Genre: Non-fiction, relationship, family
Author: Bob Mack Peak
Reviewed by: Krista Schnee
For Bob Mack Peak, life has been full of lessons about love and relationships. Perhaps the greatest source of guidance in these areas was his mother, Lucille. Beautiful and yet practical, she was part of the Greatest Generation and a military wife; she had a uniquely daring view of life that was filled with a desire for new experiences and yet was fully grounded in family and home. She provided Peak with her own nuggets of wisdom about life and ways to maneuver—or better, to avoid—obstacles that would be encountered along the way. Although Peak's father was a source of strength and wit, his mother, Lucille, would leave him with advice that would guide him through the modern minefield of dating and marriage.
A loving family home provided Peak with the necessary basis for a full adult life. Determined to go his own way, he began dating women with earnest, only remembering later his mother's advice for such situations. Plenty of bad relationships and experiences with shallow women gradually produced a change in Peak, one that would begin with his cataloging his mother's words of wisdom and utilizing them in his own life. Using his parents' marriage as a model, he found the qualities necessary for any lasting relationship. It was a practical approach and was based in personal experience and observations; its truth—just as that of his mother's guidance—would be confirmed in his own marriage to a wonderful and supportive woman.
The 85% Man and Lessons from Lucille is not only the tale of Peak's own life experiences but also is more importantly a relationship book for the rest of us. Although Peak admits that he has read his share of dating and self-help books, he writes mainly out of his own dating mishaps as well as the lessons learned from his mother.
This book avoids much of the dry psychological references found in many books, focusing more on humorous stories and direct advice that can be applied in any relationship, whether one just beginning or decades old.
This is a book that is down-to-earth in perspective, one that views men and women as essentially different and provides guidance for both sexes in dealing with these differences. Obviously this is more of a traditional view of marriage, but it is one that works. As Peak learned from his parents, those marriages from the Greatest Generation were based on this perspective; the two partners accepted their differences while loving each other fully. In the modern age of dating and throw-away relationships, these lessons for love and life are valuable, providing a necessary counterpoint to marriages that are increasingly short and messy.
This book fills a certain void in the current market in that it is directed in many ways toward men when most relationship books are written solely for women. The writing of the book will certainly appeal to men with its humor and method of delivery; however, women will also have much to learn from the male perspective of their own behavior and mode of communication. In many ways, it is like reading the words of an older brother or father, one who is willing to share his own wisdom with younger generations.
Whether young or old, though, those wishing to improve their love experiences will certainly find Bob Mack Peak's “The 85% Man” a worthwhile read.