Young and hot, or perhaps not

Mary Hoffman went on a book tour to America last week, leaving us – her blog readers – with some exciting men to think about. I bet she did that on purpose.

She writes about some very attractive young men in her own books, and I trust Mary has done a lot of research to make our reading experience the best ever. But I am too old for her boys. I simply cannot lust after a teenager. Even setting propriety aside I find I can’t. I need older men.

Like the ones I was too young for when I was a teenager. Except in those days there wasn’t much in the way of teen books, so a girl had to lust after grown older men, or not lust at all. Lord Peter Wimsey is one such example mentioned by Mary. (And don’t tell anyone, but I did like him.)

That’s life. Nothing is ever right.

So, in those days I liked the Scarlet Pimpernel (even without Leslie Howard), and I adored Steven Howard in MM Kaye’s Death in Cyprus and Richard Byron in Mary Stewart’s Madam Will You Talk. Various Alistair MacLean heroes, and Carl Zlinter from Nevil Shute’s The Far Country. (Go on, ridicule me!)

If there were any boys, I have forgotten them, which means they can’t have been all that special.

More recently I have liked Margery Allingham’s Campion, Mr Knightley, and Robert Stephens’s voice as Aragorn in the radio version of Lord of the Rings. There aren’t all that many attractive men in modern children’s or YA books, but there is Lupin. And from an old classic we have Daddy Longlegs.

If I absolutely have to find young men in current fiction they won’t be vampires. Not even faeries (sorry, Seth McGregor). I liked Wes in Sarah Dessen’s The Truth About Forever, and Sanchez in Ribblestrop by Andy Mulligan is quite a boy. And now that I think about it, the Cathys (Cassidy and Hopkins) do lovely young ones.

Abby and Ducky

Men on the screen, however, have got easier with age. The ten-year-old me knew it was wrong to be in love with Ilya Kuryakin, 23 years my senior. But he was so cute! And this being a lasting kind of passion, it was David McCallum who got me started on NCIS. He is still very good looking for a man approaching 80. And it was at NCIS I found Very Special Agent Gibbs, a man of the right age. At last. I reckon he is a modern Mr Knightley.


So, for me it is No Thanks to ‘hot young men.’ I need them to be grey these days.

(Link here to an older post about pretty boys. I seem to have grown out of them.)

13 responses to “Young and hot, or perhaps not

  1. I find young men adorable in a way that I didn’t when I was, um, young. Adorable as puppies are adorable. And I do like a youthful quality in men, regardless of their age. I seem to keep raising the age bar on what is a younger man–I wonder why that is?

    With you on Ilya, though, who is, in fact, timeless.

  2. I never know whether to be pleased at having to share Ilya with so many women, or annoyed. Even Daughter wasn’t immune, and the age gap there is enormous.

    The age bar? Well, they need to be close in age to us, and we are mere girls. Isn’t that President of yours worryingly young, for instance? Along with doctors and policemen and I don’t know who.

  3. Did every woman and girl (to to mention the guys) in the Western world fancy Ilya Kuryakin?

    But Robert Stephens’ Aragorn, Ann? No, no, no – that was just SO wrong. With you on Campion though.

  4. Yes.

    Re RS, I liked his voice. Seeing him in a film later on I was quite disappointed.

  5. I have a new hearthrob: TAYLOR KITSCH of Friday Night LIghts who is young enough to be my grandson but so gorgeous. I am also fond of Clint Eastwood who is 80 or so. And of course the Swedish Wallender and the divine Troels Hartmann….I could go on.

  6. Atticus Finch had a certain something. But not Daddy Long Legs! That was very, very odd!

  7. I was about to add Gregory Peck to my comment above. Or is Atticus Finch too separate?
    Re DLL, you are so wrong. I am disappointed in you.
    Adèle, you are man mad!
    Mary, I forgot. One of my readers (my age) was so misguided that she actually thought Napoleon Solo was the right Man From UNCLE…

  8. Daddy Long Legs wouldn’t let poor Judy go to Camp McBride in case she fell in love with Jimmy McBride. She had to go and stay on that farm instead. I haven’t forgotten.

  9. I always thought Iya Kuryakin was the cool one. I will admit to an immense crush on Elizabeth Barrett Browning in my early twenties, though that isn’t quite the same thing.

  10. He was jealous. Shows he loved her.

    Dad WW(G), I need to know if I must write a male perspective blog post on this. Lovely Ladies in Literature. OK, I must.

    You are brave to comment among all the girls.

  11. How is it possible to have written this blog without mentioning Sherlock? All the 14 year olds I know are in love, as are all the 40+. And in our house, we debate the merits of Mr Cumberbatch and Mr Freeman with equal enthusiasm. Both, maybe?

  12. Before I succumbed to the charms of screen actors, I intended this to be about books. The Sherlock Holmes in the books isn’t quite as fanciable as sweet Benedict…
    But OK, let’s meet over on CultureWitch for some drooling over actors.

  13. Pingback: Romantic in Leicester | Bookwitch

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