3 “Dick Lit” Books That Will Have You By The Short & Curlies


I’ve never been much of a non-fiction fan, I could never see the point of paging through reams of trivial story lines featuring humdrum characters, in mundane locations, going on about their everyday waffle – crafted and put to paper by some pencil-pushing keyboard-jockey, hopped up on a enough Union Roast coffee to make a Hanoverian Warmblood slightly woozy. Shouldn’t one be putting such time to good use, like reading a macho title along the lines of “Feats of Engineering in the 21st Century”, or “How To Profile People Like an Undercover CIA Operative”; hang on that one actually sounds quite interesting – but you get the point.  But all this self-induced fictional abstinence was a completely unfounded and a grossly unjust perception I bestowed upon this genre of writing. I can almost hear the snarky cliche “never judge a book by its cover.”

So I set about researching, finding (and reading) a few titles that fit a set of predefined criteria. And low and behold I hit the nail on the head and found precisely the genre of titles and authors I was looking for. And loads of ’em too.

Finding The Author/Titles You’re After

Trawling the aisles of your favourite book store is probably not going to yield the results you’re after; while they may carry a range of books on every genre thinkable these are usually only the popular titles of each, and we need to go niche here my dear friend: digging into the depths of fictional male culture and tracking down the elusive male writers of a newly classified genre that is “Dick Literature (dick lit)” or “Lad Literature”. Head over to Amazon.co.uk and using the the “active discussions forum” found right at the bottom of each product’s page: you can start a new topic and request advice from those a bit more in the know when it comes to such titles. Alternatively check out the replies of other similar posts to get an idea of the titles and authors that are dominating this genre. A list can be found below as well.

To kick-start the hunt, a while back I made this post @ Amazon.co.uk which received quite a wealth of replies, so it demonstrates that people (much more clued up than I) are willing to give you advice and point you in the right direction and is a good place to start. I mentioned the following in this post to highlight what I was looking for:

Looking for writing that is:

  • witty
  • quirky
  • clever
  • humorous
  • about a twenty-something business man
  • lady’s man
  • savvy
  • sophisticated

Mantality.co.za’s Top 3 Dick/Lad Lit Titles

The following are a list of must read lad lit titles that check all the boxes for me. They are not only, but predominantly: witty, funny, clever, revealing, outrageous, emotional, suave, savvy, sophisticated, heart-felt, colourful, erotic and so much more.

The Frog King

Harry Driscoll is living in New York City (if you call trying to survive on an editorial assistant’s salary “living”).His family is wealthy (but Harry Driscoll is not). His education is Ivy League (but what good is it doing him?). His publishing job is entry level (with no exit in sight). BUT…

Harry Driscoll has a dream (if you call an unfinished manuscript hidden in the closet a “dream”). Harry Driscoll has a girl (although intercourse is out of the question). Harry Driscoll even has feelings. (He asked this girl, one day in the park, to be in his life forever–and meant it!) And the other girls? They’re not the problem. (The problem is, Harry Driscoll cannot allow himself to say the word “love.”) ** (an absolute must read. Read before the movie is released in 2011)

Mr. Commitment

The world of aspiring stand-up comic Benjamin Dominic Duffy is shaken to its uncertain foundations when his adored girlfriend Mel revokes her previously held opinion of marriage as “an outmoded concept created by a patriarchal society to keep women in their place” and, on bent knee, proposes to him. Mel, “a living, breathing, moving version of Chrissie Hynde singing “Brass in Pocket”,” is the girl of his dreams–but Duffy’s dilemma is that marriage is still his worst nightmare. Dan, his best friend, flatmate and fellow bath-dodger counsels him to retain The Ways of the Bachelor, while Mel’s best friend Julie–known as Nosferatu due to her bloodless dislike of all things Duffy–urges her to rebuff his increasingly desperate attempts to regain her affections. When a blissful reunion is sabotaged by domestic rites of passage through IKEA, Duffy resolves to “become a bachelor boy like Dan–a superstud of seduction, a he-who-will-never-again-come- off-worse-with-the-chicks, a righteous dude committed to anything but commitment.” But when even TV’s Hottest Totty media-babe Alexa Wells cannot help him become a success as a stand- up–in more ways than one–Duffy begins to wonder if he’s given up all for nothing.

Goodbye Lemon

Against his better judgment, Jack succumbs to his mother’s guilt-laden pleas that he see his estranged father. Should he walk away and leave his crazy family to solve their problems without him? Or should he try to mend fences that have been broken for as long as he can remember?Jack Tennant, a would-be classical pianist and English professor. He could have been the next musical prodigy. Instead, he’s 33 and reviewing concerts for an Atlanta alt-weekly. He hasn’t seen his parents in 15 years, but when his father has a stroke, his girlfriend, Hahva, (who is also a social worker) convinces Jack that they should drive north and make peace so that he may put his demons to rest.

Hahva doesn’t know that she’s walking into a family drama that makes Oedipus look like The Brady Bunch. Jack has never mentioned a second brother, Dex, who drowned at the age of 6. For the past 25 years, Jack has slept with Dex’s orange flip-flop under his mattress, but he can’t handle saying his brother’s name. Indeed, his entire family dealt with the tragedy by never discussing it again. The one time Jack tried, wagging his finger and accusing his father of negligence, his dad broke it. The Juilliard dreams ended and Jack’s resentments began. © revital35

Other Must Read Authors & Titles

Well there you have it: a list of some top male centric fictional titles that should certainly keep your reading pile tall enough to eat dinner off.

© James Mew for Mantality.co.za

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