Men, Women and Children

No one is ever going to say that Chad Kultgen is a master wordsmith. His novels always strike me as fleshed out screenplays; very straight forward and direct, with little description or clever language. His characters are rarely anything greater than the sum of their quirks, they have no separation from each other in any way outside of what each of them enjoys. All of his characters have the same dedicated focus and they all act remarkably similar to each other, even if their ultimate goals are different. His previous novels, “Average American Male” and “The Lie” both exist in the “fratire” genre, where the focus tends to be male oriented and extremely graphic and sexual. The sex is extremely male oriented; aggressive and detail oriented, with an emphasis on male dominance. That’s not a negative quality, it just should be recognized because it can be upsetting to some people. “American Male” was an interesting take on a nameless narrator who aimlessly goes through his life, driven only by sex and video games. “The Lie” was more complex, with a legitimately interesting plot that concerned the college careers of three fairly unlikable characters.

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