Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Five best books on the modern male who won't grow up

Kay S. Hymowitz, author of Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys, named a five best list of books on the won't-grow-up modern male for the Wall Street Journal.

One title on her list:
by Benjamin Kunkel (2005)

The listless 28-year-old hero of Benjamin Kunkel's "Indecision" is Dwight Wilmerding, the 21st-century literary descendant of Holden Caulfield. Unlike Holden, though, Dwight, who suffers from abulia, a disease characterized by a lack of will or initiative, is too sweetly vague to engage in a critique of the "phony" world around him. He can barely rouse himself to have sex with his girlfriend, much less tell her that he is going to Ecuador to meet up with a crush from prep school. Dwight knows that his indecisiveness makes him a sociological cliché, which is precisely what makes this slacker anti-hero both funny and endearing—at least in the first half of the novel. Less successful is the second half, which recounts Dwight's drug-infused, South American journey toward belief and political engagement. Irony on irony, the author's heart just isn't in it.
Read about another book on the list.

Indecision made Brian DeLeeuw's list of the five best debut novels of the past decade.

--Marshal Zeringue