Cover Image: Rebent Sinner

Rebent Sinner

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Member Reviews

I enjoyed this book, but not as much as previous Ivan Coyote titles, so I decided not to review it at the Lesbrary.

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A beautiful book with delightfully experimental structure that reflects a unique way of seeing the world. Treats everybody with compassion, even those who are not encountered in their best moments. Presents a vision for living kindly in a world that is not always kind.

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I read this as a physical book when it first came out a couple years ago and it was a delight to listen to the audio. Ivan Coyote is one of my favourite authors and storytellers, so their narration of this was perfect.

This is a short little book with lots of very short stories. A few snippets from a trip to the grocery store, an encounter on the sidewalk in East Van, a short conversation with their uncle. So many little bits of their life and so very, very queer.

Ivan is such an incredible storyteller, and I think I actually prefer their non-fiction titles to their fiction ones, though both are excellent. But absolutely nothing can top seeing them perform live. A few years ago I was lucky enough to see them perform their Tomboy Survival Guide live and it was incredible. I can’t recommend their live performances enough.

Anyway, lovey little book, highly recommend.

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This is my first time reading this authors and while intense/heart wrenching it is also relevant and the stories go deep. It was a pleasure to also here the words told by the author.

Very thankfully to have the opportunity to read this, and I connected with a lot the stories Ivan told. Being in the community is already hard enough, but being under the transgender/non-binary arches, especially in our society is a lot harder.

I was honestly a little surprised at how short the title was, and I wish there was even more.

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I have loved Ivan's work since the mid-90s. I have read many of their books and seen them speak numerous times and was, as always, immediately sucked into Rebent Sinner. The audiobook is the perfect way to read this. Is it their voice? Is that what draws me in? So comforting and so profound and so loving even when saying things that are hard and scary and dark. I walked all over East Vancouver while listening to this audiobook, recognizing the places Ivan mentions and feeling a pull to go further into the North than I've ever been before.

An easy life is the exception to the rule, and Ivan makes me feel okay about that. And while my pain is different than theirs there is comfort and hope in community. Highly recommended.

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I listened to the audiobook. I think it's cool that the author was able to narrate their own audiobook since it is a memoir, but I did think that the narration was a bit monotone and slow. I think the content was very interesting though. It's hard to critique someone's own life or own stories. I think a lot of it worked really well, but I also think some of the stories were short or felt like they didn't serve a purpose to the greater whole of the message. Overall, I think this is a nice little audiobook, especially if someone is looking for something a little shorter to listen to.

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First of all, thank you to Netgalley and Bespeak Audio Editors for the opportunity to listen to an audiobook of this, it was a real pleasure.

This is actually the first of Ivan Coyote's work that I've read, which I now realise means I've been missing out on so much! They write so well, so thoughtfully, methodically and emotionally. I know the last two might seem to cancel each other out but they truly don't. Coyote writes from the heart but I also felt a real sense of understanding as a trans ally. Heck, I am very close to some trans people - and this just reminded me how very different everyone's experiences are.

Rebent Sinner is a collection of (personal) essays, anecdotes, short stories, letters, and other memoir-type material; it's almost like a patchwork quilt. Each piece is fascinating and brilliant at the same time, and is transformed when you look at it is a whole. The joy of the varied writing is you are constantly made to rethink your perspective, which is entirely the point of such a piece of writing.

Despite many micro (or larger) aggressions, emotional trauma and generally quite hard-going stuff, I really appreciated Coyote's use of humour. It helped me to put things in perspective when I occasionally misgender people (of course, this doesn't mean I will stop trying to always use people's preferred gender, but it may allow me to cut down on the hours angsting afterwards. Misgendering does happen, even from the best-hearted people).

