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***Please be aware this is a book club discussion, so there is the possibility that my review or the comments left by others will contain spoilers***
Award-winning comedian Sara Pascoe takes us on an entertaining tour of the female body. She investigates why women do the things they do and what it is that biologically drives them. Sara weaves in biographical stories from her own life through out the book to illustrate female behaviour.
My Quick Review
There are some books that I find funny, but don’t actually make me laugh. Then there are books that are funny and make me laugh out loud so much that I cannot be trusted to read them in public. Animal is of the latter definition. I first heard of this book when Sara was a guest on Adam Buxton’s podcast (if you haven’t listened to these podcasts- do. Adam has the the funniest and most interesting guests on). She passionately talked about the book and I thought it sounded fascinating. I wasn’t wrong. Whilst I knew some of the information about the female body, there was plenty that I was not aware of. Even if you are someone that is an expert on the female body and our behaviour, it would still be a captivating and entertaining read.
Sara’s writing is very engaging and her own personal stories whilst always very funny, have a lot of emotion attached them. I found her stories regarding her grandmothers particularly emotive. Then there was Sara’s story of when she first had her period, which is quite frankly one the funniest stories that I have ever read.
On a more serious note, Sara’s book covers lots of sensitive subjects and whilst at times she approaches them with humour, she is also very contemplative about them. She raises important issues such as consent, sex education and abortion. The chapters on consent were quite hard to read and I found at times upsetting. Nevertheless, Sara makes valid and important points and they absolutely need to be discussed. Much like some stand-up comedy, Sara has a way of luring you into her discussion on a subject with humour and then once she’s got your attention she goes on to empathise her opinions with sincerity. Most of which, I vehemently agreed with.
The only vague criticism I would have of the book, is Sara’s occasional assumptions that the reader of the book is much younger than I am. I think she thought only teenagers or people in their 20s would choose to read the book. However, I feel this book is definitely for people of all ages (and decidedly for both men and women). Who doesn’t appreciate a well-written, hilarious, profound and captivating book?
May’s book is This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel. I’ll be starting the conversation for this on Monday 4th June.
A list of all the books we’ll be reading for the first half of 2018 can be found here
I’ve finally sorted out my Goodreads page, so as a few people have asked, you can view it here