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Rape Jokes by Louise MacGregor
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Rape Jokes (edition 2019)

by Louise MacGregor (Author)

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1271,128,435 (3.86)None
Member:TimBazzett
Title:Rape Jokes
Authors:Louise MacGregor (Author)
Info:Frayed Edge Press (2019), 214 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, rape, women's studies, feminist fiction, louise macgregor

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Rape Jokes by Louise MacGregor

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
It took me a little while to get into this book, it was not really what I was expecting. Although I'm not sure what I actually was expecting. Once I got into it I enjoyed it. It is classified as a romantic comedy, but I wouldn't call it that. I found it to be pretty serious and not all that funny, although there were some funny moments and the romance part was good. I will also say that this book was uncomfortable to read in public. The title causes some eyebrow raising. I felt the need to flip it over when I wasn't reading or tuck it away when I had guests. However, every single person who did see the title questioned me about it, so I guess that's good marketing. Nobody ever reacts to run of the mill book titles the way I saw people react to this one. I think a lot of people who have personal experience with this topic would benefit from reading it. ( )
  Kdichard09 | Jun 16, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Author: Louise McGregor
Published: 2019
Format: paperback (giveaway)
Pages: 205

This was a LibraryThing giveaway.

Thumbs up because the publisher is based in my hometown.

Cons:

1) The title, which I get, but I got a lot of looks while reading this in public.
2) The entirety of the book is in first person which does make sense for the story being told, but I loathe first person perspective.
3) Some of the situations were so convoluted they were comical.

Pros:
1) The story was told from the victim's point of view.
2) She had a good support system.
3) She didn't instantly know what to do and how to feel.
4) She didn't have instant closure.

We watched as our protagonist, Edie, figured out what actually happed to her and saw how she navigated everday life as a survivor of rape.

Her life fell apart a little too spectacularly for my tastes, but we did watch her work to put it all back together again, which didn't happen instantly. She had to learn how to fuction as a friend, a worker, a love interest and just Edie again.

It wasn't a great read, but it was very good. I would definitely check out more from the author a d publisher in future. ( )
  Virago77 | May 31, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
"But instead, I felt the opposite. Mired down. Like I had let myself fall deeper into the swamp of bad feeling that I had been wallowing in the last few weeks."

I received this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.

I want to start this review off with everything I enjoyed about this book. While there were a few issues I had with Rape Jokes, it was not enough to keep me from giving it a four star rating. Overall, it was a very enjoyable read, and one that I feel was important.

The first thing I loved about this book was how accurate and relatable it was. The novel addresses how hard it is to say the word rape after the event happens, how even a comforting touch becomes panic-inducing, the constant searching for some sign you gave that could have been seen as a "yes," and the mixed feelings of sadness and relief when you meet someone who has been through the same thing. I felt that Edie didn't filter any of the thoughts and feelings that happen after such an event. It made it easier to read and gave a realistic portrayal of people's minds after rape. I found the rape scene at the beginning to be slightly triggering to me, but being able to read a novel like this was, overall, therapeutic. It really gave me a character to relate to. I also think it's important for people who haven't been through such an event to read books like this, as it gives them a better understanding of friends and family who have been through this.

I also really enjoyed the relationships that Edie had throughout the novel. Her friends were very supportive, and i genuinely enjoyed reading their interactions. I also loved Philip. He was very understanding. At first, Edie had a difficult time admitting to him what had happened, but in the end he was very supportive of her. This not only made the novel more realistic but gave it a more positive note.

Farther along in the novel, Edie is assaulted by her co-worker, Dominic, as well. I liked that MacGregor included this. When you read it, it seems like an unlikely event. However, multiple sexual assaults happening to one person isn't that uncommon. It makes the reader think about their first opinions more deeply.

One thing I was not a fan of was the sex. I'm not opposed to reading sexy scenes in a book, but to me it seemed very out of place. Of course, getting back into her sexual life was a major part of the novel, but I just didn't feel that it was well done. I didn't love how detailed it was. I guess a part of that was the shock factor: how one can go from feeling sexy and excited to being in a complete panic or in pain the next. But, the scenes that were written just didn't sit right with me.

I also don't love the name Rape Jokes. In the summary on the back, it says that Edie uses humor to help her deal with her situation. However, Edie never really jokes at all during the book. There is no real indication that she uses her humor to help herself get through her rough times. There is a certain shock factor to the name Rape Jokes, but it was more of a negative shock than a positive one.

