Monday, 5 November 2012

What is lad-lit? Move over girls, the boys are coming!

So what is lad-lit?

Often referred to as dick-lit by our American cousins, lad-lit is best known as male equivalent of chick-lit. It is books about men by men. Like my very own novel The Drought, lad-lit typically explores the male psyche, especially around subjects such as friendship, relationships, love, and sex.

The undisputed king of the genre has to be Nick Hornby, who has penned novels such as Fever Pitch, About a Boy, and High Fidelity. Hornby has carved out a career writing about themes often associated with chick lit novels from a man's point of view.

And that was my sole purpose for writing The Drought. I got sick and tired of being forced to endure countless hours of mind-numbing chick flicks at the hands of my girlfriend. I would watch the male characters on screen and inside I would be screaming a man wouldn't do that!

For example, you know that bit in the film when the guy realises that he actually is in love with the girl so he rushes off to airport to stop her jetting off out of his life? That wouldn't happen! You know why? Because the bloke would get too caught up playing Grand Theft Auto and would miss the train to Gatwick! Besides, he could always send her a text or Facebook her later on. 

And the part when the woman gazes into the man's eyes and he takes her in his arms and makes sweet passionate love to her all night long as Boys II Men plays in the background? Forget about it! The only song playing in our head at that point is
Celebration by Kool and the Gang! And we never call it making love!

I wanted to write a light-hearted story about a bunch of  normal everyday blokes and stick them in the middle of a chick lit situation and allow my own versions of the tale to unfold. And the result? Normally it tends to be hilarious, sometimes downright cringy situations, but always brutally honest. And that's because we're men! When a woman says to us If you really loved me, you would know what to do, we genuinely think the correct thing to do is to go to the football with our mates rather than stay and celebrate our four-year anniversary of the first time we slept with each other. After all, it's not a proper anniversary if you can't get a Hallmark card to celebrate it!

Nick Hornby is not the only author flying the lad lit flag. Danny Wallace and Mike Gayle have both written best-selling novels telling the story from a male perspective. You just have to pick up a copy of Shortlist magazine each week to read the fantastic ramblings from Wallace in his award-winning column Danny Wallace is a Man. Lad lit is becoming increasingly popular and new writers, such as Nick Spalding and Matt Dunn, are now frequently seen flying up the eBook charts.

For me, lad lit isn't necessarily confined to stories about love and relationships, and you will find that the books I review on this site are both fiction and non-fiction stories that I feel would have a broader appeal to men. 

If you would like to read more about lad lit and books for men, then check out Steve's Book Reviews.

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