Any Man by Amber Tamblyn
***Trigger Warning for violent sexual assault.***
Any Man by Amber Tamblyn was a brutal and intense look at how we treat those who have been victimized by sexual assault. A serial rapist who goes by the name of Maud is hunting men. She looks for them online, in bars, and breaks in to their homes and what she does to the men is horrific and traumatizing. Somehow, Maud is able to commit these crimes without ever leaving any trace of evidence-except for one terrifying piece and the police spend a decade searching for her. But Maude is never caught and her story is never told. Tamblyn only gives us the stories of the men-told through journal entries, online chats, therapy sessions, and nightmares. We see how society treats their attacks as less than serious because they’re men and shouldn’t be able to have this inflicted on them. We are shown how family members and friends alienate them as more gruesome details of their attacks surface. At one point, our main character Donald has to explain to his young son what happened to him and it was absolutely heartbreaking.
The book is told using many different types of writing styles-journal entries, online chats, and one section that was the most disturbing to me. Tamblyn includes an entire section of tweets about the attacks that was absolutely chilling to read. Tweets from celebrities and news hosts received the most retweets and comments and those from police departments seeking help in find attackers received zero interactions. Absolutely chilling to realize this is how real life plays out.
This novel was absolutely gripping-I read it in one sitting and couldn’t put it down. While it’s an amazing piece of writing, please only read this if you feel safe doing so.
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