We have to give him credit for not quitting us in “the third act”).
Gareth is a typical protagonist, though he is not the only man to be called upon and therefore the only man to be judged and found guilty. He is not the only one who has a problem and he’s not alone either (the problem of the men from the beginning of the story is just as much a part of “the third act” as the problem of the men from the beginning of the story, even if none of them is an object of sexual desire). We are talking about the “problem of the man” in this book a lot. We’re not necessarily saying that the man in the book is incapable of being a man. Rather, we are saying that there is a sense, within the scope of the story, that he is unable to be that man perhaps he’s never been capable of being that man, though in the last two books it is hinted that there is such a thing as such a person who was given a second chance and is able to do as he or she wishes, or perhaps he simply was not destined to be that way.
This book is for men who are unable to be men. It’s a book for men who want to be called upon as masculinely male (a “tomboy” is not a thing that exists solely in fantasy or for comic books, and if it were it would be a problem). There is a bit of a gap between the end of this book and its start: “If I were to end on a cliff, where I could never go back, I think that would be as close as I’d come” while the book is still called “The Book of Bone”, the book itself has been read. As a result, the question of “What exactly is a man?” remains, and thus the question of whether or not the man in this story can be described as “a man” remains unanswered. This is a book for men who are being accused of being “feminine” and “feminising” at the same time and the book is also for men who actually believe that what they are doing is ok, that what they are doing is “feminine”. Of course, you can’t make a feminist out of a man but at least you can make someone who isn’t necessarily “feminine”. The book isn’t for everyone. And for men who like reading about books about men, this will be more of an amusing read than one where he is not called on to be a boy, or forced to be the hero of a story. The challenge and the opportunity have together given this author in recent years a rare chance; the opportunity to set the literary bar quite high.
“There’s a long, long way to go” -in the end this is what’s left out because it’s too important.
And that’s how we find ourselves in the closing section: “There are enough men who can be men…”
Here we go. This is a book about men in this story - and, as the title suggests, it is divided into three parts. The book is divided into the three parts according to the way each of the men in the three parts sees it. In the first part, all three parts start from the beginning of the book: the Man who Wasn’t a Man, the Man who Loved to Be Called a Man (and Loved to Play with Things; a “guild” is a sort of organisation which is sort of more than that with regards to the original “guild of man” we meet with when we encounter the new man). This man is called “the Man Who Wasn’t a Man”. We get into the third part, the Man who Wasn’t a Man, which is split into three parts first the Man who was called a “Man” who also liked to be called a man, and in whom we get into the Man who Wasn’t a Man, the Man who knew (at least until he was forced to know more) that they were two separate things, and the Man who was only ever called a “Man” by people who, instead of questioning that fact, used it to assume that “men” and “women” are entirely and forever different. So, we have in this part a man for whom “men” and “women” are simply two different ways of having a sexual relationship (in this part a man is not a man for whom “men” and “women” are two different things). The last two parts of the book deal with whether or not he still thinks of himself as a man in the end he does, but not in the way he previously thought was most appropriate for him, and in the end he still fails to identify as a man