Dear Agent, The Loneliest Planet features Randall Burns, a never-married hypochondriac who takes a trip around the world looking to change his luck with love. Planet is a novel about relationships as seen by a man, a difficult man.
An old Life cereal commercial starred a fussy boy named Mikey who hated everything. Imagine Mikey at 48, recently laid off, and spending his days pounding away on Match.com as if it were a game of Whac-A-Mole. That's Randall Burns.
One day, Burns reads a chirpy travel book promising love and romance abroad. Soon after, he blows his severance on a $20,000 solo trip overseas. During the journey, he strikes out with women on three continents, experiences loneliness that would have broken Papillon, and ruminates about old girlfriends. Jay with the cute shiksa nose dumped him because of a pair of socks. Ricki? A pair of shoes. Why hadn't he married Jackie with the nice trust fund? Why did all his exes have masculine names?