Booklist Reviews 2019 October #1
Almost as soon as the #MeToo movement started, critics (men) were asking, has it gone too far? Isn't asking men to be responsible for their words and actions a little much? It's turning into a witch hunt, they said. Yes, says New York Times columnist West (Shrill, 2016): We're witches, and we're hunting you. In her characteristic tone that embraces both a clear-eyed explanation of injustice and slightly manic pop-culture (and poop) jokes, the essays here cover memes, abortion, Adam Sandler movies, and the framing of women's anger as hysteria. Throughout, she exposes the temper tantrum currently being thrown by those in power who refuse to acknowledge the world is changing: people who don't like rape jokes are performing censorship; identity politics are for snowflakes; Prius drivers are lame, and who cares if burning fossil fuels is destroying the planet? She also has choice words for the president and the people who put him in office. Equal parts hilarious and sobering, West's words will help fellow witches articulate why they are so fired up (YES!). HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: West had a huge following before Shrill was adapted for Hulu, and her reach—and her relevance—continues to grow. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2019 June
Countering the notion that feminism has gone too far, West looks at Donald Trump, Adam Sandler, and pop culture generally to investigate how deeply patriarchy is embedded in American life. Just what you'd expect from the celebrated New York Times columnist and the best-selling author Shrill (now a Hulu series). With a 75,000-copy first printing.
Copyright 2019 Library Journal.
LJ Reviews 2019 October
The term witch hunt has become a popular rallying cry for many on the political right, most recently employed by those who stand accused of anything ranging from making insensitive jokes to committing sexual assault. It's a favorite expression of President Trump, reminds New York Times journalist West (Shrill) in this sharp, up-to-the-minute, witty collection of essays. Here, West reclaims the phrase, embracing it as a mantra in the ongoing fight against the misogyny, racism, transphobia, and xenophobia ever present in American culture. West's commentary often finds unexpected connections. For example, her examination of Grumpy Cat is a lens through which we can understand how Americans are "addicted to plausible deniability," and ready to embrace obvious lies to avoid reckoning with the original sins of our country's founding. Or her devastating critique of Joan Rivers, who pushed against certain forms of bias in the entertainment industry while ruthlessly enforcing others. VERDICT Covering everything from the 2016 election and #metoo to abortion rights and fat-positive body representation to the climate crisis, West's latest will have progressive readers, especially longtime followers of her work, nodding along, quoting passages to friends. Hand to fans of Rebecca Traister, Ijeoma Oluo, and Roxane Gay. [See Prepub Alert, 5/13/19.]—Kiera Parrott, Library Journal & School Library Journal
Copyright 2019 Library Journal.
PW Reviews 2019 September #3
Cultural critic West (Shrill) focuses her keen eye and sardonic sense of humor on, among other topics, misogyny in the Trumpian political landscape; the backlash to the #MeToo movement; and Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle brand, Goop. The book's title is a call to action against men who defensively label #MeToo a "witch hunt"; West gleefully declares, "We're witches, and we're hunting you." In "Ted Bundy Was Not Charming—Are You High?" she notes that even serial killers and con artists receive the "institutional benefit of the doubt" afforded to straight white men, yet female political candidates such as Elizabeth Warren are held to an impossible standard of "likability." In subsequent essays, West takes South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone to task for promoting the "human-extinction-level dangerous" notion that the far right and the far left are equally stupid, and admonishes comedians Adam Corolla and Louis C.K. for relying on offensive jokes and pandering to conservatives. Some of West's targets (Goop's "resident shaman"; Ivanka Trump's recipe for success: "Love what you do, and work really, really hard") are a little easy, and she's preaching to the choir on issues such as sexism and climate change. Though this is a different kind of book than the more personal Shrill, fans of West's trademark wit and sharp tongue will be satisfied. (Nov.)
Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.