“A string of thoughts occurred to him, not for the first time: I’ve been driven from my home. I’ve
been driven from my family, my tribe, my roots. I surrendered and fled. I’m lonely. My life is ultimately
– A Generation of Men
A Generation of Men, by Jonathan Frost, is one of the best books on contemporary masculinity that I have ever read. Make no mistake, A Generation of Men may be a work of fiction, but it draws heavily from philosophy and sociology. This book is the 21st century equivalent of a Roman à clef.
The story follows a bro king, a “nice guy,” and a video game nerd; as they progress through a year at college. Rather than going the predictable route, Frost makes the characters and their actions fairly complex. By the end of the book, I was very surprised at how the narrative had played out and what fates each of the characters had succumbed to.
As much as I enjoyed this book, there are some aspects that will probably turn off a lot of readers. A Generation of Men really does feel like a Roman à clef, complete with ham-handed monologues and deus ex machina. But, considering how well written Frost’s other works have been, I think this was done intentionally; while the monologues are clunky, they do help to capture the ideological aspects of this book.
Overall, I recommend A Generation of Men. I doubt this book will be everyone’s cup of tea, but I enjoyed reading it and thought it to be very insightful. As a bonus, Frost has made the book free, until March 7th, for anyone who uses the coupon code: PG37C