Book Review: The Men by Fanny Calder

City life in the 1990s. Anonymous, intense, paradoxical and sometimes lonely.

A young, haunted woman falls in love with a singer. She finds she has been consumed by the relationship and when it ends – as it inevitably does – she feels unable to quite rediscover herself. Cities can draw you into even darker places, and she embarks on a series of intense relationships with thirteen men of very different types, from a rough sleeper to a millionaire, and from a transvestite to a leading politician.

As she is propelled through a series of extraordinary adventures and wild parties she finds she begins to lose her own identity. Is there a way out?


The Men by Fanny Calder focuses on an anonymous woman. She’s our narrator.

As the book begins, she is in a relationship with a singer. This ends in heartbreak. We then look at the thirteen subsequent relationships she has including one with a homeless man, a Politician and a Millionaire.

This is not a book I would have picked off a shelf and this is why I love running the Novel Kicks blog. It means books like this don’t pass me by.

The narrator gives the reader little glimpses into her relationship history and it doesn’t hold back whatsoever.

The character does have happy moments in her quest for romantic love but she is also insanely honest with her observations about these men, the world around her and her lack of fulfilment with love and life. It’s one of the things I liked most about this novel as well as the conversational writing style.

Even though we never know the name of our main character, by the end, I felt like I still knew her and had begun to understand her.
I am not going to say much more as I don’t want to give anything away and I am hoping that you will discover it yourself.

The Men is truly a unique novel that is honest, gritty and raw. I am still thinking about it and in my opinion, that is one sign of an incredible novel.


The Men was released by The Real Press. Click to view on Amazon UK.


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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