In her blazingly original and unforgettable debut novel “Any Man”, Amber Tamblyn brings to startling life a specter of sexual violence in the shadowy form of Maude, a serial female rapist who preys on men.
Tamblyn blends genres of poetry, prose, and elements of suspense to give shape to the shocking narratives of victims of sexual violence, mapping the destructive ways in which our society perpetuates rape culture.
This is easily one of the best books I have ever read. Hands down. Period.
I chose the audio edition of this book because of its full cast narrative. This is the only way to go in my opinion, but honestly there’s no going wrong when deciding to pick up this book in the first place.
It’s beautiful, provocative, emotional, demanding, and heart wrenching every step of the way.
Any Man is an intense read well worth the ride. This book is beautiful and real giving an inside journey to the aftermath of sexual assault. It’s just the book that this generation and this era needs. Thank you, Amber Tamblyn, for bringing to light the things that no one wants to talk about, in your own alluring way.
Each character brings a new perspective and a new way of dealing with the emotional trauma that follows them after their sexual assault by the spectral figure that is “Maude” the serial rapist.
Father, Donald Ellis, brings about the quiet and tortured cave that becomes his life after he is the first of Maude’s many victims. We witness him struggling to explain his situation to his children and his constant struggle to remain the man his wife married. Donald’s story is authentic and heartbreaking, relatable in the fact that the emotions he expresses are ones we can all relate to in our darkest ways.
“I asked myself if I had deserved this. I convinced myself that I did. And it wasn’t hard to. I live in a country built on celebritizing it’s citizens grief and amplifying stories of violence and assault for political gain.”
Tamblyn brings to attention the side of sexual assault that most people choose to ignore. Men can be raped. Men can be sexually assaulted. Men can be victims. In the era of the “me too” movement and many victims finding their voices, I believe this book is an important part of our history as a country and a modern society. Tamblyn’s characters demand to be heard and understood. She has a beautiful and artistic way about her writing that gives her readers high hopes for her next novel.
While this book is graphic and holds many trigger warnings, it’s one that everyone needs to read. Any Man will open your eyes and help you to understand the world we are currently living in. It’s ever changing and honestly disturbing but the more we shield our eyes from it, the worse off we will all be.
Following Tamblyn on social media, she’s not shy about the controversy her novel Any Man has faced since debuting in June 2018. Things like hate emails claiming to be “just a humble man’s opinion” telling her to return to the screen and “leave the writing for people who are better at it.”
The truth is, this book is ground breaking and historical. And those, ladies and gentlemen, are just the facts.