Any Man: A Novel Paperback – June 26 2018
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- Publisher : Harper Perennial (June 26 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062688928
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062688927
- Item Weight : 181 g
- Dimensions : 13.49 x 1.65 x 20.32 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #169,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
“An explosive, shapeshifting piece of literary real estate, Amber Tamblyn’s arresting debut offers a scathing portrait of American celebrity culture and the way in which it transmutes human tragedy into a vicious circus; victims are forgotten as likes and shares swirl, and ‘news’ becomes a squalid orgy, a lurid feast. Tamblyn takes every risk in this astonishing and innovative work, and succeeds, gloriously.” (Janet Fitch, bestselling author of The Revolution of Marina M. and Paint It Black)
“Get ready to hold your breath. Amber Tamblyn’s Any Man is a genre-bending gender-bending brilliant blow torch of a debut novel amplifying the complexities of sexual violence and the radical costs of survival. At the center of the novel is a serial rapist named Maude who reduces the men in her path to objects of prey. We’re not used to thinking of this equation, and that’s the point. This is the story of a monstrous woman made from the darkness inside all of us, a woman who meets patriarchy head-on and shreds it, leaving men traveling the journey that women must make every day of their lives--not the hero’s journey, but the victim’s. Not to emerge heroic and victorious, but to emerge from shame and violence with empathy, compassion, and the radical ability to endure together. This book changes everything.” (Lidia Yuknavitch, bestselling author of THE BOOK OF JOAN)
“Amber Tamblyn’s debut novel, Any Man, is a beautifully written and carefully curated examination of toxic masculinity, rape culture and our society as a whole…a sprawling conversation about sexual assault and how prevalent it is in our society, regardless of gender….Everything about this novel is raw and exposed...this is the time to stop denying these things are out there just because hearing, seeing or reading about them makes us want to turn the other way—and that is what Tamblyn has achieved in this novel, a way to make our eyes stay on the page.” (Paperback Paris)
Any Man is a breathtaking gut-punch of a novel. Here is the cost of sexual violence: our bodies, our minds, our culture. Flipping the typical narrative of woman-as-victim, Tamblyn follows six different men, each of whom has been viciously attacked by a serial rapist named Maude. In a masterful exploration of literary form, we follow them through poetry, journals, talk shows, group therapy sessions, internet chat rooms, letters, voicemails, and an extended Twitter search so real and right now the page became a screen in my hands. From the first lightning-bolt sentence it felt impossible to put down. But I had to put it down. I had to breathe. I had to interrogate my own heart. Real talk: this subject matter is hard as hell. It hurts. It’s so much easier not to look, to pretend such violence doesn’t exist even when we know--we know. we know and know and know--that it does. Enough, Tamblyn is saying. It’s supposed to hurt. That’s how we heal. (Megan Stielstra, The Wrong Way to Save Your Life)
““In her first novel, poet Tamblyn (Bang Ditto) nimbly flips the usual dynamic of sexual predation, writing about a female serial rapist who preys on men.. The suspense of whether Maude will be apprehended and her motives understood propels this powerful meditation on the horrors of rape culture.” (Publishers Weekly)
From the Back Cover
In this electric and provocative debut novel, Amber Tamblyn blends genres of poetry and prose with elements of suspense to give shape to the shocking narratives of victims of sexual violence, and maps the destructive ways in which society perpetuates rape culture.
A violent serial rapist, who goes by the name Maude, is on the loose. She hunts for men at bars and online—the place doesn’t matter, neither does the man. Her victims then must grapple with the aftermath of their assault—doubts from the police, feelings of shame and alienation from their friends and family, and the haunting of a horrible woman who becomes the phantom on which society pro-jects its greatest fears, fascinations, and even misogyny. All the while, the police are without leads, and the media hounds the victims, publicly dissecting the details of their attack.
As the years pass, these men learn to heal by banding together and finding a space to raise their voices. Told in alternating viewpoints, signature to each voice and experience of the victim, these pages crackle with emotion ranging from horror to breathtaking empathy.
As bold as it is timely, Any Man is a tribute to those who have lived through the nightmare of sexual assault and asserts how the power of speaking out can change not only the life of survivors, but so too the world around them.
From the Publisher
At HarperCollins, authors and their work are at the center of everything we do. We are proud to provide our authors with unprecedented editorial excellence, marketing reach, long-standing connections with booksellers, and insight into reader and consumer behavior. Consistently at the forefront of innovation and technological advancement, HarperCollins also uses digital technology to create unique reading experiences and expand the reach of our authors.
