Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Five best books on the won't-grow-up modern male

Kay S. Hymowitz, author of Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys, named a five best list of books on the modern male who won't grow up for the Wall Street Journal.

One title on her list:
About a Boy
by Nick Hornby (1998)

Nick Hornby is the most prolific chronicler, and possibly even the literary discoverer, of the child-man, the post-adolescent but pre-adult male whose life is measured by indie-rock bands and fleeting relationships with women. In this novel, 36-year-old Will Freeman (note the name) drifts through singles London's caf├ęs and music stores on a steady stream of royalty checks from his dead father's hit Christmas song. He joins a single-parents group to meet women who, he figures, are desperate for the sensitive, child-loving man he pretends to be. Along the way Will actually takes pity on 12-year-old Marcus, the socially clueless son of a depressed single mother. Growth ensues. Hornby is not an especially subtle writer, and his work rarely surprises or enchants, but he is a sharp observer of how the media shape the young-male sensibility, in particular its celebration of hip, cool detachment.
Read about the other books on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue