“Real Man Adventures is Cooper’s brash, wildly inventive, and often comic exploration of the paradoxes and pleasures of masculinity. He takes us through his transition into identifying as male, and how he went on to marry his wife and become an adoring stepfather of two children. Alternately bemused and exasperated when he feels compelled to explain all this, Cooper never loses his sense of humor. “Ten Things People Assume I Understand About Women But Actually Don’t,” reads one chapter title, while another proffers: “Sometimes I Think the Whole of Modern History Can Be Explained by Testosterone.”
A brilliant collage of letters, essays, interviews (with his brother, with his wife, with the parents of other transgender children), artwork, and sharp evocations of difficult conversations with old friends and puzzled bureaucrats, Real Man Adventures will forever change what you think about what it means to be a man.”
I have been a fan of T Cooper’s since I read Lipshizt 6, or Two Angry Blonds. So I have been on a mission to read all of his work.
Real Man Adventures is a memoir of sorts. The book is a mixture of rants, interviews, ramblings, and fictional retelling of situations. I laughed out loud at the many scenes where it was clear that T Cooper was messing with the readers that were not as well versed in feeling like a freak or an outsider with their own bodies and desires. There is a scene where T Cooper describes the first time he ever bought men’s underwear, which is a monumental moment in a transguy’s life, but he made it less about the underwear and more about what non-trans people see the event to be like thanks to a 90’s film.
T Cooper does a great job of letting people into his life, but making it clear that it is his life so we are only allowed this one little glimpse. He makes an entire chapter about sex (well by chapter I mean a footnote and a blank page). The point is clear throughout the book that we are only getting a glimpse of the life that T Cooper lives and it is what he is comfortable sharing. My favorite glimpse is his rant about Tyrone Cooper and how Little Tyrone then becomes a name of something that many other reviewers complain about (they really want to know what he is packing). I for one am more amused that even for as long as he took writing the book T Cooper named his junk Little Tyrone, that is more than enough information that I ever thought I was entitled to about his genitals.
I like that T Cooper doesn’t try to pretend to be a perfect person and I love the way he portrays his relationship with his wife. He is very clear that he is anxious and has issues that are related to him being a transman, but he admits many of them are irrational. His wife is seen as this great woman that doesn’t putt up with any of his flak. She clearly sees the man in T Cooper and doesn’t listen to his fears that she will leave him one day for a man without the trans* issues.
This book was funny, engaging, inviting, and special. It also had a good deal of unicorn headed hot bodies in it, four more than I expected. I loved how T Cooper was able to bring in the random internet obsession with unicorn heads into his look at transsexual bodies.
5 out of 5 stars. I would highly recommend this book and I may even read it again.
You can buy this book here.