I really appreciated the explanations of anxiety - specifically about toilets, with some startling statistics about how many times you're likely to use a public bathroom! - because I feel that I may have gained a greater understanding. When I am with transgender people and they are misgendered in bathrooms specifically, it is difficult to know how to respond. I'm not saying that Coyote has given me all the answers, and of course I will never understand truly, being cis-gendered, but I appreciate the detailed explanation of the whole miasma of feelings, the exhaustion of it all. I do hope things will change...

There's also a lot of social commentary sprinkled throughout the text, which I enjoyed. I'd like to explore more of Coyote's work; their discussion of LGTBQIA+ elders resonated particularly with me, and I wonder if they have written anything more on it?

The book was narrated by the author - perfect! - but I think this probably works better as a physical book (hence the lower rating). Seeing the different formats on the page may have helped with a few cases of slight confusion, that's all.

Definitely recommend.

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I had never heard of Ivan before this but I'm so glad I do know now! Their writing is really beautiful and really balances the hard-hitting with the humor. This style of book with sort of memoir vignettes and anecdotes was really fun and works well with their writing style. Some parts are the sort of comedic slice of life that I feel would fit very well with a standup show. But while there is a lot of humor, Ivan writes with so much care about everything they've been through— now that they are older, it's seasoned with a lot of perspective and wisdom concerning what it's like to like as a trans and nonbinary through years of social change and so many different experiences.

Ivan themselves narrates the audiobook which I always always love, and this one felt particularly special and personal. This little book is really a look into their personality and life as an older queer person and having them give voice to that in the audiobook felt like they were telling me their stories, person to person. I absolutely want to check out more by Ivan since this was such a lovely read!

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this book.

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Perhaps this isn't the best entry point into Ivan Coyote's work. Or perhaps Ivan Coyote's work is not for me.

My expectation was that this would be a memoir with commentary on the trans experience and the issues trans people face. And it was? But also wasn't. Instead it was a series of nonlinear slices of life told in incredibly short snippets. Often in those snippets Coyote relates an uncomfortable experience resulting in discrimination because they are trans. But sometimes those snippets featured mundane things, like walking their dog or going to the grocery store. While the overall theme seems to be the trans experience, there is little to no commentary or insight linking one snippet to another, or linking these snippets to the broader issues that trans people must confront. It's more like a meandering retelling of everyday moments. A friend likened it to reading short entries in a stranger's journal at random, and I agree with that.

This is an intimate work and I think having prior knowledge of Coyote and their work may have benefitted me here. Fans will likely love this but newcomers like me may find it difficult to penetrate.

I listened to the audiobook. The audiobook is narrated by the author. I think this gives the listener insight into Coyote's personality and makes this a more intimate work.

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I was not aware of Ivan or their work before picking up this audiobook, but I am very interested in hearing from trans and/non-binary voices. The book is not a linear story or autobiography, more a series of short anecdotes, stories and quips. Mainly related to the authors experience of life in their own body and how their meer existence bring up so many challenges for themself but also for others.

I really enjoyed this. It made me see things from a completely different perspective. Especially when it comes to public bathrooms and their usage. As a gay man I have my own hangups about public bathrooms, but nothing compared to what Ivan (and I'm assuming a lot of other trans people) have to endure. I endeavour to have more empathy, kindness and understanding for all people, especially those who just want the freedom to be themselves and I feel that this book helped me along the way to being that.

My only negatives are that I wanted more! Also the author narrated this themselves and while I enjoyed hearing thier words out of their own mouth, they do have a kind of staccato style of speaking here thag at times took me out of the moment.

All in all this is highly recommended to anyone who wants to understand another's perspective on the world.

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As always, I absolutely adore Ivan’s writing and their stories. I love even more when I get to hear them tell said stories instead of simply reading them on my own.

NetGalley gave me the ARC for the Audiobook, and I am so grateful that they did.

Listening to this book, hearing Ivan read their stories and hearing the emotion behind them gives such an added depth to the experience. These stories are heartfelt, inspiring, heartbreaking, and insightful.

I honestly don’t think there’s a book by Ivan that I don’t love.

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