Thursday, March 23, 2017

Five Favourite Male Authors

As promised back in December when I wrote my first Favourite Female Authors post, I've put together a list of my five favourite male authors. For whatever reason I found it much harder to assemble a list of male authors I like, and as you'll note from the list they aren't a very diverse bunch. I typically read single books from authors rather than exploring their full works, so while there are plenty of diverse authors whose books I've enjoyed, I haven't read more than one of them.

Amor Towles
I first heard of Towles when my supervisor recommended A Gentleman in Moscow to me, and after loving it, I picked up his first book, Rules of Civility. Both of his novels transport you to the world in which they are set: A Gentleman in Moscow reads like one of the Russian greats and Rules of Civility has an air of Fitzgerald to it. His character work and settings are beautifully crafted, and his books are a true delight to read.

Anthony Marra
I first mentioned Marra on this blog almost three years ago in my 2014 favourites after reading his debut A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, and my love has only grown since then. Both of Marra's works are based in Russia and have a similar setup to Khaled Hosseini's work: the setting is in the midst of a war, the stories are told from multiple characters' perspectives, and it contemplates life from the views of ordinary people caught in disasters. Though his plotlines might be simple his characters are multidimensional, and much like Towles his words are a joy to read.

William Shakespeare
Everyone knows who Shakespeare is and had to read him in school so I won't spend a lot of time dwelling on him, but I do genuinely love to read his plays in my spare time. Though I buy copies of his works all the time (I currently own 25 different ones), it's been quite some time since I read anything by him, but I'm hoping to remedy that soon.

Khaled Hosseini
Hosseini is most known for his first work The Kite Runner, and as well deserved as all the praise for that novel is, his other works are just as powerful. As mentioned under Marra's work, I love the way Hosseini uses a fragmented approach to his storylines: multiple perspectives coming out of the same event. Hosseini's ability to create emotional, complex characters is masterclass, as amidst his big event settings he focuses on the individual struggles of people and what it means to be human. I've cried reading every one of his books, and look forward to more of his work in the future.

Neil Gaiman
I talk about Gaiman all the time on this blog so his inclusion on this list will surprise no one. Many of his works are similar in theme - scifi/fantasy steeped in deep, dark imagination, with slightly off characters and sometimes a hint of romance - and for those that like that sort of theme, he's among the best of the genre. With the Starz adaptation of American Gods coming out next month, I've started rereading a few of his old books in anticipation.

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