Man Overboard: True Adventures with North American Men


276 pages
ISBN 0-921912-55-2
DDC 305.31





Robert B. MacIntyre is head of the Psychoeducational Clinic at the
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.


Ian Brown has an interesting group of friends, and in this eclectic
series of adventures he visits them as he considers his impending
fatherhood and the nature of maleness in North America in the last
decades of this century. From the male pornographic movie star worried
about his ability to perform to the Texas gun collector living life as
though it were an action-movie script, these are all real men in the
sense that they are not fictional. But they are not necessarily typical,
either. Rather, these vignettes are from the edges of the male

The writing is engaging and the extreme expression of maleness makes
interesting reading. Brown’s graphic description of a plastic surgeon
doing a face-lift on a middle-aged man while chatting about his
duck-hunting and fishing trips is enough to discourage any candidate for
the procedure. From the gay leather fetishist whose lover is dying of
AIDS to the aging golfer still in pursuit of sexual conquests (to have
“something to talk about the next morning on the golf course”),
these are men energetically engaged in their sexuality, their maleness,
and their myths of manhood. So is Ian Brown. He looks for men to hang
out with; he takes to the highway on personal journeys; he spends time
in an old all-male athletic club in New York. In between his wanderings,
he returns to his wife, once to conceive with her the child she wants
(and he fears), and later to be with her as she prepares for childbirth.
To his credit, he comes to the realization that this commitment to
another is what breaks the back of a lifetime pattern of aloofness and
male wanderlust.

This is an enjoyable book that deserved its bestseller status.


Brown, Ian., “Man Overboard: True Adventures with North American Men,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 20, 2024,