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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

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    371
  • 4 Stars
    297
  • 3 Stars
    173
  • 2 Stars
    52
  • 1 Stars
    41

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    325
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    210
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    160
  • 2 Stars
    71
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Story

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

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • 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.

18 of 18 people found this review 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.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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 :)

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

A light touch on a serious topic

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This book gets right to the point, of sexism. At first with some funny stories, then on to the continuum of misogyny and degradation of women. This is well worth reading, and not just for women.

Who was your favorite character and why?

It's not really about characters. It's more of a non-fiction essay.

Which scene was your favorite?

There is a laugh aloud scene where an important gentleman tries to explain her own book to the author (because she needs to know about the very important book that was recently published on the same topic that she has chosen).

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It's more about gritting my teeth and nodding my head. The world is so full of men who think that they know better than women. In all incidents, this is an annoying reality that we accommodate everyday, but sometimes it is dangerous to life and limb.

Any additional comments?

This is a short and pithy book. I would like to have heard more, but really she said what needed to be said. Short and to the point.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • The BD
  • Baltimore, MD
  • 06-29-18

Great Essays, Awkward Narrator

Solnit's writing is uplifting without being "motivational" or sappy, grounded in experience with real global politics and her own life. I was a little disappointed that this was less coherent as a book than "Hope in the Dark" (it's collected, previously published essays), but there is a thread of connection running between them all that makes it worthwhile to read together. The narrator's tone and voice, however, were completely off. Imagine the nauseatingly up-beat voice of a pharmaceutical advertisement reading you statistics on rape and violence...

3 of 3 people found this review 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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Beginner

It really seemed like it was trying to convince me to become a feminist when I've already been one for many years. It also did not take into account intersectionality at all. Felt like something a freshman woman's studies class would read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Great Message / Poor reader

Would you consider the audio edition of Men Explain Things to Me to be better than the print version?

In this case, I wish I had read the print version.

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

I think a reader should at the minimum learn how to pronounce all the words. Her mispronunciation was distracting and pulled me away from feeling as if I was hearing the voice of the author. I could deal the voice quality, which others have mentioned, But I'm quite sure that Rebecca Solnit knows how to pronounce "Junta" while its clear her reader had never heard of the word or concept before.

Any additional comments?

This book got me thinking of the concept of emasculation. I can't think of a similar concept for women. To emasculate; to make a man feel like less of a potent person. Women are already supposed to feel less important than a man by virtue of their gender. So if a man "effeminates" a woman he is "putting her in her (rightful) place" rather than taking something away that was rightfully hers; her potency, her adult person-hood.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful