That's how long the opening chapter is. Two pages. But hey, that's enough to meet our protagonist, Noah Gardner: "Good-looking, great job, fine education, puckishly amusing and even clever when he put his mind to it, reasonably fit and trim for an office jockey, Noah had all the bona fide credentials for a killer eHarmony profile" who had "spent a full decade building what most guys would call an outstanding record of success with the ladies."
Okay, so, I'm not most guys, but let me ask you something. Is "an outstanding record of success with the ladies" a common phrase among your peer group, most guys? Just wondering. It's nice though, to see Beck give a nod to Christian dating site eHarmony, I guess to keep relevant.
As he'd rounded the corner of age twenty-seven and stared the dreaded number thirty right in the face, Noah had begun to realize something... While he'd been aiming low with his standards in the game of love, the women he'd been meeting might all have been doing exactly the same thing. Now, on his twenty-eighth birthday, he still wasn't sure what he wanted in a woman but he knew what he didn't want: arm candy. He was sick of it. Maybe, just maybe, it was time to consider thinking about getting serious.
Noah is having an existential crisis. There. That's basically chapter one. Well, him having the crisis and seeing the woman of his dreams. All while standing at the vending machine at work. (Work, by the way is a PR firm named Doyle & Merchant.)
"Top psychologists tell us in Maxim magazine that the all-important first impression is set in stone within about ten seconds." Again with the pop culture reference. Beck will show you just how relevant he is. I'm waiting for a mention of Facebook and/or Youtube next.
Beck spends several paragraphs sort-of describing the woman (as yet unnamed; suspense!; can't wait for chapter two!), throwing in a mention of the Grateful Dead along the way. More relevance! Well, no. If he'd wanted to be really hip, he'd have mentioned Phish. I'd, again, love to just copy and paste the whole chapter here, to illustrate just how awful it is, but at some point, that would become cumbersome. Besides, if you really want to read this dreck yourself, get down to the library.
There follows more garbage about PR and art and lines and beauty and "the purest essence of a woman" (I'm rolling my eyes right now) ... all of which leads us to the whole crux of chapter one: "Unlikely as it must seem, he knew right then that he was in love."
Noah Gardner, he of the easy life of an outstanding record of success with the ladies, he of the existential crisis, he who may soon consider thinking about getting serious, just found something to give his life meaning: a woman.