Your wife is having an affair with my husband. It has caused some trouble in my marriage and I thought you should know.
One phone call in December 2005 begins the compelling, unpredictable story of Fake Missed Connections. A child of divorce with an already fragile sense of trust, Lauer unravels at the betrayal, begins divorce proceedings, and moves back to Brooklyn where he spends too much time alone, fixated on the idea that a murderer from 1898 might be haunting his apartment. Eventually, as he starts to peruse online dating profiles, he becomes obsessed with “missed connections” precisely because they provide what online dating doesn’t: a story.
He begins writing phony missed connections to post on Craigslist and, though he feels a stab of guilt when he posts them, he is hopelessly intrigued by the responses he receives. Real documents illuminate Brett’s dating adventures, from love (and hate) letters and instant message conversations to Brett’s online dating profile and wedding announcement. Fake Missed Connections is an unconventional yet deeply moving look at the modern search for love, the ways in which we fail to communicate, and the quest for a genuine moment of connection.
The memoir doesn’t proceed as much as it accumulates in a kind of curated pastiche, like a Tumblr page in prose . . . [H]e writes impressively about his adolescent fascination with the hard-core punk/Hare Krishna hybrid form of rebellion known as Krishnacore.
Emotionally powerful writing . . . [that] suggests the pervasiveness of loneliness and longing and the desperation to connect.
The trauma of this book begins with a phone call that ends a marriage, but the marriage itself is truly an echo and emblem of past traumas, and Fake Missed Connections details the human struggles familiar to us all. As the author kept trying and failing to recover, to honestly rebuild some life that would make sense, many times I laughed out loud, then cringed at yet another blow, feeling such tender affection. He is honest and funny and hyperaware. But all this would mean nothing without the author’s extraordinary linguistic gift and craft. He is the calm, sweet, sharp, hilarious, tragic recording angel of our shameful, beautiful, almost but not quite hopelessly complicated digital age.