Monday 23 May 2016

Shrill by Lindy West

Shrill: Notes from a Loud WomanShrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time take to read - 1 day

Pages - 272

Publisher - Quercus

Blurb from Goodreads

West has rocked readers in work published everywhere from The Guardian to GQ to This American Life. She is a catalyst for a national conversation in a world where not all stories are created equal and not every body is treated with equal respect. SHRILL is comprised of a series of essays that bravely shares her life, including her transition from quiet to feminist-out-loud, coming of age in a popular culture that is hostile to women (especially fat, funny women) and how keeping quiet is not an option for any of us.

My Review

This is the debut novel from from Lindy West, a columnist for the Guardian and known in America for some very strong views. This book gives the readers a glimpse into how Lindy went from a shy, self conscious young girl, struggling with her weight and to speak to people to being loud, proud and self accepting. A look into the life of West and what cost can come of being opinionated, in the public eye and challenging misogynistic views.

Firstly, I need to say I had never heard of this author before this book was sent to me and I feel I know her a little after reading such an honest and at times brutal account of her life. The book is, for me, broke into two parts. The first is opinionated, loud, funny and sometimes brash account from a woman who knows who she is and accounting from a time when she didn't. The second is more from what she has experience since becoming more sure of who she is and making her mark in the world.

I think this book will no doubt offend some, make others laugh and hopefully everyone to pause for thought. She is quite graphic when discussing feminine menstruation which may cause discomfort for some readers however points out, quite rightly, that we do not flinch when seeing so much blood and gore on tv.

She recalls being abused about her weight, trolled on Twitter which again some readers may find upsetting, I certainly did. She has come up against many critics and explains her stance point, giving some disturbing examples and other accounts showing how we can learn and grow as people. A relatively positive spin on some unpleasant experiences, a tale of growth and for a few parts a good old fashioned rant, 3/5 for me this time. Thanks to RealReaders for introducing me to a new writer and person of interest, I will be looking up more of West's work. An engaging debut that will make you laugh, grimace, horrified and think!

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  1. This sounds like a very engaging memoir. Thanks for an excellent, concise review, Lainy!

  2. Great review. I had been remotely familiar with Lindy West before.

    I generally like what she has to say about bullying and being happy with oneself.

    Just about any woman with controversial views on gender and society who is on social media has come under scathing harassment.


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