Dating In The Dark by Pete Sortwell

We human beings are by nature very creative and inquisitive. We tend to go where everyone else is going and still pretend that we are unique. We want to know every little detail about others’ lives yet almost paranoid about our own privacy. We judge others by looks, attitudes and money and yet when someone else does the same to us, he becomes an obnoxious, judgmental, biased person.

Well, if you are wondering why am I getting so clammy about human nature, you would be surprised to know that it is the after effect of reading an out and out laugh riot. Humor can be therapeutic I knew, but it could also be philosophical is something I learnt only after reading the present book.

A few days back, I stumbled upon a free eBook ‘Dating in The Dark’ by Pete Sortwell purely by chance. As the title had an interesting tagline “Sometimes Love Just Pretends To Be Blind” my attention was riveted and I began reading it at once. And I must say that the book remained true to its name and turned out to be a fantabulous Rom Com set in Dark blind alleys of love.

dating-in-the-dark The story revolves around an ugly, almost midget like thirty plus man, Jason Harding who is insulted for his looks and manners by his own ill mother. Being stuck in an unglamorous Insurance job and unable to find a girl friend, takes toll on his self confidence and he tries to drown his sorrows by drinking with his best pal Barry. However, as usually happens, when you are yourself down, everyone else seems to be extra lucky and happy, and jealousy strikes. Even Barry gets a steady girlfriend and our hero becomes desperate for a soul mate.

But even after enrolling for a number of blind dates and matrimonial services, he remains single. As a last desperate attempt, he tries to enlist himself as a disable person so that he can try his luck with a handicap girl. And guess what, he succeeds in finding his true soul mate in Emma who is blind by birth. When Jason finally meets Emma, he finds her extremely beautiful and charming, she has a deadly combination of both brains and beauty and Jason falls head over heels in love with her.

Everything seems perfect but with a slight glitch, Jason has pretended himself to be blind as well. And from thereon begins the complications of his life. He is supposed to be visually impaired, own a guide dog, show himself to be unable to perform routine menial tasks and yet impress Jerry, Emma’s perfect male friend, who looks like a dandy young man, always ready to blow off his cover.

Will Jason be able to win his true love and fill the void in his life or would his lies catch him in throat and thwart his ambitions once again, forms the crux of this short novel and after spending three fun filled days in the company of adorably stupid Jason and his Russian Taxi driver friend, I am tempted to call this book as a total paisa vasool (though I never spent money on it :p)

But, I must say, initially I was a bit skeptic about author mocking the disabled people by masquerading his hero as a blind man, but I slowly discovered the irony of the story. Jason seems normal but his mental condition is less than stable. Caught between a schizophrenic mother and boring job, he is in much worse condition than the svelte, self confident Emma. Though she is the one who suffers from a handicap, it is actually Jason who is the real victim. He is neither normal enough to adjust in society nor different enough to garner special attention. He is sitting on the borderline and taking every bullet to his heart. He seems to be the less deserving candidate and his honest attempts at winning his love, slowly won my sympathy. Coupled with Pete’s humorous one liners and light hearted banter, this situational comedy just got better with time.

In a way, Jason Harding came across as the embodiment of all the vices, desperate men resort to, who are ready to stoop to any level to impress a girl, only for a fling. And though, I could never fully digest Jason Harding’s pathetic lusty attitude, he did win by showing his vulnerable side. Pretending to be someone else is never easy and it becomes even more difficult when your heart is involved. As I continued reading, Jason struck me as the male version of eternally confused Bridget Jones.

There were numerous times, I just could not control my laughter and ended up enjoying it a lot. The climax was a bit sentimental but it did full justice to Jason’s messed up life. In short, Dating In The Dark is an engaging male chick lit, to be swallowed whole without thinking too hard.


Leave a Reply