Widgets Magazine

Review: ‘Here’s the Situation’ by Mike Sorrentino

(Courtesy of Gotham)

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino’s recently published book, “Here’s the Situation,” is exactly what you would expect it to be. The “Jersey Shore” star’s penchant for self-promotion is on full display in his guide to life, love and, of course, the art of GTL.

Reading “Here’s the Situation” is something like watching a train wreck. The book takes trashiness, sexism and superficiality to appalling new levels. When he’s not gloating about his sexual conquests or glorifying his self-described “astonishing physique,” particularly his abs, The Situation simply revels in his own fame.

The advice that The Situation presents in his book covers nearly all aspects of life, from education to sex, or “smooshing.” According to The Situation, weekly workout regimens are to be strictly followed, except on Thursdays. Axe is the only acceptable scent for men. If you’re stranded in the New Jersey Pine Barrens on your way to Seaside Heights and need to wash clothing by hand, just use your abs as a washboard. You should know how to recognize various types of “grenades,” usually unattractive women who destroy chances of hooking up with their more attractive friends. He even shares his opinions on food: the ideal lasagna is nine layers of cheese, sauce, noodles and beef.

Also scattered throughout the book are “Sitch Ab Facts,” in which The Situation credits his abs with various medical, theatrical and crime-fighting skills. To further illustrate his celebrity status, The Situation offers up personal stories from his own life, spending several pages describing his first “fame bang” and his difficulty choosing among 14 or more willing sexual partners at once.

It’s not a surprise that “Here’s the Situation” reads very quickly. The book is written in “Jersey Shore” lingo, and The Situation addresses his reader as “bro” or “dawg.” Furthermore, a significant portion of the book’s 133 pages consists of pictures rather than words. Sometimes they clarify The Situation’s advice: he offers a useful step-by-step guide to “beating up the beat” as well as suggestions about how to hold different alcoholic beverage containers in order to best show off muscles. Other illustrations, such as the outrageously sexist peek into the brain of a “grenade,” stand alone, without explanatory text. The most terrifyingly fascinating picture is, without a doubt, The Situation’s handy pictorial guide to revealing abs on such occasions as talk show appearances, meetings with religious leaders and funerals.

Amazingly, though, this book has a saving grace. It is obviously ghostwritten – whoever wrote it is simply too intelligent to be The Situation himself, as it seems highly unlikely that he is actually familiar with the Mohs scale of mineral hardness – and the ghostwriter’s tone is so sarcastic that he or she seems to be poking fun at The Situation throughout the book. Whether juxtaposing his insistence that women should not be compared to meat with a drawn-out comparison of women to different kinds of steak, or simply noting that “the entire contents of [The Situation’s] brain” can be found in this guide, the ghostwriter employs the very superficiality that made The Situation famous against him without seeming excessively cruel.

These underlying currents of sarcasm and irony transform “Here’s the Situation” into a self-aware mockery of the whole “Jersey Shore” phenomenon. It’s widely recognized that The Situation himself is basically a walking monument to narcissism; thankfully, this book recognizes it, too.