fiction files redux discussion

41 views
Esquire's 75 Books That a Man Should Read

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Robert (new)

Robert Corbett (robcrowe00) | 169 comments Spotted this today in a newspaper, as I don't subscribe to Esquire. http://www.seattlepi.com/news/slidesh...

The list of authors is all male, mostly American, mostly white. Not as dead I as I thought. This group may applaud the inclusions American Pastoral. I was surprised that the list lacks Heller, Vonnegut, Brautigan, and Dick, but I guess one filter was, nothing too weird. Lists like these say more about their creators than the books, and I am sure this was put together to be provocative. But I am provoked ... maybe other members of fictionfiles will be too.


message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim Robert wrote: "Spotted this today in a newspaper, as I don't subscribe to Esquire. http://www.seattlepi.com/news/slidesh...

The list of authors ..."


I can't help thinking of "the most interesting man in the world" from the Dos Equis beer commercials when I think about who reads Esquire. It's always been for 'manly men' or those who want to be. With that in mind, the list seems about right.

Speaking of Dos Equis, Flannery O'Connor has 2 'X' chromosomes, and Slaughterhouse Five made the list, though it's surprising to see Catch-22 missing.


message 3: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
I have to say, I am a regular sports radio listener (at least daily) and so my reaction to this list is somewhat tempered by my understanding those who still flip through this magazine (I don't kid myself that anyone still reads it) also buy last-minute pajamagrams for their wives and girlfriends because they have forgotten it was christmas/valentines day/anniversay. And to digress from there, the idea that anyone who flips through the magazine is actually looking for suggestions about what to read next is kind of laughable. I think the list must have been written in the 80s, and updated with one or two more contemporary authors to make it look like these guys still read. Studs Terkel? Really? Not that I have anything against the guy, but no one reads Studs anymore.


message 4: by Matt, e-monk (new)

Matt Comito | 386 comments Mod
Patty Im surprised to hear you hating on esquire as if it's playboy

esquire has morphed over the last couple decades into sort of a straight guys version of GQ

the ads are all of the 'husky well put together man glowering at the camera in some fabulous european port of call' mold, and they devote many many more pages to a well chosen scarf or accessory or the proper way to char a steak than they do to the female form (if any, it really is minimal to non existent now)

and there's usually a couple great articles per issue, as well as some regular short columns from writers like Chuck Klosterman or AJ Jacobs

btw in the current issue they list 5 upcoming must-read collections of short fiction including ones by Karen Russell and Jess Walter (and they loved Beautiful Ruins)


message 5: by Robert (new)

Robert Corbett (robcrowe00) | 169 comments Patty,

I missed Catch-22 not being on the list. That is a surprise. It's the great American WWII novel, so very male. O'Connor probably was prim as southern woman can be, but her work does seem macho. And I 2nd Matt's assertion that Esquire does run good writers--Charlie Perce for instance.

Robert


message 6: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
mmmm. well, to be honest, i was really just trying to rationalize away the offesiveness (to me) of the list by chosing to believe that the artice was not intended for actual intelletuals. if you are telling me that i am wrong about this periodical, and that it actually is intended for intellectuals, i guess i'll just have to settle for being offended by their absurd list.


message 7: by Robert (new)

Robert Corbett (robcrowe00) | 169 comments well, i wouldn't say that all (or even most) of the content is geared for intellectuals. just some. mostly it is about being manly -- weird how the odor of Old Spice still lingers over its pages for me.


message 8: by Neil (new)

Neil McCrea | 204 comments I still read Studs Terkel. . . . and apparently so does Max Brooks as he is a major influence on World War Z (of all things!)

Tangential response to a throwaway line from Patty. My work here is done


message 9: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
dude, I love you, Neil. :)


message 10: by Kerry, flame-haired janeite (new)

Kerry Dunn (kerryanndunn) | 886 comments Mod
So Spin Magazine went out of publication and it was so cheap I was subscribed through 2018. They transferred my subscription to Esquire! I haven't decided yet if I shall cancel and get my $$ back or not. Since I do have a boyfriend now (who is moving in with me soon, incidentally) maybe I should keep it for him?


message 11: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 7 comments Get your money back!


message 12: by Matt, e-monk (last edited Jan 19, 2013 05:55PM) (new)

Matt Comito | 386 comments Mod
Patty wrote: "mmmm. well, to be honest, i was really just trying to rationalize away the offesiveness (to me) of the list by chosing to believe that the artice was not intended for actual intelletuals. if you ar..."

Harpers Feb 2013 issue - page 37 ad: "'Spoil Her' send her a pajamagram"; page 86 ad: "athena pheromones can increase attractiveness"

meanwhile is esquire intended for intellectuals? no of course not - but it isnt just quite maxim either


message 13: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (last edited Jan 19, 2013 06:46PM) (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
no personal offense intended, e-, if you happen to be a reader of esquire. i don't read it, hence my ignorance about its audience. i simply likened its audience to sports radio's audience, of which i am a member, and for which the content is also not meant to be intellectual, but which sometimes does actually offer recommendations for books and movies and television.

i'll continue to feel comfortable with my rationalization, then. shall i?


message 14: by Matt, e-monk (new)

Matt Comito | 386 comments Mod
no worries patty - but I was pretty amused on the plane today when I came across the pajamagram ad in harpers


message 15: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
hooray! i don't know anyone who has ever sent or recieved a pajamagram, do you?

i know you haven't yet been able to make it to a dorkapalooza, e, but i have to tell you that in the context of the fiction files, the word pajama just instantly triggers a whole set of mental images for me, many of them involving giraffe nighties and drunken johnny. :)


message 16: by Kerry, flame-haired janeite (new)

Kerry Dunn (kerryanndunn) | 886 comments Mod
Patty, pajamagram made me think of bananagrams and Ben kicking all our asses at that game over and over again until about 3am. PEEL! PEEL! PEEL!


back to top