Men Explain Things to Me

Narrated by: Luci Christian Bell
Length: 2 hrs and 47 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1,230 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In Men Explain Things to Me, Rebecca Solnit takes on the conversations between men who wrongly assume they know things and wrongly assume women don't. The ultimate problem, she shows in her comic, scathing essay, is female self-doubt and the silencing of women. Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of 14 books about civil society, popular power, uprisings, art, environment, place, pleasure, politics, hope, and memory, most recently The Faraway Nearby, a book on empathy and storytelling. She is a Harper's Magazine contributing editor.

©2014 Rebecca Solnit (P)2014 Audible Inc.
What members say
Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great read - horrible performance

If you could sum up Men Explain Things to Me in three words, what would they be?

Solnit is incredible!

What did you like best about this story?

Solnit is a great feminist thinker who brilliantly links deep ecology with a radical and urgent understanding of inequality and sexism.

What didn’t you like about Luci Christian Bell’s performance?

Bell's singsong voice and inappropriately high tones while speaking about rape and the horrible consequences of sexism was incredibly annoying. As Bell read grim statistics on rape, domestic abuse, and physical violence, I couldn't help but think that she was smiling. The gleeful tone in which she read was off putting and counter to the message.

42 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Abandoning to Read Instead

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would absolutely make this book required reading. But I can't really recommend it as an audiobook because the narrator is so ill-fitting that it's distracting and imposes a vastly different impression than the one you can reasonably assume the author intended.

How could the performance have been better?

The narrator sounds like she's selling spa packages on a hotel channel. Totally inappropriate for the subject matter and authorial voice.

36 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, poor recording

Loved this book. As a feminist, it confirmed many of my feelings, but it also taught me some new things, and I also think it could be accessible to some open-minded moderates and even conservatives.

But the performance was terrible. This reader was so perky-sounding, reading nearly every word with an audible smile on her face. Even when reading rape and murder statistics!! Not a fan of the performance.

40 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, terrible narration

This book turned out to be so much more than playful anecdotes about male condescension. Men Explain Things to Me was a powerful account of the state of women's affairs nationally, here in our back yard, and throughout the world.

Unfortunately, I felt the narration and delivery were completely inappropriate and did not do this book justice. Bell read off soul crushing statistics and tales of rape with a bubbly cheerfulness that made me cringe. It was painful to get through this audio book for that reason, making me wish I'd just read it the old fashioned way...on my Kindle :)

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An overall change in perspective

Although I did not give it five stars overall- the story is worth five if not more. There are a lot of hard-hitting topics that drive the point home and covers the entire spectrum of female inferiority in today's culture and society. There were some stats that were hard to stomach and almost made me want to stop reading but ultimately the message was worth it. These are unpleasant truths that need to be told and read and understood by all.

On a very separate random note unless I hear the narratoris voice doing the audio recording; I feel like I tend to not like the books more with a different narrator. It's almost as if a friend was telling an acquaintance my story but passing it off as their own- there's a kind of ingenuity that isn't there.

Otherwise great book and I will definitely listen to it again to catch anything I may have missed while being squeamish!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Very superficial

What would have made Men Explain Things to Me better?

The essays deal with very complex issues while making misguided analogies and generalizations. I liked the essay that gives the book the title, but that is available online. I felt there was no nuance to the analysis of the issues being addressed. I read in a Goodreads review by someone else, and I agree, that the author sacrifices depth and accuracy for the sake of literary style.

How could the performance have been better?

It could be less rigid

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Wandering and pointless

The first chapter was somewhat interesting. Then it devolved into wandering lists of factoids and quotations of Virginia Wolf and lots of references to herself and her other books. She was trying to make some points about feminism but it just wasn’t very strong.
The narrator has a pleasant voice but has almost a smile in her voice while narrating about horrible crimes, which seemed entirely inappropriate.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Strong, powerful writing read as if to babies.

This reader is utterly inappropriate for this book. Her cutesy, sing-song reading undermines the work.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Siri reads a book.

Would you try another book from Rebecca Solnit and/or Luci Christian Bell?

Maybe, if the title wasn't as misleading as this one was. I was expecting a book about why men mansplain, not a series of dated essays about whatever seemed to be on the author's mind at the time.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The prologue and the first chapter or two. After that it went off the rails, morphing into blank verse type attempt at figurative literature and failed. The use of "women's work" topics like hanging the laundry was more suited to a Lifetime movie. Maybe it was supposed to be satire.

What didn’t you like about Luci Christian Bell’s performance?

She sounded like Siri or a young girl trying to be very serious. Came off as someone reading a script rather than really grasping the contents. When she mispronounced the name of great feminists it was clear she was unfamiliar with the topic.

Could you see Men Explain Things to Me being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Oh gawd no. I could see series of SNL skits for most of it

Any additional comments?

Don't get me wrong. I'm a 60 year old life-long feminist and proud of that title, but this book is as trite as the come. Using a trendy title to capture readers/listeners to buy a series of mostly pointless essays often off the topic of feminism entirely is duplicitous. Not a fan.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Rambling Opinion Essay

I was very much looking forward to listening to this audiobook. At first, it seemed like it was going to be great...and then it became disorganized and rambling about rape statistics. Important information, just not what I was expecting based upon the, in my opinion, misleading title. I think it would be better if there was more clarity in the sub title.

6 people found this helpful