Aaran Murgatroid is fighting and battle against being a sex-crazed, misogynist pig, but at least he knows he's losing it, and at least he knows the battle is even taking place. But when the new year begins with acute sexual humiliation, what else is he to do but masturbate some more? And so he creates for himself a sticky world of socks teetering on the edge of a living existence, of deep yearning and self-inflicted isolation, and of Matilde, the most nostalgic of all his memories, his one taste of perfection, and what he did to her in Bangkok. And just when he thinks he can be humiliated no more, along comes Emma, who ruthlessly proves him wrong, leaving him with a taste in his mouth that no man should ever have to experience, a taste, actually, that leads him onto quite a startling idea. How to be a Man is a novel about the romantic tragedy of the lonely masturbator, about coming across a startling revelation while wallowing in a pit of sexual despair so deep you can barely see the light of the sun, and about how stitching such a revelation into the walls of your mind in a world that believes passionately in its cold, dark opposite is pretty much impossible. The narrator takes us through just over a year of his life. The story is set mostly in an unnamed northern English city, but also takes us over to Thailand for a hopelessly degraded few months. It’s a first-person narrative of free-flowing literary fiction. . . .