Saturday, 21 May 2016

Shrill - Lindy West

You Don’t Have To Be………

……..American to read this book but it is an advantage as the impact of some of the cultural references and names were lost on me. And I am someone who loves baseball and root beer and I can sing The Star Spangled Banner better than my own National Anthem! In fact I think I might have been an American in a previous life! But maybe past lives can’t prepare you for contemporary cyber America. And are things any different in the UK?

I doubt that this is a book I would have picked to read had not Real Readers sent me a copy to review but I am glad I have read it for it will stay with me for a long time. I cannot remember the last time I laughed so much I was unable to continue reading. I can still chuckle to myself as I remember those phrases that made me laugh. Equally it’s been a while since a book made me think as much as this one has and I confess to shedding a tear or two for the aggressive ignorance of so many people who lack the courage to do anything but hide behind the anonymity of the Internet. I loathe the term ‘trolls’ to describe these people but an accurate description probably contravenes any censorship laws. (I had toy trolls when I was a kid, with long hair and kindly faces. Terry Pratchett’s Discworld trolls aren’t threatening at all. )

This book is an often uncomfortable read. It can be seen as one woman’ monologue, a diatribe against prejudice and injustice amongst other things but it is also an autobiography of honesty and humanity. It may upset some peoples’ sensibilities for it is frank. Labelled as a ‘feminist;’ book I think it can be appreciated on wider levels.

Lindy West is a brave, brave woman who should never be defined by her physicality but by her wit and her intellect and the way that, as a wordsmith, she can combine those two qualities.

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