Saturday, October 24, 2015

Chick Lit vs Male Tales – NOVA this week (October 24, 2015)

Observations from my weekly wanderings, usually in Northern Virginia (NOVA).

I haven’t written a NOVA entry in weeks – **sigh** life – and to be honest, I don’t expect this entry will be very long.

I’ve had a minor run of Chick Lit lately, and happy to be starting a string of more testosterone laden stories.

I suppose someone will take issue with the characterization of these as Chick Lit. So before I begin defending myself, let’s be clear which books I’m talking about. My last four reads:

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Light in August by William Faulkner

So yeah, we can throw Light in August out, but other than that, two of them have women's names right in the title, and The Scarlet Letter will ALWAYS have a woman on the cover, so I'm standing by my characterization as Chick Lit.

This is not to say, I didn’t like them, or that I don’t like a good romance or strong female character. I do. It’s just that with three of the last four, rather feminine themed, I am ready for a good strong manly story.

Who better to turn to than Ernest Hemingway for a little shameless machismo. I’m not saying I’m a fan of his personal life, or the overt worldly explorer persona. I’m just saying Farewell to Arms, comes at a good time.

Followed by some other Male Tales:

Money by Martin Amis – Greed, excess, indulgence
American Pastoral by Philip Roth – Indigenous American berserk (not really sure what that portends, but it doesn’t sound very Brontë-esque.)
A Bend in the River by V. S. Naipaul – African ghost town
The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles – More African adventure
Tom Jones by Henry Fielding – Picaresque novel, i.e. roguish hero
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – couldn’t last forever
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy – War right there in the title
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas – Daring prison escape, treasure, swashbuckling revenge (not to mention a great sandwhich)
The Ambassadors by Henry James – Dark Comedy

About this time, I should be ready for some Austin, Brontë, or Alcott again.


  1. For unabashed male tales, I think Jack London even out does Hemingway, who always has a few women in his stories.

    Did you mean to include P&P in the male tales list?

    1. No...well yes, I meant to include it because it is in my schedule, but it is the exception


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