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Unmastered: A Book on Desire, Most Difficult to Tell [Kindle Edition]

Katherine Angel
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

Unmastered is a new kind of book that allows us to think afresh about sex and desire. Incisive, moving, and lyrical, it opens up a larger space for the exploration of feelings that can be difficult to express. Touching on experiences of desire and pleasure, as well as grief and pain, the book probes the porousness between masculine and feminine, thought and sensation, self and culture, power and pliancy. Katherine Angel reflects on the history of her own feelings, on her encounters and beliefs, and shows how our lives can be shaped by sexuality and feminism; by the words we use, and the stories we tell. The result is a book letting light into places that are often dark and constrained - a searching, erotic work that shifts in meaning and resonance even as it is read.

Product Description


Provocative and profoundly personal ... it's hard to overestimate the riskiness of these passages, their courage and their exquisite sensuality ... Unmastered is a giddily joyful book ... days after reading its images linger in the mind ... an elegant and uplifting journey (Olivia Laing Observer )

Unmastered is written with an honesty so defiantly pure it amounts to an act of cultural resistance (Adam Foulds, Author Of The Booker Prize-Shortlisted, 'the Quickening Maze' )

I am completely, utterly, overwhelmingly in love with Unmastered .... Beautiful, ferocious, acute, exceptional (Olivia Laing, Author Of 'to The River' )

I think the highest compliment you can pay any book is that it is unafraid. Angel's fiercely intelligent and moving memoir of sexuality and desire is a challenging, vital work (Sam Byers, Best Books Of 2012 Book Keeping )

A moving and memorable read (Huffington Post Books of 2013 )

About the Author

Katherine Angel is a writer and academic. A Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for the History of Medicine at Warwick University, her current research explores the history of female sexual problems in the UK and US, from the 1960s to the present. She has written on sexuality, pornography, and the relationship between culture and desire, for The Independent and Prospect.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 458 KB
  • Print Length: 315 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0374280401
  • Publisher: Penguin (6 Sept. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008RLTX4I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #252,034 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is an intriguing book that I found myself trying hard to like and there are some occasionally striking insights in it, but on the whole I have to say it left me cold.

I like experimental, prose based books but they are of course by their nature difficult to do effectively and more often miss the target than hit them. Unmastered is a good effort, but unfortunately a little lack-lustre. There are some good passages about female sexuality particularly when it envelopes itself into issues such as domination and bdsm- the core of the whole work to my mind- but there really is too much sparseness here. A number of largely blank pages can of course allow room for prose to work and breath, but this book on the whole appears too contrived to make such techniques entirely effective. In fact the main problem I had, was the continual thought knawing away at me, that only a connected academic with the right 'literary establishment' connections could get this sort of thing published in hardback by a leading publisher. Any other person submitting something like this, would experience it very quickly sliding down the slush pile. And of course, a number of them would be superior to this work.

So in the end- unfortunately- a book for the luvvies, written I suspect, by one. In that way it no doubt has its very own limited coterie of admirers, who will twitter amongst themselves about it, until it quickly fades into inevitable obscurity. Oh well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Katherine Angel's Unmastered kind of blows the format of a book apart. There are no named characters, only the protagonist 'I' (the entire book is written in female first-person) and 'Him' (her lover) and only a couple of other characters referred to briefly. It reads as a collection of thoughts throughout the evolution of a relationship, the giddy-love, the intense passion, the love-making, the doubts, the fears and ultimately a tragedy that leaves the protagonist re-assessing all of those feelings earlier stated in the book.

I found this an interesting read, the expletive-filled pages are shocking when a page on has "F me, oh yes, F me" written on an entire leaf. Separated by a blank leaf, then a single roman numeral on the next page, then another page of a handful of lines. Frequently there are less than 20 words per leaf. Consequently, if the story grips you (initially it's not all that clear that it's a story at all) you will speed through the 336 pages in less than an hour.

