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40 Books Every Man Needs To Battle The Masculinity Crisis

The heroes, heroines and anti-heroes who embody everything it means to be a man.

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3. A Time of Gifts - Patrick Leigh Fermor

18-year-old Patrick sets out on an extraordinary journey from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople, detailing every sight in 3 volumes that take him into manhood.

6. The Honourable Schoolboy - John Le Carré

More old school Secret Service fare as Westerbury, agent come journalist, goes on the run. By the end you'll totally feel you could have been an old school spy.

7. The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway

Even if this book bored you to a slow classroom-induced death at GCSE, this story of heroism and fight against adversity is actually pretty great when you choose to read it. Best for: epic description of a 3-day arm wrestle.

14. The Rum Diary - Hunter S. Thompson

This story os a 22-year-old is entwined with enough gonzo to make you believe you're living the twisted life of a hedonist in the Caribbean, with all the fear and uncertainty of making your way in the world.

17. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

A trashy masterpiece, Ignatius J. Reilly's quips will leave you giggling at his shameless social critique. In every sense one of the biggest male characters in 20th century lit.

18. Under the Volcano - Malcolm Lowry

A tragic story of a once great man undone. Geoffrey Firmin, ex-consul, ex-husband and newfound alcoholic, lives out the last day of his life in the shadow of the Mexican fiesta 'Day of the Dead' in a tragic and prophetic classic.

20. Travels with Myself and Another - Martha Gellhorn

One of the most underrated writers of adventure, Martha Gellhorn was one of the first female foreign correspondents. Here she selects the best of her travel horror stories as she floats through war zones from China and the Soviet Union to the Caribbean.

25. A March to the Dance of Time: Part 1 - Richard Powell

Don't be put off by this edition's cover (or that it's part 1 of 12 novels), this is a beautiful portrayal of a friendship group growing up over decades - part 1 kicks off in the 1920s

26. The Cairo Trilogy - Naguib Mahfouz

A fascinating epic on Muslim family life in colonial Egypt if at this end of the list you're bored of British action men. Set shortly before the revolution, it gives loads of cultural and social detail at a time of turbulence for a country so long under the dominance of a colonial power.

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