#Review – Any Man: A Novel by Amber Tamblyn

“An explosive, shapeshifting piece of literary real estate, Amber Tamblyn’s arresting debut offers a scathing portrait of American celebrity culture and the way in which it transmutes human tragedy into a vicious circus; victims are forgotten as likes and shares swirl, and ‘news’ becomes a squalid orgy, a lurid feast. Tamblyn takes every risk in this astonishing and innovative work, and succeeds, gloriously.”
   — Janet Fitch, bestselling author of The Revolution of Marina M. and Paint It Black

Vanity Fair’s Summer Ultimate Fiction List

Entertainment Weekly Summer Preview List

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.

I was on TikTok one day and came across an account that said this book disgusted her, so of course, I had to grab it. Now I will admit that it took me a moment before I realized this author is the actress Amber Tamblyn. I’m a tad slow. Lol!

So I went into this book blind. I didn’t even bother reading the blurb. This book is also written in a way I’ve never read before, which I find very interesting and I quite enjoyed.

It’s told from 5 different male perspectives. All victims of sexual abuse – Also, please know that this book is filled with possible triggers, no matter what you identify as, so please read with caution. It’s NOT for the faint of heart. Also, this is NOT a romance. So if that’s not your thing, skip past this as well.

The villian in this story is a woman, which I don’t know about you but you don’t see that much, so it’s almost scarier in a way. She brutalizes these men in the worst way possible. Just reading these scenes made me feel icky. It’s highly disturbing what these guys go through.

The story is also about these men trying to heal from their abuse. They band together, form a support group, and so on. They just want to move on but how can you?

I started this review while reading this book and now that I’m done, I’m left feeling…just…wow. This was no easy book and definitely one that I’ll be thinking about for awhile.

I highly recommend it but please please please read with caution if you have triggers. I don’t but there were parts that made even me uncomfortable at times.

I hope Amber writes more books like this because just…wow.

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