Apparently, according to King, “publishing types” say they don’t. But King disagrees and comes up with some good examples of authors writing the kind of material “real” men like to read.
What men want from an Elmore Leonard novel is exactly what women want from a Nora Roberts novel — escape and entertainment.Now, of course, this is a generalization of what women -- and men -- want in books. There are plenty of exceptions. But he’s got a point.
Women like stories in which a gal meets a handsome (and possibly dangerous) hunk on a tropic isle; men like to imagine going to war against an army of bad guys with a Beretta, a blowtorch, and a submachine gun (grenades hung on the belt optional).What are these kinds of entertaining books called? Dude lit? Nah. King, and his son, peg them as “manfiction.”
Here’s who King lists as the leading writers in the field of manfiction today:
Richard Stark (aka Donald Westlake)
And the one he rates the best? Lee Child. King says Child’s lead character, Jack Reacher is “the coolest continuing series character now on offer.”
Reacher has also rescued his share of damsels in distress. He wanders the U.S., sometimes hitchhiking, more often riding buses. He dresses in cheap workingman's duds bought in chain stores, pays cash, and (this is the part I really love) he used to carry only a toothbrush for luggage. He satisfies the most elemental male daydream, which is at bottom quite sweet: to ramble around and help out when help is needed. Possibly with a Beretta, a blowtorch, and a submachine gun. Grenades optional.Okay, all your guys out there, what do you think? Do you read manfiction? Who’s your favorite manfiction author?