So a couple weeks ago I saw the movie Clue for the first time and, hot take: it’s a great movie! Just like, breathtakingly good, and I was so happy to finally have the context for this iconic moment, which also happens to coincide with this week’s books!
Interview with the Vampire – Anne Rice
This book……content-wise starts at an 11 and then just skyrockets to 11 hundred all while remaining narrated by someone who’s constantly at a 2.5? I read it for reasons that honestly do not make any sense to me after having read it…something something ~pop culture~ something something Brad Pitt? Also because one of my favorite podcasts, Overdue, read it in 2017, and I’m trying to work through as much as their backcatalog as I can. So maybe if you’re interested in the book…..just listen to them talk about it??
Rice is a very prolific writer (often known for her erotica) but this may be the book of hers with the most cultural touchpoints, thanks in part to the 1994 movie adaptation. (Which I will….probably watch.) It literally is in the frame of an interview with a vampire, who tells this guy his life/unlife story, which prompted so many moments for me of “wow Stephanie Meyer really just…took a lot from this huh?” I can’t say that the narrator himself was very compelling — when a guy starts out as a plantation owner and then spends most of his life as a vampire feeling conflicted about causing and allowing death but never lifting a single finger to stop it….it’s nearly an impossible sell for me. The book also has a bonkers relationship to sex — it’s never explicit, but as the Overdue guys have a lot of fun saying, has a lot of ~sensuality~ some of which is very very uncomfortable!!
In conclusion…..what even is this book.
Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger – Rebecca Traister
I don’t know if a book has ever made me feel so angry and so validated at the same time!!!
I read one of Traister’s other books, All the Single Ladies, right before starting this blog and loved it a lot. I’m constantly impressed by Traister’s writing, both in books and articles. She’s officially a journalist, but her books are deeply grounded in both history and critical theory while remaining accessibly readable (and she has a great sense of humor!) I was a bit concerned going into the first book that it was going to be mostly focused on white women, with a few sections narratively “off to the side” about women of color, but that is very much not Traister’s deal. In both books, she presents as full and inclusive an analysis as she can, matter-of-factly pointing out ways in which oppression intensifies for women of color and the ways that white women frequently leverage their proximity to white male privilege to intensify that oppression even more, while including the many ways that women of color have lead and pioneered movements.
This book focuses on women’s anger, both in the current moment and historically, the ways that patriarchy and white supremacy both stifle and purposefully mischaracterize that anger, and the many ways in which anger fuels activism. There were so many times reading it that I felt both angry and invigorated and I highly recommend it.
Bye for now! Go watch Clue!