Since this book has caused a hotbed of controversy over on Goodreads, I'm turning off comments for this post. I read it as research material, just to get one man's perspective on his own gender. This is my honest opinion of the book and I hope you'll enjoy that much, at least.
Book Review: "The Way of Men" by Jack Donovan
The Way of Men by Jack Donovan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was a tough read for a couple of reasons. 1. I'm definitely not in the target audience. 2. Jack Donovan uses deliberately provocative words to explain a lot of his perspective on things.
I'm going to keep my review as short as possible and I won't be debating my review so I apologize in advance to anyone who wants to do that. I believe there's ample opportunity to do so on the book's page and would direct you there for such a debate.
Once I got the feel for Donovan's delivery, I found some points I still disagreed with and some I found happily on target. I'll share a couple of quotes toward the end that caught my eye. (I didn't think to highlight anything until then. :/)
On page 140 - "Men cannot be men -- much less good or heroic men -- unless their actions have meaningful consequences to people they truly care about." (last paragraph on that page) - I agree with this statement. I also think it applies to women, but in a different way because of my own feminine perspective about things. My focus, my purpose, is necessarily going to be much different than my husband's or my son's.
On page 162 - "A strong and skillful woman will be worth more to you in a crisis than a prima donna, but she can't replace men in your life. No woman can take the place of men in a man's life." - I agree with this, too. (Unless he's using the term 'prima donna' in its literal sense. In that case, they're pretty strong and I'd imagine they could hold their own.) And I'm not offended by this statement. It just makes sense to me. Women love their 'girls night out' and it's the same for men. We all need that connection to our peer groups. While I generally prefer a mixed group most of the time, I do crave connection with other females. This is a point also brought out in "Tolkien" by Humphrey Carpenter, and also in C.S. Lewis' writings.
There are lots of other points Donovan brings out that I believe are difficult truths to hear, mostly about work ethic and, though he doesn't use this term, I think it applies, the 'dumb-ing down' of society as a whole. I think it may also be good to note he doesn't say women can't hunt, play sports, etc.
This book is one man's perspective on his gender and should be taken as such when reading. I read it to gain that perspective in the hopes it would help in building characters in my writing career. I feel like it worked well for that.
Definitely not for ultra-feminist minds, millennials, and generation X-er's... I'm going to skip recommending it because I know it's going to appeal to a small niche and I wouldn't even know where to start. I gave it three stars because it's well-thought-out and presented in an interesting, no-holds-barred kind of way.
View all my reviews
Just a couple more notes...
This is definitely one of my longer reviews. I wanted to expend an extra effort because it's such a controversial topic. I hope beyond hope my desire for research and fairness doesn't cause me to lose readers but I've made a promise to myself to honestly review all the books I read this year. I may not agree with all the points made in the books I read, and I will state that if it happens to be the case and there are no positive items to point out.
In this case, I found several items of positive interest. If you can get past Donovan's deliberately provocative wording (which in many cases I got a kick out of... Yeah, I'm weird. Did I mention that before?), I think you may also find a few gems of fact among the opinions. The man is a thinker (I wouldn't want to play chess with him!) and a lot of people believe thinkers are dangerous people. Perhaps that's the case, but I try to give kudos where they are due, regardless of popular opinion. I hope that's one of the things that keeps bringing you back to my blog.
Thanks for reading through this post today. If you want to rant about the book, you can visit the book's Goodreads page and hop into the quite lively discussion. I will not be joining you there, though. My time and energy will be better spent in other pursuits, hopefully more profitable than arguments that go nowhere.
Summertime Givewaway #3: The Witch of Blackbird Pond
If you haven't had a chance to do so yet, please don't leave without checking out this week's Summertime Giveaway 2019. You still have an excellent chance of winning. Click here to go straight to the post and enter to win a brand new copy of 'The Witch of Blackbird Pond' by Elizabeth George Speare. (Open to US residents and military members only!)
#WIPLinebyLine Writing Challenge Days 12 - 18
This past week was one of my roughest for writing yet. I had so much trouble just sitting down to write. My youngest has been fighting a battle with poison ivy. (She's getting better now, thanks to so many helpful and prayerful people.) My back started hurting two days ago and has been making it difficult to sit at my desk for extended periods of time. But I finally got my full two hours of writing in yesterday. A small victory, but a victory nonetheless. Here's the list of daily lines, minus the days I didn't write at all.
**These lines came from some backstory I'm writing as a project I'll give away to my newsletter subscribers in the future. I may also add it into the book as bonus material. It's directly related to the current WIP so I'm counting it toward my Camp Nano goal.
Melody Kittles writes fantasy fiction under the name Robin McElveen. She loves God, her family, the arts, a warm cup of coffee or tea, visiting friends, and collecting coffee & Pusheen items.
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