Is male chick lit a thing?

Learn Love in a WeekWell, I suppose it must be. There's that Nicholas Sparks chap whose every sentimental offering is snapped up by Hollywood like a bad remake and, apparently, there's this Andrew Clover fellow too. This is my next arbitrary read and I've got to admit that I've been a bit slow in making a start on it. After all, Learn Love in a Week has a proper chick-lit cover and a very conventional plot: with a marriage on the rocks, will the wife be able to resist The One Who Got Away? And my answer: who cares?

No, that's mean. I've just not had much luck with this kind of book in the past. When I read Anyone for Seconds?, I actually became angry about how the gender roles were almost aggressively traditional, as if not wanting children is degenerate. Not all chick-lit is that way, I know, but the schmaltzier the cover, the more worried I become.

What gives me hope here is that having a male author in a typically female genre might lead to some deeper insights into the male characters. Often, the love interests in chick-lit books are separated into the categories of dull-but-dependable and sexy-but-dangerous. The blurb for this novel suggests a similar arrangement, but Clover might be able to add a layer of depth to these stock characters that would otherwise be lacking.

The Amazon reviews also suggest that it's a really funny read. However, the people who have read, enjoyed and reviewed this are likely to have picked it up deliberately and so may be predisposed towards this type of literature. Personally, I've generally found this genre not to be my style of humour. I like TV shows like Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, Brass Eye and South Park: funny encounters with troublesome toddlers and the etiquette of first dates rarely do it for me. That's not Clover's fault though, and I shall try to read the book with an open mind.

I'm currently finishing up another book about Patti Smith (yes, I am mildly obsessed) but I am determined that this shall be next off the shelf. After all, it's got to get back to the library at some point.


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