‘Made for Love’ review: Wildly funny tale of technology and love

Hazel has just left her husband, Byron Gogol, the CEO of tech giant Gogol Industries, and moved in with her father and his sex doll, Diane, in their trailer in a retirement community.

After 10 years of constant surveillance of his wife, Byron wants to put a chip in Hazel’s brain so they can “mind-meld.” That’s the last straw for Hazel, but Byron isn’t going to let her go that easily. 

If that sounds like a totally absurd premise, it is, and Alissa Nutting’s “Made for Love” delivers with this wacky, hysterical and crazy-compelling story. 

Virtually every sentence of this book is laugh-out-loud hilarious. Nutting starts with scenarios that are already ridiculous, and she takes them to the extreme, until your sides are splitting and your senses are dazzled. With her wit plus the intrigue of the plot, it really is impossible to put down.

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To let a few lines speak for themselves, here’s how the book opens:

“Hazel’s seventy-six-year-old father had bought a doll. A life-size woman doll. The kind designed to provide a sexual experience that came as close as possible to having sex with a living (or maybe, Hazel thought, a more apt analogy was a very-very-recently deceased) female.”

And later:

“Sure, most people who heard about his plan would want to discuss reasons why he should not attempt to seize a dolphin from corporate ownership and pursue domestic cohabitation with the mammal, but the first guy who discovered fire probably had a lot of naysayers too.”

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(Did I mention there’s a character who, after a freak accident, can only fantasize about sex with dolphins? This book is certainly raunchy, but in a way that’s just so impressively absurd.)

The use of futuristic technology to drive Hazel’s problems is genius and hits scarily close to home. If Gogol’s name sounds like another omnipresent tech company we’re all familiar with, that’s probably not a coincidence. 

And under the layers of brilliant, rollicking prose and the threat of technology consuming our lives, there’s a poignant tale of the nature of love, marriage and family. And a lot of hilarious details on the mechanics of a sex doll.

“Made for Love” is out July 4 from Ecco.  

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