Books, Writing

Bookish Chat: “Authentic” Male Perspectives and Why I Dislike Them

September 24, 2013
It’s no secret that 99% of the books I read are narrated by the heroine. A lot of people ask why I read “girl” books (which is a whole other issue. In short: let’s not gender-type books…or anything.) and my answer is this: I can relate to them more than the books I’ve read with male narrators. There have been very few guy-POV books that I’ve enjoyed and connected with. Meanwhile, all the others, which are often applauded for their “authentic” male voices fail to resonate.
The question is: what is it about these “authentic” books that I dislike?
What I dislike so much is that too many books (at least, in the genres I read) told from a guy’s POV feature guys who swear in every other sentence, are crude, and are just so stereotypically “male” that I’m instantly turned off. I’ve heard several authors say things like “A real guy would never comment on a girl’s/guy’s __insert body part here     in such a “nice” (aka. poetic, beautiful, etc…) way. They’d just be crude about it and tell it like it is.” Personally, I am offended by statements like these. Not all guys are like that, and these qualities do not make a guy more “authentic” than others. I’m a guy and I don’t go around swearing all the time and being borderline offensive/douchebag-y. I’ve mostly encountered this in new adult books, which is part of the reason why I steer clear of them.
Out of the few books I’ve read and loved with a male narrator, Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy would be my favorite. Sam and Cole fit my idea of an “authentic” male voice, and I connected with them more than I thought I would.
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So, fellow readers, what are your thoughts on this? Do you agree? Disagree? What are some of your favorite books with a male narrator and what about the POV do you like? Sound off!

 

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