Sunday 10 September 2017

Book Review: The Geek Feminist Revolution; Kameron Hurley.

I'm definitely trying to read more non-fiction this year, and this book was one I really wanted to read because I consider myself to be a very 'geeky' girl. I used to get bullied over it, now I embrace it. But while I did like aspects of this book, I didn't end up taking from it what I wanted to, which was a shame.

SOURCE: Bought
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: The Geek Feminist Revolution
AUTHOR: Kameron Hurley
PAGES: 288
GENRE: Non-Fiction, Essays, Auto-Biography

RATING: 3/5 Stars

A powerful collection of essays on feminism, geek culture, and a writer’s journey, from one of the most important new voices in genre.

The Geek Feminist Revolution is a collection of essays by double Hugo Award-winning essayist and science fiction and fantasy novelist Kameron Hurley.

The book collects dozens of Hurley’s essays on feminism, geek culture, and her experiences and insights as a genre writer, including “We Have Always Fought,” which won the 2014 Hugo for Best Related Work. The Geek Feminist Revolution will also feature several entirely new essays written specifically for this volume.

What I Liked:
  • Hurley's passion and raw anger was truly stirring in this collection. It carried through from beginning to end and it's my favourite 'type' of feminism because, as she puts it, trying to constantly be civil and educational in your approach doesn't always get you anywhere. The swearing, the rage, the opinionated but logical mindset. I loved it.
  • I really worried about a lack of diversity in this book written by a white woman, but I needn't have. Hurley does a tremendous job of acknowledging her privilege and seeing how PoCs (and the LGBT+ community) have it one hundred times worse. She looks at her own past mistakes when it comes to being diverse and her constant desire to do better, which is something we all want in the end.
What I Disliked:
  • I really felt that while I expected a collection of essays on the titled topics, what I got was more autobiographical. This would have been fine, but it was so repetitive. I didn't feel that Hurley had connected them very well, and she treated each one as an individual meaning I got the same facts about her over and over again (yes, I get it, you loved 80s lone wolf action heroes...). It was pretty frustrating.
  • Hurley mentions (numerous times) that while she's a writer, she also works in advertising. This clearly came through, as she spends a lot of the book advocating her own work. It felt, at times, like an advertising campaign and self promotion rather than the 'revolution' I was expecting. Confidence is good, but this was pretty arrogant a lot of the time.
Overall Conclusion:
Meh. This was a promising book with a good message: Geeks, feminists, unite and fight against the oppressive patriarchy! The anger and emotion that Hurley wrote into her essays, as well as her referenced works and sources (though those footnotes were messy) were impressive and the best parts of the book, that's for sure. However, the constant self-promotion, repetition and 'look how my hardships I've suffered' attitude did wear on me a little bit. I wasn't expecting an auto-biography or reviews for various media and that's what I got from this more than anything.

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