Wednesday, August 09, 2023

Seven novels about men breaking hearts & acting despicably

Hannah Sloane was born and raised in England. She read history at the University of Bristol. She moved to New York in her twenties and she lives in Brooklyn with her partner, Sam.

The Freedom Clause is her debut novel.

At Electric Lit Sloane tagged seven novels "about men breaking hearts and acting despicably," including:
Nathaniel P in Adelle Waldman’s The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P

This book so perfectly captures a particular type of man—intelligent, literary, seemingly progressive but deeply shallow—that it might be depressing to read if its tone wasn’t so sharp and witty. Nathaniel’s crimes are mostly committed in his head. He harbors unkind thoughts and feelings towards women, believing them: “capable of rational thought; they just didn’t appear to be as interested in it.” And he enjoys a sense of superiority over women: “it was not always unpleasant to deal with a hysterical woman. One feels so thoroughly righteous in comparison.” We watch Nathaniel approach dating in transactional terms (“these emails were invitations to ask her out. If he went along with it sooner or later his dick would be in her mouth.”) But if dating is indeed a transaction, Nathaniel doesn’t offer women much in return, being protective over his time, emotions, and any promise of a commitment.

Hilariously, Nathaniel is so superficial in nature that it bothers him when he finds himself attracted to a woman who isn’t “more obviously hot” and whom one friend ranks: “a seven (coworker material).” But so long as we are ranking people, let’s agree that Nathaniel’s personality is a two, and he will never make a great partner because this f boy is your classic narcissist.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. also appears among Literary Hub's thirty worst couples in literature, Curtis Sittenfeld’s ten books every Pride and Prejudice fan must read, Jeff Somers's five most disastrous dinner parties in fiction, Melissa Albert's top five books to celebrate the start of the new season of HBO’s Girls, Esquire's five most important books of 2014 and Radhika Sanghani's top ten books to make sure you've read before graduating college.

The Page 69 Test: The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P..

--Marshal Zeringue