Jerry Travis's Reviews > The Bum Magnet

The Bum Magnet by K.L. Brady
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's review
Dec 30, 2009

really liked it
Recommended for: mature women
Read in March, 2010

It took me a long time to read this book. I have a "bad habit" of reading many books at the same time and switching back and forth depending on how I'm feeling at the moment. Women may appreciate the book more than men. For the first 2/3 of the book, it was painful for me to watch Charisse, the main character, make the same mistakes over and over again. It could have been monotonous, if it wasn't for Brady's great sense of humor. She had me laughing out loud many times. For example, here's a quote I came across in the first two chapters: "I'd pore through my journals at bedtime to help recollect the nightmares of boyfriends past." All in all, I consider the book a good read. If you're a guy who's always treated women with honesty and respect, you'll need a strong stomach.

Though a little foreshadowing was done, which indicated Charisse was at least thinking about getting herself together, that quickly dissipated as she continued to jump in and out of beds all over town, feeding the egos of her "bums" (if not creating a few new ones in the process). Admittedly, some of these were only recollections of "boyfriends past", but it kept me wondering how she managed to escape some dreaded disease. However, the payoff finally comes in the last third of the book, where she finally starts dealing with the psychological ramifications of a breach of trust experienced from a close male family member (cousin). The details of the incident are a little sketchy, but they're not really needed for the advancement of the plot, though it did leave me scratching my head a bit.

The ending was a little too quick and simplistic for me. Though Brady does hit on the main points of someone recovering from psychological trauma, it all happened a little too fast. Often, recovery takes many years, if it's ever achieved at all. I would have rather seen the first two-thirds of the book compressed into just the first few chapters, with the rest of the book dealing with her recovery. But hey, that's just me. I'm sure others will see it differently. Nevertheless, Charisse does learn her lesson, making up for her past deeds and providing a palatable ending for the book.

I've also read (most of) the memoir "High on Arrival" by Mackenzie Phillips. It has a similar feel of mistakes being made over and over again, but without the humor. About 2/3 the way through, at the end of chapter 22, I quit reading it as there was no indication that Mackenzie wouldn't keep making mistakes for the remainder of the book. In fact, if you read that last long paragraph at the end of chapter 22, you'll see why. I gave that book three stars, as it does have some historical merit. This book was better than that, so I've given "The Bum Magnet" four.

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Reading Progress

01/06/2010 page 39
01/27/2010 page 88
25.07% "The book is getting better, though I still don't know where it's headed."
02/08/2010 page 150
42.74% "Now this book is really getting interesting, as Charisse is starting to see the cracks in her own thinking."
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Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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message 1: by Sheila (new)

Sheila Pfeiffer you like that, eh?...

Jerry Travis Yes, a funny quote, "nightmares of boyfriends past". I've read more in the book though, and think I'll stop. She starts repeatedly jumping into bed with a guy she's only known for a few of hours, a totally physical attraction. I know it's being presented as humor, but I'm afraid I've lost my sympathy for her. I mean, is this an exercise in just how stupid women can be?

message 3: by Sheila (new)

Sheila Pfeiffer yes, well this is true of both males and females, i'm sorry to say. it's not realy stupidity as much as emotions and needs that are not met, (or, simply a sex addiction, which is quite common, really) this is an exercise in reality...for more people than you realize. she's just more honest about it. ever watch sex in the city? try it.

K.L. Brady Hi Jerry,

Yeah, I've gotten mixed reviews about the sleeping with the guy in the beginning. The whole point of the story is that yeah, she makes some stupid mistakes in the beginning. But the question is does she learn and grow? And the answer is, yes. How? Well, that's in the rest of the book. :)

message 5: by Sheila (new)

Sheila Pfeiffer ;-)

Jerry Travis Thanks for the comment K.L. I was thinking of contacting you and asking just that question, "Does Charisse ever learn anything?", but hadn't gotten around to it. I stopped at chapter eight, and will continue to plug along.

K.L. Brady I'm glad. When people behave in this way, you have to ask yourself if there isn't something deeper going on with them. As you go on, you'll see that Charisse's issues go a little deeper than promiscuity. Sleeping with someone too soon is really a symptom of a deeper issue that she hasn't dealt with.

Jerry Travis Hi K.L. Well I'm still reading your book a bit here and a bit there. (It's a bad habit of mine, as I tend to read a bunch of books at the same time, so it takes quite a while to complete one.) I'm to chapter 16 now, and Charisse has just axed Dwayne, for good, I hope.

Though I deal with this same issue in my books a bit, as a guy it's still hard for me to deal with. In my second book, there's a guy from a small Canadian town who has a full dozen girlfriends going at the same time. They, of coarse, eventually find out about each other, and he has to leave town because they make his life so miserable - based on a real happening, actually.

I wonder if women fully realize what this kind of behavior does to men, the real men who are more than happy to be with just one woman, if they have one. For each Lamar out there (or my Canadian), there are 7+ (or 12) men that don't have a girlfriend, at all. You do everything right, you're sensitive and caring, not bad looking, treat women with respect, have a good job, etc., etc., and yet, no female companion?

K.L. Brady Hey Jerry,

You have hit on such a great point. Often women are most attracted to men who are no good for them, and the reason usually goes a lot deeper than what men may think. Women tend to tote around a lot of baggage and that baggage can manifest itself in various ways in relationships, including passing over a good man for a rotten one.

As you will see as you read further into the story, there's something deeper going on with Charisse and a family member eventually helps her decode her emotional baggage. If you want to know how...well, you'll just have to keep reading.

As for Dwayne, you're going to see him for a bit longer. It's too early in the story to get rid of him...she's got lessons to learn! :)

Jerry Travis Hi K.L. I finally finished it and wrote you a review. I also put the review out on Amazon, giving it four stars in both places. Thanks for making your book available for only $.99!

message 11: by K.L. (new) - rated it 5 stars

K.L. Brady Hi Jerry! I just happened to be checking out my page today and saw your review. That means A LOT to me because I know that is a hard-earned four stars!! :) I'm so glad you finished it and enjoyed it.


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