Charles Rawlings is a neurosurgeon and lawyer, an international traveler, scuba diver and adventure-seeker. In It Really Is That Complicated, he proposes to lift “the fog of ennui” from male-female relationships and unearth what’s at their core. The results are, well, complicated.
Rawlings says the book is not a marriage manual, but that it will help women understand the male point of view in a relationship. His chapters don’t break this information down objectively—titles include “The Hooker,” “I Took Her To Swim With Baby Whales,” and “Matchmaking, Anyone?”—but feature anecdotes from his personal life which he then spins as being common to all men.
It’s possible that readers will split evenly along gender lines in response to this book. A chapter titled “All Women Are Prostitutes,” and constant reiterations of this as a theme, don’t leave female readers much to get behind. In the author’s view, women barter sex for jewelry, rent, cash and prizes. Then they get fat and ugly, and the man must find a more attractive companion, possibly an escort or prostitute. His example is a med student married to his high school sweetheart. He divorces her when he realizes how powerful an M.D. is on the dating market, marries a nurse for companionship while finishing his residency, and when she fattens up, pow! Trophy wife time.
Rawlings is intelligent and a capable writer, but a hard man to like. As a result, It Really Is That Complicated may find fans among men who feel women are an enemy to be vanquished or dismissed, but even they might find this bitter brew hard to swallow. For women, the verdict is more certain: they are sure to find his constant denigrations a turn-off.
Also available in hardcover.