Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and Other Outlaws Paperback – May 2 2006
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About the Author
A celebrated pioneer for the LGBTIQ community, KATE BORNSTEIN is the author of My Gender Workbook: How to Become a Real Man, a Real Woman, the Real You, or Something Else Entirely and Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and The Rest of Us, as well as the editor with S. Bear Bergman of Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation. Her plays and performance pieces include Hidden: A Gender, The Opposite Sex Is Neither, and Too Tall Blondes In Love. She lives in New York City with her partner, Barbara Carrellas.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I haven't felt hope in nine months. This book gave me hope.
The book is written as though she's talking to you. Reading through this book is like talking to an **experienced** friend who has all sorts of suggestions. With each suicide alternative she usually also refers to other books/media to check out if you're interested.
I've read the first part of the book 3 times since it was given to me less than a year ago. Yet, I still haven't entirely read through all the alternatives - I typically find something that I can work on that helps me feel better. Hello Cruel World *always* helps if I can remember to reach for it, but sometimes I just can't even make it to my bookshelf. This book is especially helpful if you're dealing with LGBT and gender issues.
The best part about Hello Cruel World is that it's easy to read when you're depressed. Nothing is easy to read when you're depressed, right? It was written intimately and warm and each of the alternatives is written with a brevity that makes it bearable. Her cheesy humor somehow works when you're wanting to kill yourself. Just flip to something that sounds interesting and it's hardly a chore to read it.
I let a friend borrow the book a couple weeks ago but this is one of those books that I need to keep track of because I never know when I'll need it again. I'm actually here to purchase a copy for that friend because I really need mine again. =P
BTW: Just a tip - If you're transgender MtF I recommend Julia Serano's "Whipping Girl" before reading Kate's "Gender Outlaw" or any other trans specific books.
Hello, Cruel World is the best depiction I have seen of the real world of troubled teens. It accurately locates the bully as the most common cause of self-esteem issues that can take years, even decades, to resolve. Kate's only rule for readers is "don't be mean," and that is certainly the most obvious characteristic of every bully I've ever faced. Kate's winning personality and irresistible sense of humor prevail over the heavy topic matter. Her writing is inspired, passionate, and empathic. There is little if anything that goes uncovered here. (Well, okay, she includes "sex worker" but omits "drug dealer" and "rock and roller" from her list of freak-admissible careers in alternative 34, "Sing for your Supper." I mean, if you're going to include the Unholy Trinity, you might as well go all the way, right?)
Actually, my only real quibble with this book (and it is a quibble) is that I thought this book might be even "safer" if the cover were more discreet. I admit that it's a bit busy for my taste, but perhaps a plain cover would have been even better for the sake of the kids who might have to sneak around with this book.
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