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Sunday, May 6, 2018

REVIEW: Any Man by Amber Tamblyn @ambertamblyn @harperperennial

Any Man
by Amber Tamblyn

Thank you so much to Harper Perennial for this intense, eye opening and powerful book.

I've had a lot of people asking as I've posted this across my social media platforms: 
YES, this is Amber Tamblyn the actress.. the poet, the writer, the woman!

Publisher:  Harper Perennial
Publish Date: June 26, 2018
288 pages
Genre:  Fiction

Goodreads Synopsis:

In her blazingly original and unforgettable debut novel Any Man, Amber Tamblyn brings to startling life a specter of sexual violence in the shadowy form of Maude, a female serial rapist who preys on men.

In this electric and provocative debut novel, Tamblyn blends genres of poetry, prose, and elements of suspense to give shape to the shocking narratives of victims of sexual violence, mapping the destructive ways in which our society perpetuates rape culture.

A violent serial rapist is on the loose, who goes by the name Maude. She hunts for men at bars, online, at home— the place doesn’t matter, neither does the man. Her victims then must live the aftermath of their assault in the form of doubt from the police, feelings of shame alienation from their friends and family and the haunting of a horrible woman who becomes the phantom on which society projects its greatest fears, fascinations and even misogyny. All the while the police are without leads and the media hound the victims, publicly dissecting the details of their attack.
What is extraordinary is how as 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 paints a searing portrait of survival and is a tribute to those who have lived through the nightmare of sexual assault.

My Review:

You ever start reading a book and know immediately that it was going to be something different than what you've ever read before?  That you know you're going to get gut punched and deepen that line between your eyes from the intense face you make as you turn each page?  Yeah, that's what happened here.

Amber Tamblyn uses a variety of writing styles here to bring you a story that's not about the victimizer, but about the victims.  She takes us deep into their minds in the aftermath of their horrible incidents and we see how they try to feel whole again.  We are taken into their random thoughts...  how these situations occur and then she takes us further in showing how society and the media help to perpetuate the rape culture in America.  All of this is done in a various styles: poetry, tweets, chat boxes, interviews, journal entries, emails.... and every single one of these hits you right in the solar plexus.  

We hear ALL the time how a woman shouldn't have worn that short skirt or dressed herself up like that if she didn't want the attention.  How she was just asking for it.  In this novel, we hear about how he shouldn't have gotten drunk at the bar while his wife was at home with the kids.  What was he thinking?  STOP VICTIMIZING THE VICTIMS FURTHER.  How many of you think men CAN'T get raped? Why do we, as a society, blame the victim, use them as the story of the day and then toss them aside when something more horrifying comes alone?

This book puts you into the mind of the survivors.  How they will have to live with this for the rest of their lives and how by using each other as a support group, you can eventually, hopefully, more forward.  I went through a roller coaster of emotions as I read this.  It hit me HARD and left quite the imprint.

Equally horrifying, eye opening and heart breaking, this book is INTENSE.  Tamblyn clearly knows how to write and this debut will leave you reeling.  This won't be an easy read for some readers, but it's a necessary one.


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