Overall, I loved the book. I would recommend this to anyone who needs comfort in finding a situation they can relate to, or to anyone who wants to open their eyes a little more as to what other people are going through. ( )
  RavenNight | May 20, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Rape Jokes was an intense but rewarding read. First off, let me forewarn that, unsurprisingly, this book can be triggering. But, as a survivor, I can also attest that I found it deeply relatable and empowering.

The story tells the tale of a woman named Edie and her struggle to reclaim her life after coming to terms with the fact that she was raped. The story does not gloss over Edie's difficulties - the reader follows along on Edie's emotional rollercoaster, her interactions with other people in the aftermath, and her burgeoning career working with music artists. The struggles she encounters feel very raw and real, and MacGregor does an excellent job helping the read to empathize and/or sympathize with Edie.

It feels odd to say that this book is refreshing, but in a way, it is. I'm so used to seeing rape in books, movies, etc. just as a plot device - a way to tug at the reader's heartstrings, flare up emotions, make a good guy a hero, or a bad guy a really horrible human being. But here, the rape just... was. It was pivotal to Edie's story without being embellished for dramatic effect.

I will admit that the title was a bit off-putting, and a bit confusing. It definitely has a way of catching a potential reader's attention, and it will certainly spark some additional dialogue. But, while the book is seen as a bit of a romantic comedy, it wasn't really super joke-y. It had its lighthearted and humorous moments, but it didn't quite fit the image I had in mind from the title and initial description.

I also felt that the events in Edie's life tested the limits of what is believable in a story that generally feels very real, so that occasionally pulled me away from the narrative a little. Edie seemed extremely unfortunate to undergo three separate non-consensual sexual occurrences in just a few months' time (though, sadly, I could absolutely envision the HR scene playing out the way it did in real life). I also do not know much about the music industry, but it seemed like she got the ball rolling on setting up her own label extremely quickly.

That being said, for me, the positives far outweighed the negatives, and I flew through this book. It is a short read, but not a light read. I would certainly recommend it to any survivors of rape that feel they are ready to pick up a novel with this as a central plot thread, but I would also recommend it to anyone who wishes they could have a better understanding of what it is like to go through something so traumatic. I applaud MacGregor for writing this book, and I'm very glad I had the opportunity to read it. ( )
  Caltania | May 17, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
RAPE JOKES. I know, I know. It's an off-putting, creepy title, and misleading too. Because rape is not funny, and there are no jokes here either. Louise MacGregor's novel is a deadly serious, not at all funny look at an issue that's always been with us, and, sadly, is not likely to go away anytime soon. Rape is, in fact, a very serious crime, but one that too often goes unreported.

RAPE JOKES is the unhappy story of Edie, a college grad, rising record label talent scout, single, mid-twenties, who likes a good time, maybe drinks a little too much at times, who is quite brutally raped by a guy she's dated a couple times. She doesn't go to the police, doesn't confront the culprit, and only tells a few close friends - one of them a confirmed lesbian, and another who, it turns out, was also raped, when still in high school (and never told anyone).

The story follows Edie through the next several months as she tries to cope with the traumatic after-effects of the rape. She suffers debilitating flashbacks, tries self-medicating with alcohol, alternates between rage and terror, starts seeing a therapist, and loses her job. She also meets "the perfect guy."

RAPE JOKES is very much a story of our times, and almost certainly a product of the #metoo movement and the Trump era. I am sure it will find a wide audience among women, and that - if it is read and discussed - it will be very controversial. Because probably even women will argue about Edie's plight. But I think men need to read this book too, no matter how wince-worthy they may find it. And believe me, as a 75 year-old white male who came of age in the sixties, I winced plenty. It's a different world out there now, men, and you'd better pay attention!

I read this book in just a few sittings over a single day. It's compelling, and a bit on the erotic side at times. Four stars means "I liked" the book. That's a stretch. I was too busy wincing, remembering dating behavior from fifty-some years ago. And I was also a bit put off by all the casual obscenity, but maybe that's just generational. The ending seemed just a little too pat for my taste. But it's too important a book to only give it three stars - so, a "wincing four stars" from this old fart. Don't be fooled by the poorly chosen title. Read this book.

- Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER ( )
  TimBazzett | May 14, 2019 |
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