Male characters good at keeping house
June 17, 2012 2:55 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find male protagonists in fiction who are good (but not overly fastidious) at keeping house? I watched Weekend last night and felt one of the protagonists (Russell) was a good example. Hikaru Murakami's protagonists would be excellent examples as well.

Russell's domesticity isn't something that's paid attention to particularly in the movie, but my reaction to the opening shots was that his apartment was remarkably tidy and cozy, in contrast to my own (which is really what is prompting this question). I was hoping to find examples in literature and film that feature male characters who aren't obsessive about keeping things clean and cozy around the house, but are just good at it.
posted by Busoni to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Robert B. Parker's Spenser novels? Travis McGee?
posted by brennen at 3:01 PM on June 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Christopher Ransom in Jay McInerney's Ransom yearns for a "simple life" in Japan, and part of his routine was keeping his traditional Japanese home well-kept.

To stay in the 80s vein (and not really a role model, but he was tidy), Patrick Bateman from American Psycho certainly kept his home (and skin!) well-kept.

And let's go for really, really, REALLY tidy. Martin Burney in Sleeping with the Enemy kept everything in perfect order, even if he had to almost kill his wife (played by Julia Roberts) to do so.
posted by xingcat at 3:10 PM on June 17, 2012

In Virginia Woolf's Jacob's Room quite a bit of attention is paid to, well, Jacob's Room. I remember it being very pleasant. In a more rustic way, the protagonist of the YA book My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George kept a very tidy home. Henry in The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger is quite the domestic.
posted by rabbitbookworm at 3:17 PM on June 17, 2012

Right, so Patrick Batemen and Martin Burney would be examples of what I'm not looking for (sorry, but also thanks, @xingcat). I'm more interested in slightly more regular folks who are simply at home with being domestic (sorry, but not really) and not fastidious or neurotic about having things clean.

I just remembered that Eric Bana's character in Munich would be something similar to what I'm looking for, because he cooks dinners because he likes it and does it to relax sometimes. That's kind of what I'm looking for, except with keeping house: people who keep things tidy as part of their character.
posted by Busoni at 3:29 PM on June 17, 2012

Is Danny Tanner in Full House too neurotic for you?
posted by knile at 3:35 PM on June 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

Ah, sorry! And you specifically said that in your question. Here are some oldies (and a bit on the servant side):

Mr. Belvedere in Mr. Belvedere. A butler, but that's what they do.
Benson in Soap. Another butler. He won't answer the door, but he's very tidy.
Will in Will and Grace. He's kind of like Monica in Friends, but not quite as over-the-top.
posted by xingcat at 3:46 PM on June 17, 2012

Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day does this (though he's a butler, so it's his job).
posted by Mchelly at 3:46 PM on June 17, 2012

There's a lovely section in Cory Doctorow's Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town when the male protagonist lovingly renovates and decorates an old house. It was easily my favourite part of this novel.
posted by grueandbleen at 4:19 PM on June 17, 2012

Ratty from Wind in the Willows fits your description.

One of his most memorable traits is that he keeps a cozy and welcoming house (crackling fire, hot cocoa at the ready, fish-paste sandwiches and currant cake for supper).

In a memorable chapter, he shows Mole how to spring clean, so he can have a clean and cozy house, too.

Mr Tumnus from Lion Witch Wardrobe also fits the bill, though his cozy house was of course not quite all it seemed.
posted by dontjumplarry at 4:37 PM on June 17, 2012

Jerry Seinfeld's character in Seinfeld is known for being "neat."
posted by easy, lucky, free at 5:26 PM on June 17, 2012

(Murakami's given name is "Haruki," btw, not "Hikaru")
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:35 PM on June 17, 2012

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