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Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American…

Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession (original 2018; edition 2018)

by Alice Bolin (Author)

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2711197,688 (2.94)10
"A collection of sharp, poignant essays that expertly blends the personal and political in an exploration of American culture through the lens of our obsession with dead women"--
Title:Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession
Authors:Alice Bolin (Author)
Info:William Morrow Paperbacks (2018), 288 pages
Collections:Your library

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Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession by Alice Bolin (2018)


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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
I enjoyed reading this book. Bolin is great at personal essays and cultural criticism. She left some questions unanswered though. My review for Broadly digs into that: https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/evkavz/dead-girls-book-alice-bolin

( )
  beckyrenner | Aug 3, 2023 |
This was a tough one to get through. I was so intrigued by the premise of the book but shortly after beginning, I felt I had been misled. Instead of essays about popular culture and recurring themes of Dead Girls, I feel like I read a sporadically put together hodgepodge of a memoir pulled from the pages of the author’s diary. Bolin is a good writer, but the supposed basic premise of this book is utterly lost in a mostly narcissistic listing of her perceived talents and abilities, sprinkled liberally with the idea that anyone who disagrees with her about anything is wrong and possibly not a good person. Oh, and by the way, she’s sad most of the time. That’s my basic take away from this book.

The essays themselves tried to cover too many ideas at the same time, making each one a bit of a jumble that I caught myself having to go back and re-read because I just gave up and skipped half a page out of sheer irritation. Heavy sighs became the soundtrack to my time spent reading, and it was only my fervent (albeit misplaced) hope that it would get better that kept me reading.

Also, according to these essays, I’m a bad person because I thoroughly enjoy a Dead Girl book, the darker and more twisty the better, so there’s that. ( )
  kiaweathersby | Sep 16, 2020 |
I picked up this book thinking it’ll be a feminist analysis of a “dead girl” trope so much of the media we consume utilizes, and it is that, but also so much more.

Bolin’s voice is clear and meditative, her essays calm and deeply incisive, almost philosophical. It somehow combines Los Angeles, reality TV, turning into a werewolf as a metaphor for female puberty, witches, white feminism and conceptual art.

Since I’m not American, some of the details Bolin was referencing went completely over my head, but this was in no way detrimental to my enjoyment. ( )
  tetiana.90 | Apr 28, 2020 |
I read this for the "An Author You've Never Heard Of Before" part of my 2019 reading challenge. Not my style. The beginning where she's comparing the use of women in pop culture was ok, after that it felt like it dissolved into her biography of moving to LA and the books she's read. ( )
  Linyarai | Feb 16, 2020 |
I received this book for free as part of an Instagram tour (TLC Book Tours specifically) I did to promote the book.

Despite the title, this isn’t really a book about dead girls. It’s more a book about girls in pop culture, but also a book about the author’s experiences in LA. However, even that doesn’t seem to adequately describe this book. It’s kind of just a collection of essays that are very loosely connected.

Basically, I felt a bit confused by this collection. The essays themselves were sometimes very interesting, but there just wasn’t a strong enough theme to connect them all together.

Also, some of the essays themselves were a little disjointed. For example, “The Daughter as Detective,” started out as an essay about a book series her dad liked, then ended up discussing whether her father could possibly have Asperger’s syndrome. Not at all where I thought it was going to go.

I did like some of the essays, like “Lonely Heart” which explores Britney Spears. I was also happy to see Lana Del Rey mentioned, since she alludes to the dead girl trope a lot in her music. However, I wish the book went deeper into her. The 3 page analysis of her was not sufficient.

Lastly, the final essay, “Accomplices,” was a mess. I was ready to give this book 3 stars and then I read this essay and had to drop it to 2. I just didn’t get it. It was very long, seemed to try to cover too much, and didn’t really touch upon dead girls at all. It felt more like an afterthought.

Overall, a few well-written essays can’t save this jumbled collection. ( )
  oddandbookish | Jul 21, 2019 |
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