Sunday, 6 April 2014
HELP! A Bear is Eating Me! by Mykle Hansen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If you've ever read the Knitter's Circle Rapist Annihilation Squad, this book is a lot like that: hyperbolic stream-of-consciousness-ranting, for the most part. However, unlike the Knitter's Circle Rapist Annihilation Squad, this book is a lot more concerning in that it strikes a lot closer to home.
Marv, our narrator and primary character, is a terrible human being and doesn't even realize it. He is the epitome of deranged male aggression and misogyny. He honestly believes that his actions are reasonable. He's a sociopath.
While intentionally hyperbolic, the thing I found most uncomfortable about this book, is that it doesn't seem too far off from what men, and some women, could actually be thinking. Everything Marv says explicitly is being said implicitly - and sometimes explicitly as well - by our media and society at large. The rub being we're in Marv's head in this book. The things he says out loud to his wife and colleagues could be said by anyone, and it concerns me that the thoughts he's having in this book are more common than we want to admit among men.
As a feminist, I think this book does a service by highlighting the ludicrous male aggression and alpha requirements we have in place for success in our society that breed unnecessarily sociopathic behaviours in men. The satire is on point - it's hyperbolic enough to make its point, but close enough to truth to make you a little uncomfortable.
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