Whilst its format of the collection of thoughts is novel and intriguing, it's nothing new and I did not feel that the book lived up to the blurb whatsoever; "allowing us to think afresh about desire" - it wasn't eye-opening or educating at all, merely a collection of statements, some shocking, some touching, others random and derivative. Might raise an eyebrow in the raunchier parts, but ultimately, it's all been done before.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Judging by the reviews, this is clearly a book that people will either love or hate. I had decided to order it because I thought it would be an interesting exploration of female sexuality and that aesthetically it would be very attractive (I was drawn to the cover.)

Sadly what I got instead was page after page of opaque rambling about a desperately uninteresting relationship. All in all the total number of words in the book could be condensed to about 25 pages. So, you have pages that just say the words;

`I know what he means. This thing in there. All that. These.' (p66)

Or `I am doing, and I am done.
I am going and I am gone.' (p 133)

I'm not adverse to the odd bit of arty nonsense but this was self-indulgent rubbish at its very worst. What did it tell me about female sexuality? Nothing, nada, ziltch.

Avoid like the plague.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars strange little book 16 April 2013
By Jay Rainbow VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I don't really know what to say in regards to this book. Its a very strange concept and perhaps if I had more time to really delve into it I'd apreciate it more. As it is I have dipped in and out of it and not really felt that lovely feeling when a piece of writing sucks you in so to speak. I wouldn't write it off but I think I'll keep it for on holiday when I can read the whole book in a short space of time.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars the oven was too cold for this flat meringue 9 Oct. 2013
By David Spanswick VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Unnacustomed as I am to write a downright critical review I find myself in a quandary over this, I have to confess, beautifully produced volume of navel-dust ponderings. It takes vanity writing to a whole new level as, like a meringue it promises much but delivers little more than sugar and air.

Blank pages in a book of this kind are always suspicious. Did Ms Angel promise to deliver a certain number of pages by deadlines but found she had nothing to fill them?

This kind of publication has been done so much better Alain de Botton's "Essays on Love" springs to mind, and I am not quite sure who the book is intended for.

All criticism apart the book will probably inspire a whole generation of love sick students scratching their acne between amorous embraces
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The little death 2 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm afraid to say that this book didn't do anything for me...the only toe-curling was from reading the turgid prose, and my hand was sore only from turning over the many blank pages - think of the poor trees sacrificed for this!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars but without sacrificing intelligent analysis or a contribution to our...
A masterpiece of new feminist writing. In departing from academia's traditional dry, rational style of analysis, Angel tells us far more about need, desire and femininity than most... Read more
Published 10 months ago by H.N. Harding
4.0 out of 5 stars Not What I Expected.
This book turned out to be nothing like my expectation of its contents.

It is brilliantly, if at times pretentiously, written, with very erotic passages - together with... Read more
Published 18 months ago by G. J. Oxley
1.0 out of 5 stars hopeless
This is one very interesting book, its hard to put down and contains many interesting facts about sexuality......well...thats one way I could put it.... Read more
Published 18 months ago by S. Hammond
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
A book with swirly graphics on the cover, by someone called Katherine Angel, on the history of her own feelings: this gives very much the wrong impression of what's inside. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Antonia Chitty
5.0 out of 5 stars Desire. Indeed most difficult to tell.
A book on desire. You would expect it to be the kind of book that is doing the rounds today - possibly S&M or some erotica or the other, however maybe a book might surprise you... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Vivek Tejuja
1.0 out of 5 stars didn't make me tingle
There are a number of things that writers (especially those writing erotica) must consider when they are producing a story and they include:

- there has to be a... Read more
Published on 24 April 2013 by Su
2.0 out of 5 stars Overrated Drivel
Really ???

Please explain to me how this has gotten all 5 star reviews.

Totally and utterly ridiculous.

Many of the pages are blank. Read more
Published on 25 Mar. 2013 by Beanie Luck
5.0 out of 5 stars Unlike anything I've read; spectacular for its moving exploration of...
Desire is an incredibly complex emotion that defies description. Unmastered, though, is a wonderful attempt. Read more
Published on 28 Feb. 2013 by Max
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