fictional manfiction

Stephen King has an article over at with the provocative title “Who says real men don’t read?”

It’s no surprise that somebody of King’s stature gets gigs like this. He takes an hour or so, writes a column, hits a button and off it goes to EW. Then he  trots off to the bank with a check. And I’ll bet it’s not chump change, either.

I don’t begrudge King anything, you should understand. It sounds like writers’ heaven: Anything he cares to write, he can sell. After a while it must be tempting to test that hypothesis.  A quick  idea pops into your head, bang out five hundred words and voila, it shows up in print.  Maybe  it’s  the most concise, insightful little gem on the appeal of writing mysteries, or it could be some nutty piece of misleading fluff about chicklit v manfiction.

As is the case here, where King might have  decided on this particular column like this:

Hey, why don’t I set up some false dichotomies about fiction and readers, and then once I’ve created enough confusion and chaos, I can plug my favorite books.

I happen to agree with him that Lee Child has a really great series going with his Jack Reacher novels. I do not agree that this is manfiction. Women like stories like this. Women especially like Reacher. Conversely, not all women like Nora Roberts.  Some women (and some men) might like both, or neither.