Praise from famous people
“Being Guy felt horrifically natural, as if he stepped right out of my own debased, politically incorrect sex fantasy. This book is unputdownable, full of sly, modern details that made me laugh and grimace right into the twist ending.”
– Miranda July, author of The First Bad Man
“Guy is devestating and hilarious. It’s brutal and destructive and life-affirming. It’s a must read. Jowita Bydlowska isn’t just one of this nation’s bravest writers, she’s one of our best.”
– Joseph Boyden, author of The Orenda
“I’m reading Jowita Bydlowska’s Guy. I can’t think of another novel where a female writer gets so deeply and convincingly into the head of a man, right into his sexual DNA. What a brave, absorbing book this is. Truly impressive.”
– Barbara Gowdy, author of The Romantic
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With clear, propellant prose, Bydlowska (Drunk Mom) places readers inside a terrible man’s head to terrific effect. Guy is a successful talent agent, a star-maker. He’s complicated, self-possessed, and assured of his good looks and social worth. He’s also selfish and doesn’t care about the damage he does to others so long as he gets what he wants, which is to be admired—desired for his power and what little affection he extends his conquests. Guy views all women as numbers on a scale, ranked for their beauty and desirability. In $isi, his prized pop icon on the rise, who was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor, he sees an opportunity to turn tragedy into enterprise; Dolores, his obsessive onetime lover turned stalker, is an endeavor he’d just as soon forget; Bride, whose personality presents Guy with his first real battle, seems a mountain to be climbed. There’s an American Psycho–like quality to Guy’s idiosyncrasies: his obsessiveness regarding food, the coldness with which he views friends and lovers, the fetishistic self-love through which he details his own merits. But Guy is not a psychopath; he simply views the world in calculating terms. What’s alarming is how not-horrifying and utterly familiar he seems. He’s just some guy.
The Globe and Mail
Bydlowska has already proven her skill when it comes to taking on dark and difficult subject matter. Though Guy is certainly a very different project, it’s one entirely suited for Bydlowska’s unique approach to the page.
The author’s signature pared-back prose is perfect for getting inside the mind of her fictional narcissist.
The Winnipeg Review
Guy, Jowita Bydlowska’s first novel, is worth celebrating. It is an illuminating page-turner, a deep-dive into the unsentimental world of sex, addiction, privilege and fame that its wonderfully hateable narrator inhabits.
With Guy, Bydlowska becomes an important voice in the current cultural discussion around privilege in Canada.
Once Bydlowska checks excellent sex writing off her to-do list, she has another very difficult task in front of her: humanizing the utterly despicable Guy.
She pulls this off too.
Guy is not just a wonderful first novel, it is a wonderful novel. It will turn you on, disturb you, make you think and keep you reading past your bedtime.
Metro News (interview)
Though the “Lad-lit” genre has been around for a long time with authors such as Nick Hornby and Bret Easton Ellis (whose iconic novel American Psycho was influential on Bydlowska), it is rare for a woman to write such a brutally honest first-person depiction of a misogynist.
CBC/ The Next Chapter (interview with Shelagh Rogers)
Jowita Bydlowska rose to attention as the author of Drunk Mom, her bestselling 2013 memoir about struggling with alcoholism when she was a new mother. Her satirical debut novel, Guy, is a compelling portrait of a womanizer
Bydlowska paints a convincing portrait of the modern misogynist in a novel full of hilarious and disturbingly realistic detail.
Consumed by Ink
This book was entertaining and provocative.
I think that I’ll be passing this book on to the members of my book club. I’m looking forward to a discussion about the intentions of men, the vengeance of women, and the reasonable limits of both.
The Library of Pacific Tranquility
Jowita Bydlowska has truly documented an element of the human condition with her novel Guy. She has given readers pause in their own actions and thoughts about their attitudes towards other people. It is a darkly funny read at times but one that is reflective as well.
DID NOT LIKE: “I craved a nineteenth-century costume drama”
This novel is all hard edges and brutality.
There isn’t an ounce of sentimentality in Guy. The young, female niche audience appears to consist of jaded Girls viewers, “Missed Opportunity” contributors in the Kijiji classifieds and battered Tinder veterans. Perhaps this jaundiced “CadLit” will hold more appeal for them.