Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Philippines bookworm gives The Drought four stars!

Philippines bookworm gives The Drought four stars!
Check out this interview and book review from blogger and bookworm Monica, who happens to live just a stones throw away in Singapore! Yes, that's right - The Drought has made it in Asia!

Well, sort of!

Monica was kind enough to interview me as well as give my lad lit novel a four out of five star rating. Check out the full review and interview by clicking here and you can read the review below:

Book Review from Impressions of a Princess
Prior to this novel, I haven’t heard about the existence of lad-lit. I have read stories which were written by men, but not the counterpart of chic lit. It made me curious as to how something can be classified as such, so after I finished the book I was reading, I didn’t waste time and start checking what the fuss was about.

The story started at the end – well, that’s what the chapter said anyway. This was refreshing as most of the novels I have read recently didn’t use this technique. Right away, the story unfolded and one can easily guess why the novel was titled like that. The title and theme were introduced in the first chapter, and I actually like it. I have had experiences reading other books which until now I couldn’t decipher why they were titled like that.

It was narrated in first person, and it made the connection between the character and the reader (me) stronger. In this kind of story, first person point-of-view is recommended and I am glad the author chose to use that.

The main character, Daniel Hilles, was portrayed as a typical English man – or just a man. I felt a bit awkward at first when I have read Dan’s thoughts and actions, but I realized that this is how real men are. Well, mostly. Football and video games, drinking and planning to get laid. There were languages I never imagined I could muster and bold acts I would never wish to see. Still, it’s just my sensitivities. The author wrote the novel in such a way to introduce man’s true thoughts, feelings, and actions that I was appalled to note that if this is how real men are, then I hardly know them at all.

Then there were Dan’s friends. The author wasn’t satisfied to tell a story of a single man, but he included his boisterous and crazy friends as well. I wasn’t surprised though. In any chic lit, the star always have her side kicks with her, so why not in a lad-lit? The characters of Dan’s friends were shown as what real men friends are – supportive in almost everything and never lacking of suggestions no matter how absurd they are.

The characters were realistic. They weren’t depicted as perfect and flawless personalities and I like that. There were instances were they were characterized negatively, and it made them more believable, like they are just normal people.

But what I liked best in the novel was the way Dan was complaining and expressing his heart out about us, women, and our tendencies. It was an eye-opener for me to read this novel. I found myself nodding in almost all of his complaints about our womanly actions. I don’t know how to help him with his problems with women because I also don’t know how we are like that, but I feel for him. I have realized that it is difficult to be a man.

I don’t want to give you spoilers, but I would like to share you some of Dan’s thoughts and questions about women:

On shopping with a girlfriend:
  • Whose bright idea was it to put the changing rooms bang in the middle of the lingerie department? Groups of men are forced to awkwardly stand around, trying their best not to look like pervs. The problem is, the more you try to look like you are not hanging around sniffing women’s underwear, the more paranoid you become that everyone thinks that is exactly what you are doing.
  • “Which one do you prefer?” Hmm, let me think. I don’t care! Just pick that one, pick any of them! Whichever one you choose will be met by the same response: “Really? I prefer this one.” If you have already made up your mind, don’t ask us.
On general:
  • “Why do they always expect you to know what’s wrong with them? If you ask them and they say nothing, and then don’t expect us to press any further on the matter.”
  • “Why do girls insist on chatting continuously when you’re watching the footy, but as soon as the adverts come on they shut up?”
  • “Men are not mind readers. If something is wrong then you should just come out and tell us. It is not fair to presume we don’t care because of out lack of mind-reading abilities… Come out and ask what you want. Subtle hints don’t work. Strong hints don’t work. Obvious hints don’t work. Just say it!”
Men, do you agree? Another thing I liked most about this book is the funny way the author narrated Dan’s life. It was utterly hilarious. I was trying hard not to laugh while I read this in a coffee shop while waiting for my friend, and I ended up coughing instead.

All in all, the novel was pretty find and I like it. I would have given it five stars if the situations Dan got into were more believable. If I could retitle this, it would be Lemony Snickket’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events”. Dan got into a lot of trouble in ending his drought, and in some points I stopped and asked myself if it was really possible to happen in a single person.

That’s the only problem I had with this book and it didn’t affect the way I like it. I would definitely recommend this to everyone, especially to those women who wanted to understand men.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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