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King Kong Theory

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Member Reviews

A good update/translation of a classic. I kept thinking about it for a long time, specially considering the cancelling movement happening currently. A lot of what Virginie develops and examines remains incredibly current a decade later.
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I love reading feminist viewpoints very often. But still I have not read anything like Virginie Despentes’s King Kong Theory. This is an immensely powerful autobiographical feminist manifesto where the author hits out at the patriarchal norms of the society with blistering rational attack. She questions the core of biased social viewpoint that has been rooted deep with faulty ideals, only to shatter it down with sharp criticism. I haven't enjoyed any nonfiction book so much recently as this one.

 I was into the book from very beginning when the author said, “ I write from the realms of the ugly, for the ugly, the old, the bull dykes, the frigid, the unfucked, the unfuckable, the hysterics, the freaks, all those excluded from the great meat market of female flesh. And if I’m starting here it’s because I want to be crystal clear: I’m not here to make excuses, I’m not here to bitch. I wouldn’t swap places with anyone because being Virginie Despentes seems to me a more interesting gig than anything else out there.” Frank Wynne's translation is great to delve into the revolting prose of Despentes.

I loved every bit of author's criticism and viewpoint to the received status of women. I highly recommend this book to any nonfiction fan and also to every feminist scholars and readers. From me this great book is surely a five star read.

It was an ARC from NetGalley and I heartily thank both the Netgalley and Farrar, Straus and Giroux (FSG Originals) for this amazing read.
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My thanks to NetGalley and Farrar, Straus and Giroux for an advanced copy of this collection of essays.

As a man there is no way I can review this book either in a way or saying oh it's great it reaches such literary heights,  or oh it's poorly written so its a bad book. I will state this book is not at all poorly written. Nor as a man should I have any opinion about anything stated in this book. Nobody not male nor female should. This is a book about the author's life, the author's experiences, the author's decisions and the author thinks and feels, at least at the writing. The author is sadly correct on how life is for at least half the population. 

As a person I can say the book was disturbing and uncomfortable, but that is because the book is real. We have too many of seeing and taking in the world and information, too many ways of not hearing something that might make us unsettled, so we watch the news that we agree with, listen to the people we agree with, take in the facts that agree with what we want. 

The author's life, the author's  thoughts, the author's  experiences are real. And the author shares it unflinchingly even as the reader is flinching away in their comfy seat. This is not a book that you find enjoyable, but a book that I kept thinking about well after I finished it.
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“Thank fuck for Courtney Love. In particular. And for punk in general. A penchant for conflict. Under cover of my peroxide-blond hair, I sorted my head out. The monster inside me isn’t going to give up.” 

Punk, feminist essays – served raw. None of that ‘boss babe’ bullshit culture mainstreamed to high-key objectify/low-key domesticate/silently oppress women further to fit into ‘society’. This is the real gold nugget (of feminist writing). Not very inclusive – mostly ‘white’ feminism, but Despentes’ essays are mostly based on/derived from autobiographical accounts of her personal life so I will let that slide. If you’re going to only read one white ‘feminist’ writer, Despentes is alright.
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King Kong Theory is powerful work. The author’s voice, identity, and vision permeates each page. A text to enjoy and share — and be challenged by.
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