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Dirty Weekend (Flamingo) Paperback – 27 Sep 1993

3.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Paperback, 27 Sep 1993
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Flamingo; New edition edition (27 Sept. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006544657
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006544654
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 1.2 x 13.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,536,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

"This is the story of Bella, who woke up one morning and realised she'd had enough."

So begins 'Dirty Weekend', a tale of revenge…

"From the opening lines the repetitive, hypnotic authority of the prose takes over… As a piece of stylised thuggery – mordant humour run riot – the effect is stunning. Helen Zahavi's comic timing is perfect; she knows exactly how far to go."
MARIE CLAIRE

"The possibility of revenge described by 'Dirty Weekend' exists almost nowhere outside Zahavi's pages… Bella, a reluctant angel of deliverance, narrates the revenge fantasies of the sexually abused with a deadpan, desperately funny voice, looking and mocking where the rest of us would never dare."
NAOMI WOLF, 'New Statesman & Society'

'Dirty Weekend' is excruciatingly well-written… Helen Zahavi's taut, gripping prose implicates us in Bella's bloody triumph… It's terrifying."
ZOE FAIRBAIRNS, 'Everywoman'

"Helen Zahavi's 'Dirty Weekend' is everything that Bret Easton Ellis's 'American Psycho' wants to be but isn't… Provocative, confrontational, disturbing, challenging, enlightening and moving…"
BLITZ

"Poor Martin Amis, poor D.M. Thomas. The game's over, boys – literary terrorism 'and' the fun on the streets… Read 'Dirty Weekend'. It's good – it may even be beautiful – and it's true."
ANDREA DWORKIN

About the Author

Helen Zahavi is a novelist and screenwriter and was born and educated in London. Her father came to England with the Polish Army during the Second World War, and her mother's parents came from Odessa. She worked as a Russian translator before becoming a writer, and has spent several years living in Paris. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Although disturbing and violent in parts, this book is also very entertaining and strangely compelling. It is girl-power with a difference and makes for an uncomfortable read (especially if you're a bloke!) The author weaves a web of intrigue and black humour to leave the reader confused about how they should be feeling.
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It's always a pleasure as I make my way through a book, realising a quality above the usual. Especially turning the last page and knowing the book now ranks as an all-time great. This is rare. In the last year American Gods and Cloud Atlas rank as such. I'd also read Helen Zahavi's Donna and the Fatman, sometimes titled Donna's Revenge, which stood shoulder to shoulder with these other two. Donna was sublime. I bought Helen's other two books immediately, but until last Sunday I hadn't read either. Mostly because I didn't want them to spoil the esteem I held for the first - if that makes any sense at all. But I couldn't sleep Sunday and reached for the Kindle. One thing led to another, and I started reading Dirty Weekend.

Bella is a fragile and quite attractive woman, a person quite happy for the world to pass by. Unfortunately it seldom does. Her need for seclusion attracts unwanted attention. It starts with intimidating calls in the middle of the night, then personal threats as she tries to enjoy a few hours in the sun. Bella has nowhere to turn or run. Tired of a life persecuted by men who think they can own her, something trips in Bella's mind and she decides to run no more.

Any worries Dirty Weekend might taint my love of Donna and the Fatman was dispelled about two lines in. Dirty Weekend is not only possessed of the same original and sublime narrative, it defines a wonderful heroine we can admire and fear a little. Imagine Dirty Harry with the badge and scowl swapped out for a red silk dress, stilettos and a disarming smile.

Undoubtably literary throughout but easily bridging the entertainment divide, Dirty Weekend is a compulsive tale of revenge against society and the many aspects of it we accept, that with closer thought, probably shouldn't.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great period piece. On the analogy of blaxploitation, it's chixploitation. Revenge on the evil that is men. It's kind of a fable, only made slightly unrealistic in the setting being Brighton, she's supposed to find herself in all these situations in one weekend. Being in the second person, the writer seems to understand far too much about the thoughts of the protaggie as well. Should have written it as herself. Nevertheless, a slash novel with character and guts (here and there...).
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Format: Paperback
Dirty Weekend, an account of 48 hours of violence against one woman, and her retributions, is by turns bizarre, poignant, powerful and empathetic.

This is strong, provocative fiction whose style is reminiscent of the writers Gordon Lish (e.g., Peru: A Novel, Dear Mr. Capote) early Jenny Diski (e.g., Nothing Natural) and Andrea Dworkin (Mercy, Ice and Fire). It has a raw honesty in its portrayal of the chameleon forms of violence perpetrated against women.

The story of Bella has the tone of a sinister fable or parable by the likes of Angela Carter. In the opening pages, she has already been threatened with sexual violence by a man who lives opposite her. He promises to pour acid on her skin. But then 'Fate found Bella one night ... and whispered in her ear. And when she woke up, she knew she'd had enough'. It is from this point that she is empowered; no longer wishing to remain persecuted and victimised by the ignorance and violence so common in so many men. She decides, with the help of a mystic, that - since men seem only to view her as a victim - she is unable to at least act even as a bystander and avoid their glare, so concludes that she has no other choice than to take action.

In a series of explicitly and clinically described episodes, Bella enacts her ideas of retribution upon one violent man after another. If these extreme scenes are powerful, it is because of the brutal honesty in the evocation of Bella's pain and outrage, and the attitudes of the men that only wish to threaten and oppress any iota of self-regard that she may have.

It is an uncompromising novel, working as it does within the ugly, hypocritical shadows that our supposedly moral society casts.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well written violent and brutal account of a woman who is finally empowered to morph from victim to predator and lash out at all the violent and abusive men, that have the misfortune to cross her path. Gripping throughout, this book has already been made into a film. An amazing read.
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By A Customer on 2 May 2000
Format: Paperback
This book has to be read to be believed. Zahavis hypnotic text leads the reader into Bella's warped world, yet leaves you convinced that she's doing the right thing. I couldn't put it down, and recommend it to all the girls out there who've ever wanted revenge, and all the men who've ever taken advantage of a woman!
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Format: Paperback
Was clearing out some books and re-read this over the weekend. My weekend wasn't quite as dirty. It's alright, not as gory or funny or obsessive as American Psycho and easy to read although fairly relentlessly despairing.Surprised it still seems to be as popular as it is, obviously others got more out of it than me.
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