Gary Dexter

Surprising literary ventures | 11 November 2006

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187 Men to Avoid (1995)

by Danielle Brown

Danielle Brown ... Danielle Brown ... isn’t there something familiar about this name? Hold on. If you ... remove the ‘ielle’ ... it’s ... No. Yes. 187 Men to Avoid was written by the author of the Da Vinci Code in 1995, before he was famous and rich. Described on the back cover as ‘a survival guide for the romantically- frustrated woman’, this first edition (above) is now highly collectable (it was later reprinted with a slightly different cover announcing ‘by the author of the Da Vinci Code!’, which is worth nothing). The text of the book simply lists, in very large print, and with no further comment, the ‘men to avoid’: ‘Men who think yeast infections cause mouldy bread ... men who don’t separate their white and coloured laundry ... men who work at carnivals ... men who sleep in their clothes ... men who read their horoscope ... men with wind-chimes ... men who own hamsters ... men who know more than 10 slang words for breasts [that’s Jonathon Green out then] ... men who cut their own hair ... men who collect comic books ... men who wear clip-on ties...’

Why 187? Well, Brown is a bit of a numerologist, and 187’s only factors are two primes, 17 and 11. At least that’s my theory.