Dirty Weekend (Flamingo) Paperback – 27 Sep 1993
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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."
"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…"
"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."
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Slow burner but turned into an excellent read.First time in a novel I have sided with the serial killer and grew to like her.Superbly written you will enjoy.Published 12 months ago by Robert Bull
OMG a very interesting read . This was a book group choice so not a book I would normally have picked to read. Very shocking but also hard to put down !!!Published 19 months ago by Della Pool
I started reading this book on recommendation.
For me, the casual violence was too much. I expect more than the way our main protagonist went about casually plotting to kill... Read more
The picture on the cover and the name doesnt give the impression of violence.toward women. Every man mentioned in the book despises women. The main character kills the baddies ie. Read morePublished on 26 Dec. 2013 by Ms J P Williams
Brilliantly written, this dark and delightfully disturbing book is a must read for all good girls and bad boys! Something completely original and deeply satisfying for a change!Published on 22 Dec. 2013 by Schneewittchen
This book definitely is not for everyone, but I found it a brilliant portrayal of the thread of dark humanity. Read morePublished on 25 Jun. 2013 by Leapin' Literary Lurkers