Book Review Of “Any Man” By Amber Tamblyn @HaperPerennial @ambertamblyn
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 serial female 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. (From Goodreads)
Thank you Harper Perennial #Partner for this free book, in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own.
I rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars!
It became very apparent, within the first two pages that this book was going to be something like I had never read before. From the writing style, to the subject matter. It was dark, gritty, and stomach churning. I typically shy away from rape heavy books. But there was something intriguing about this one, and I HAD to read it. Some authors can allude to a rape, when you know it happened, without having to read the details, it makes the act a little easier to take. Tamblyn does NOT do this, the rapes that occur in this book are detailed, graphic, and they made me feel terrified. But even saying that, I still found this book enjoyable. It was the inbetween that suck its claws in. How the victims healed, how they fought back to get their lives back, how they moved on, and what understanding they gained from something that happens frequently to woman. There was an interesting stat in this book, that said 1 in every 16 men has been a victim of rape (of reported male rapes). I need to research this, and see if that is factual, or if it was just for the sake of the book. But that’s a very startling number.
Tamblyn’s writing poses many very interesting questions. Is a man being raped, different from a woman being raped? Why are they treated differently than a woman who has been raped? Why is rape culture a thing? What would drive a woman to rape a man?
Tamblyn’s writing style is very unique. It’s kind of poetic, mixed media, traditional. It made for a fairly quick read, I actually finished this within 24 hours. It was very addicting. I stomach-ed my way through the pages, and the multiple rapes, to find out who Maude was, and why she was a monster. The ending was not as I expected, but still very good. I love Amber Tamblyn, I have been a fan of her since her Emily Quartermaine days on General Hospital.
So it goes to say, if you have any triggers, or sensitivity to rape, and fairly detailed rape scenes, proceed with caution when reading this one. But kudos’ to Tamblyn on her first full length novel. I look forward to more.
This book is out June 26th, I will post some helpful links below.
Amber Rose Tamblyn is an American actor, film director, and author.
Tamblyn was born and raised in Venice, California and is a 3rd generation Californian. She has been a writer and actress since the age of 9.
Tamblyn has been nominated for an Emmy, Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award for her work in television and film. In 2007, she won the Locarno Film Festival award for Best Actress for her work in the film Stephanie Daley, in which she starred opposite Tilda Swinton. In television, she later appeared in FOX’s House; in film, she worked with Danny Boyle in 127 Hours (opposite James Franco), as well as working on screenwriter Horton Foote’s Main Street (opposite Colin Firth). Most recently, as of 2017, she starred in Growing Up and Other Lies (written and directed by Darren Grodsky and Danny Jacobs, 2015), and starred opposite Bob Odenkirk in Girlfriend’s Da
y (released on Netflix, 2017).
As an actor, she is perhaps most recognized in television for her work as Joan on the CBS program Joan of Arcadia, and in film as “Tibby” in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants(2005).
In 2016, Tamblyn made her debut as a film director, with Paint It Black (which she also co-wrote, with Ed Dougherty).
Amber’s first published poem “Kill Me So Much” appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle when she was 12, having been submitted by her writing mentor Jack Hirschman (Poet Laureate of San Francisco 2009). In the years that followed, Amber self published two collections of poetry, art and photography entitled Plenty of Ships and Of the Dawn. She collaborated with Semina Culture artist George Herms to create a limited edition book of collage and haiku dedicated to Thelonious Monk, entitled, The Loneliest. In 2005, Simon & Schuster published her debut collection of poetry, Free Stallion, which was written over a period of more than a decade. Lawrence Ferlinghetti called the book, “A fine, fruitful gestation of throbbingly nascent sexuality, awakened in young new language.” The book won the Borders Book Choice Award for Breakout Writing in 2006. Her work has since been published in New York Quarterly, San Francisco Chronicle, Poets & Writers, Pank Magazine, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Interview, and others. She is the Executive Producer of The Drums Inside Your Chest, an annual poetry concert that showcases outstanding contemporary poets. She is the co-founder of the nonprofit Write Now Poetry Society which works to build an audience for unique poetry events. Her second book of poetry and prose, Bang Ditto (Manic D. Press), was published in the Fall of 2009, and was an Independent Best Seller. She currently writes for The Poetry Foundation and is a poetry reviewer for Bust Magazine.
In 2015, HarperCollins published her collection of poems, Dark Sparkler, a meditation on and tribute to the tragic lives and premature deaths of sundry women actors and child star actresses. The book’s forward was contributed by Diane di Prima. Dark Sparkler also features original artwork by David Lynch, Marcel Dzama, Sage Vaughn, Kid Koala, Marilyn Manson, and others.
In 2012, she married comedian and actor David Cross, with whom she had a daughter in February 2017.