HarperCollins was founded by brothers James and John Harper in New York City in 1817 as J. and J. Harper, later Harper & Brothers. In 1987, as Harper & Row, it was acquired by News Corporation. The worldwide book group was formed following News Corporation's 1990 acquisition of the British publisher William Collins & Sons. Founded in 1819, William Collins & Sons published a range of Bibles, atlases, dictionaries, and reissued classics, expanding over the years to include legendary authors such as H. G. Wells, Agatha Christie, J. R. R. Tolkien, and C. S. Lewis.
The house of Mark Twain, the Brontë sisters, Thackeray, Dickens, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Maurice Sendak, Shel Silverstein, and Margaret Wise Brown, HarperCollins has a long and rich history that reaches back to the early nineteenth century and offers our publishing team a depth of experience.
Top reviews from Canada
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I could tell immediately that my instincts were right. I could tell immediately that this wasn’t going to be like any book I had read before. And not just because Tamblyn shakes up the stereotypical gender roles in this analysis of rape culture, but also because her words read like poetry; she writes in metaphors about such dark and painful subject matter but it sounds like a song.
This is a very intense read. Tamblyn flutters across different writing styles to delve deep into the mind of the victims and oftentimes, the writing and the overall feel is very chaotic. But each victim has a loud voice and the focus is purely on their aftermath and trauma, as opposed to really putting any emphasis on the offender.
There are so many heavy messages woven throughout the story, all of which kind of speak for themselves when you read it, because Tamblyn is so brutal in her writing. The styles makes it seem like she’s trying to paint a cautious pictures, but then she throws everything up against the wall and leaves you staring slack-jawed at the remaining mess.
If nothing else, this is just an extremely important read in today’s climate for the spotlight it gives so many different topics, for the questions it blatantly asks, for the powerful emotive confessions and feelings that these male victims let come pouring out of them. There’s such vulnerability, it’s almost painful to read, but that’s why it’s so brilliant. This is how people should be feeling when reading about or discussing rape culture and I’m in such awe of Tamblyn for how elegantly and accurately she was able to put it all down so well in a somewhat short book.
Originally posted on citygirlscapes.com
Why is that? Well. So this is a book about a female serial rapist, told from the point of view of the male survivors of her attacks. While the attacks themselves are not displayed, the details of some of them come out in some of the descriptions of events in the aftermath, and they're pretty gruesome. These are details that will stick with you, along with much of the rest of this fairly slim tome likely.
Some of that is the formatting - there's online chats, computer activity, poetry, articles, diaries, email exchanges, drawings, and more, and that all serves to keep the story lively and sticky. I like the formal playfulness, and it helps to make each of the sections stand out as a different thing more, too.
There are lots of differences between the sections as well, because as you read through the book, you find the only thing that links the narrators is their maleness - they're young and old; they're in different life situations; some are straight, some are queer; some single, some married; it's all over; some of the attacks appear more premeditated, others at the moment they happen. Tamblyn is trying to capture the range of assaults, at least in circumstances; one hopes the horrors of some of the attacks are rare, at least.
More than the horrors and the details, it's really the character point of views that stay with you. For a few of them, we get a bit of their lives from before they're assaulted, but for most of them, it's the aftermath. And as they struggle in different ways, finding different resolutions, coming together or not, it's hard not to feel empathy for them as the reader.
Although that said, Tamblyn is also playing with the range here in response. Certainly some of the people shown responding in the book are more or less empathetic, both in their persona (one survivor does really read as a Milo Yiannopoulos expy) and in terms of the circumstances of when they were assaulted. In drawing comparison to the female experience, though these are all rape, some are attacked in ways where no one can question they did anything wrong; others get questioned about what they were doing out there at that time, or if they really said no, etc. It's pretty masterfully done, and the effects of what happens to the men are bruisingly felt by the reader.
One thing that I feel I have to mention that did disappoint me is that there's a trans man who is attacked by the serial rapist, but of all the characters, he's the only one that doesn't get his own viewpoint, and his story passes without much comment or effect on the others. I get that Tamblyn wanted to include this, but if that's the level of attention the character gets, I'd have preferred her not to.
On the whole, though, it was a powerful and fast read, one that I found gripping and inventive, raw and difficult. Definitely not one for everyone, but important and worthy if you think you can stomach the material. I don't think it's a book for any person, but I think it could and should have a wide impact.