair.

But old habits die hard and patterns repeat themselves.

It is only when Jomier's daughter falls ill with a rare blood disorder that Jomier finally begins to reassess his feelings towards those he loves and his ability to forgive. Darkly humorous, ruthlessly satirical and at times surprisingly moving, "The Misogynist" is a perceptive exploration of the ways in which we can unintentionally let past disappointments affect our present, and how difficult it can be to move forward.


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I found this to be an unusual book. I quite liked the detached unemotional style of writing to reflect the main character's approach. It's very much a story of the problems of being an aging middle class man in 21st century England who has been rejected by his wife...and I'm in many of those categories so there's an intrinsic interest for me. I don't think he is a misogynist, he seems more of a misanthrope to me, and yet he wants to feel the love by others. He can see this dilemma and so he is willing to compromise his outward posture in order to avoid conflict with people who might be willing and able to offer him something. I think this type of apparent (but not really genuine) compromising approach is taken by many people, so I was interested in Read's presentation of such a person. On the stregth of this novel, Read hasn't made it onto my "favourites" list, but I liked this book enough that I put his first novel, "A Married Man", on my wish list

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