Buy Used
£0.01
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by Greener_Books
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: **SHIPPED FROM UK** We believe you will be completely satisfied with our quick and reliable service. All orders are dispatched as swiftly as possible! Buy with confidence!
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution Paperback – 3 Jul 2014

3.4 out of 5 stars 254 customer reviews

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, 3 Jul 2014
£4.40 £0.01

Man Booker International Prize 2017
A Horse Walks Into a Bar has won the Man Booker International Prize 2017. Learn more
click to open popover

What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.



Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (3 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408824744
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408824740
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 2.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (254 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 144,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Product description

Review

Laurie Penny is such an insightful, provocative and bold commentator. She is always relevant without slavishly following a supposedly 'topical' agenda set by others. Most importantly, she never compromises her compassion and humanity in the myopic pursuit of an idea. It's such qualities that make Unspeakable Things essential for anybody who truly believes in equality and freedom (Irvine Welsh)

Full of the rhythm and repetition on oratory and persuasive and unsettling in its view of western society as a damaging dystopia causing untold harm to all but those at the very top. It is angry and challenging, but also full of compassion - including for men, many of whom have also been disenfranchised by systems they did not choose . Unspeakable Things is an impressive, inspiring and, I suspect, important manifesto (Melissa Harrison, Financial Times)

Penny thrills in being provocative and dramatic . She writes well about the social pressures they are under to behave with macho "masculinity" at all times (Daisy Wyatt, Independent)

Powerfully argued . Penny has a great turn of phrase (Evening Standard)

As Penny demonstrates, in a great, defining chapter on the internet, we are dealing with a new world order . This book is funny and cheeky . and refreshingly generous (Observer)

A raw, bright, urgent voice . Like Caitlin Moran, another compulsive and essentially self-taught writer, she went to places others didn't and brought back things they had missed . Dazzling . Penny writes ... with intimacy and insight that smack of real knowledge (Guardian)

Laurie Penny can certainly coin a phrase . she writes well, inclusively and cogently with passion ... Let's hear it for "young, lady writers" behaving badly (Herald)

Unflinching ... In Unspeakable Things, Laurie Penny reclaims the word insolent, turning it into a compliment and a call to arms (TLS)

The spiky subversiveness of Laurie's journalism is best summed up by her sub-title, 'sex, lies, and revolution'. This is feminism with no apologies given, no compromises surrendered and a sharp-edged radicalism all the better for both. (Mark Perryman Philosophical Football 2014-10-01)

Many of us who "find" feminism when we are young do so through books. For many women of my age who were young in the late 80s, it was Kate Millet's Sexual Politics; for many young men and women of today, it will be Laurie Penny's personal yet political take on the state of sexual politics now. One can hope so, anyway, for the current crop of excellent feminist commentators, she probably strikes the best balance between the personal and political. Her voice is passionate without being one-dimensional. She addresses the need today for young men to be included in feminism's discussions while never losing sight of women's own particular experiences ( Lesley McDowell Independent on Sunday )

Book Description

Britain's youngest and smartest activist and columnist gets to grips with the sexual counter-revolution and all it entails for women and for men

See all Product description

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Dreary and unstructed; streams of bile; intellectually inconsequential; personally vicious. Altogether, an ideal New Statesman journalist.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have to agree with others who liked her columns but not the book. It does read like a collection of columns, and where that is the case, they worked better in that format.
I'm surprised to read another comment saying it started well but got weaker. If anything I think it started very badly and got stronger. Unfortunately, the stronger material here has all been published elsewhere. For example, the "manic pixie dreamgirl" section is all right, but available elsewhere as a column. The part on online behaviour was an ebook. Penny is pushing her luck with that, I think.
The rest is not as well edited, and often quite poorly written. Her examples often fly in the face of common sense or reality, even when her general point is defensible. The book also makes unnecessarily frequent returns to personal anecdote which can make it feel like the book is going round in circles. To be sure, some of the personal stuff is valuable, but too much of it is not. This isn't helped by a lack of clarity on the book's direction. The author seems caught between two stools of narrative and wanting to show an objective overview.
We're told it's not a to-do list, which is OK, but it stops so short of specifics it's difficult to see it as much more than a laundry list of complaints, all of them familiar if you have read her columns. Penny says she wants the book to inspire, and although I can't see it myself, others have. This, at least, is a silver lining.
Comment 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After all the bluster and scathing (not to say, scatological) reviews from grunting Neanderthals, I was expecting something slightly more...radical? than this thin volume, which seems to be little more than a rapidly thrown together collection of several of Ms Penny's previously published articles ( mildly stimulating the first time around, though hardly worth paying for a second reading) tenuously tied together with autobiographical snippets - a curious and cynical coupling in which both, in my view, are diminished. One would hope that someone who claims to be so passionate about writing might have a) come up with some original material and b) employed an editor, or at least a proof-reader, before rushing out this sketchy part-confessional, part-polemic, part diary-of-an-angsty-tween....but no. Yes, there is some of that trademark brash, witty, ultimately vapid verbal conjuring which is her stock-in-trade, and if you've been living under a rock for the past decade you might just learn something about the confused mashup of ideologies upon which the 4th wave of feminism surfs, but this is a disappointing and lightweight effort from someone with a lot of growing up to do and little substantive to say as a political journalist despite the platform of privilege she enjoys. Penny is Caitlin Moran-lite (if you can imagine such a thing).
Less engaging, less funny, less coherent. Save your pennies.
Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition
A missed opportunity. This book contains some important insights and powerful personal anecdotes about equality, sexual politics, misogyny and freedom. Laurie highlights numerous important issues, however every great insight gets repeated and expanded and so, rather annoyingly, this book is also frustrating, rambling and incoherent.

I read "Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution” for my book group and came to it unaware of Laurie Penny. Once I’d finished listening to it, I discovered this is Laura’s fifth book in about four years and that lots of these chapters had already been published as articles and blogs. It explains a lot: the repetition and incoherence, the lack of structure, and any real conclusions. It’s a shame as this could, and probably should, have amounted to so much more.

I have read this book described as a manifesto. A manifesto is a public declaration of policy and aims - something this book conspicuously lacks. It’s actually a selection of articles by a clever and gifted writer who highlights some important, sometimes shocking, things about our world. But that’s all it is.

2/5 (Insights and content: 4 out of 5 / Structure and readability: 1 out of 5)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For a disillusioned leftie like me, reading this polemic felt like having Lemsip poured down my rattling throat. Penny illuminates topics such as the subtle fascism of gender, heteronormative romance as institutional control and the perpetually arrested development of contemporary manhood with an honesty so radically nonchalant that the implicit question is: Why were we ever afraid to talk about this? Now, if you're a social conservative with a snowflake-thin skin, this book will probably make you mad, so discretion is advised. But if you, like me, are desperate for an adrenaline shot right to the amygdala, pick up this little gem and let Penny's gleeful prose take you for a ride. It'll straighten your back and light a fire in your belly. If nothing else, it'll make you f%@k more proudly.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not read yet
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A good book outlining the harm that sexism and bigotry does to women and society as a whole. It's clear, lucid, often very funny, and illustrated with the author's personal experiences and those of friends, which are unsettling at times.

Lewis's Law applies to this book, sadly: there are a lot of 1-star reviews written by sexist trolls and these justify why it was written.
4 Comments 180 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews