Hachette Australia, 2012
“Laid Bare is promoted as a man’s search for love and Fink sure chooses the long and winding road. The messiness that plays out is an insightful peek at the side of internet dating the sparkly TV ads would prefer stayed in the shadows.
“The sex is lewd, frighteningly plentiful and, as Fink discovered, utterly empty. This stripped-back account of what men are really looking for in online dating reveals it to be a place of predators and prey, games and lies.
“Fink, an awarded sports journalist, is an excellent writer and storyteller and his book is compelling reading. His honesty is admirable, his story bittersweet and his experiences will make the reader squirm.”
– Jane Fynes-Clinton, The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) and The Courier-Mail (Brisbane)
“The eye-popping truth about internet dating from one man’s sex-addled perspective. X-rated, honest and compelling, this is a must-read for any man dating online.”
– Men’s Health
“Extremely honest stuff. Four stars.”
“The life of a newly single father has not been much explored in Australian literature. In many ways the separated man loses his old identity and needs to carve a new one. This man’s voice is not often heard, possibly because men aren’t good at talking about this, let alone writing about it.
“Laid Bare is shocking in many ways, notably the graphic descriptions of the sleazy, objectifying and superficial world of online dating… Fink brings us a gruesome and telling portrait.
“The book is about a lost soul trying to find himself, trying to curb the anger he felt about what had happened to his life, trying to work out who he used to be and who he is now.”
– Peter Wilmoth, The Herald Sun (Melbourne)
“This is a balls-and-all account of a bloke using extreme physical activity to try to mend a broken heart. Fink opens his deep wounds for inspection, his engaging style pitch perfect to document both his foolhardy actions and his extreme vulnerability.”
– The Townsville Bulletin
“Fink’s brutally honest, tell-all memoir about his adventures in online dating is worth reading as much for his personal journey from committed family man to ruthless cad to devoted dad as for the missives it issues from the frontlines of modern love.
“He shares these war stories with the cynicism of a veteran, telling of marriages of quiet desperation and the difficulty of monogamy – though Fink is living proof of the utter devastation of divorce. He’s also something of a hopeless romantic who takes to casual hook-ups with abandon. Later, when relationship is the end goal, he strings along two women unable to choose which one he wants, only to find out that the one he chooses drops him for a better offer. Such is the nature of love online, where men and women play and get played in turn.
“Laid Bare doesn’t just chronicle Fink’s post-divorce ‘festival of sexual bounty’, but also offers some incisive commentary on modern life – including the observation that there are serious pitfalls to having too much choice.”
– Justine Toh, The Drum, ABC
“What a ride… it’s well worth reading.”
– Natasha Mitchell, Life Matters, Radio National, ABC
“Jesse Fink offers up his life on an operating table, dissecting his divorce from his wife of 10 years and cataloguing the anatomy of his attempts to find love in the turbulent, murky waters of online dating while battling his obsessive compulsive disorder.
“While there’s no happy ending for Jesse, there is peace and perhaps that’s the more important thing.
“But the scariest part of this tell-all account was when I saw chunks of myself as a single, over-hormonal man in it.
“It might be a story of the apocalypse of and after divorce, but it’s still applicable to the broader male experience, especially as modern man sinks further into the Internet Age.”
– Rob Farquhar, The Cairns Post
– Julia Morris, Mornings, Channel Nine
“A great read. Go out there and get it, especially if you are a newly single dad as well. It might teach you a thing or two about what to do and what not to do.”
– David Campbell, Mornings, Channel Nine
“Fascinating… I read it in one sitting.”
– Barry Nicholls, WA Regional Drive, ABC
“It is easy to be seduced by Jesse Fink’s style. A former editor at Inside Sport and contributor at Golf Magazine, Fink has been one of Australia’s must-read sportswriters for over a decade. Here, however, he diverts a long way from the sporting spectrum – delivering a memoir on a cataclysmic period in his life that takes place directly after being blindsided by divorce. There, Fink finds himself lost in the vortex of sexual impulse in the internet age – travelling as far as New York and back for love, and as close as the local Darlinghurst brothel for lust.
“While the explicit language can often be jarring, and the themes quite lurid, Fink’s thought-provoking prose weaves around Fifty Shades of Grey comparisons in his signature style. He writes candidly about his struggles with depression and OCD, being a single parent in Sydney, and the almighty ‘What next?’ that comes with a mid-life crisis.”
– Luke Dodemaide, Golf Magazine Australia
“Harrowing reading… [but with] valuable insights into the seedier side of the modern dating market and the feelings of loneliness and disconnection out there.”
– Kate Cox, Sunday Life (The Sunday Age, Melbourne, and The Sun Herald, Sydney)
“Not for the faint-hearted… confronting… raw, honest and compelling.”
– Bonita Mersiades, Motherpedia
“Laid Bare did a number of things for me. Firstly, it made me feel like I was not alone. That the deepest insecurities I had in my life were to be embraced and challenged not buried in the notes of a psychiatrist’s file. Fink’s prose spoke to me. And I felt that I was there in the moment with him. Written by a man for a man.
“Men will love this book, not all, but many. Certainly those who’ve dared to risk it all for love. Fink’s graphic descriptive fucking, boundless pursuit of female attention and perfection, unavoidable self-loathing, and rock ’n’ roll soundtrack make reading enjoyable even for the most blokey of blokes. This book could easily be turned into a TV drama series, perhaps for Showcase.”
– Anthony Siokos, Snafued (blog)
“I congratulate Fink on his upfront storytelling. As a woman I found what he had to say extremely confronting.”
– Hermes Witch (blog)
“Ladies, if you want to give the online dating a whirl do yourself a favour and read a book called Laid Bare by Jesse Fink.”
– AussieMumNetwork (blog)
“An eye-opening, fascinating read.”
– Lori Dwyer, The Modern Woman’s Survival Guide (blog)
“This isn’t just another sappy love story. Laid Bare is exactly what it is: laid bare. It is full of sex, passion and other crazy things that will keep you at the edge of your seat… from page one I was taken aback with his upfront details and the sexual scenes, although it only pulled me in more. I didn’t put the book down for hours. It’s absolutely a must read.”
– Justine Yusi, Motherdriven.com.au (blog)
“Amazing international sportswriter and thought leader turns into amazing author.”
– ChangeFIFA (Washington, DC)
“It’s been a really long time since I read a book that I couldn’t put down until I finished it. Laid Bare is such a book and it cuts to the heart of what men go through when relationships end. Powerful, raw and real… I think both men and women will get a lot out of it.”
– Victoria Kasunic, psychologist
Hardie Grant Books, 2007
“Colourful, critical… [Fink] opens up the body of Australian soccer in an at times brutal live post-mortem. Chapter by chapter, entire organs are removed and held up, still pulsing, for observation – coaches (brain), junior development (reproductive system), management (heart), elements within the FFA (butthole). Strong stuff.”
– Inside Sport
“Like Tim Cahill in Kaiserslautern a year ago, Jesse Fink has come to the rescue for Australia.”
“Fink’s game analysis is superb, revealing his years of experience as a sports journalist… there is a subtle blend of reportage and opinion, and time and again, I found myself recalling the action nodding in agreement. [It’s] a fascinating amalgam of on-the-ground experience, meticulous research and considered opinion.”
– Tony Wilson, Das Libero