POVone: The First Person Perspective

Rants and Reviews on Novels Written in the First Person Point of View

Tag Archives: Homosexuality

Book Review: The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman

Author: Anna Freeman
Title: The Fair Fight
Genre: Literary
Publication Date: April 14, 2015
Publisher: Riverhead (Random House)
Number of Pages: 480
Narrators: Ruth, George, and Charlotte

The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman

What’s It About?

Ruth is born into a European brothel toward the end of the eighteenth century. Although relatively unnattractive, her tenacity quickly gives her another use with her benefactor–as a fighter. At a young age, she begins competing with both male and female fighters in public fights for the entertainment of eager onlookers.

Meanwhile, George is a gentleman in the more elite class, struggling to find his place in society while maintaining a relationship with his male lover. His lover’s sister, Charlotte, is the only other survivor of a family stricken by small pox.

Worlds collide when Charlotte is married to Ruth’s benefactor. Each character, in seeing the predicaments of the others, begins to see their worlds in a new light and must struggle to find their place in a world full of social expectation.

Should You Read It?

If you enjoy historical fiction, particularly that of post renaissance and pre industrial Europe, you’ll probably greatly enjoy this story. It is very much setting-driven, with rich descriptions of the era down to comments on the landscape, social structure, and forms of dialogue. Aside from that, this work has minor feminist underpinnings–with subtle commentary on female repression. While most of the story consists of dialogue and introspection, there are a few action-filled “fight” scenes. So, while there is a bit of movement, I would recommend this primarily for those who are interested in more high brow literary works.

Links and References

Author Information: Website, Twitter, Goodreads

Book Reviews: New York Times, Kirkus Reviews, The Independent

Purchase: Buy It On Amazon.com

Other Books By Anna Freeman: The Fair Fight is Anna Freeman’s debut novel.

Book Review: The First Bad Man by Miranda July

Author: Miranda July
Title: The First Bad Man
Genre: Literary
Publication Date: January 13, 2015
Publisher: Scribner (Simon and Schuster)
Number of Pages: 288
Narrator: Cheryl Glickman
Amazon.com Reviewer Grade: D, Bad; of the first 116 reviews, the average reader rating was 67.24%.

The First Bad Man by Miranda July

What’s It About?

Cheryl Glickman works at a non-profit in which she trains women in self-defense. She is withdrawn and experiences life in her own fantasy world rather than interacting with people in real life. When her bosses request she take their twenty year old daughter in as a houseguest, her world is thrown off kilter.

Cheryl’s new houseguest is ungrateful, rude, and sometimes downright abusive. To avoid confrontation, Cheryl loses herself in deep sexual fantasies and obscure beliefs about reincarnation.

Should You Read It?

If you enjoy books that revolve around the surreal, you may enjoy this story. It’s a little like Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf without the philosophical coherence. The narrative consists primarily of Cheryl’s explicit and sometimes disturbing sexual fantasies–so much so that it’s difficult to tell what is actually happening and what is simply going on inside the narrator’s head. Although it’s obscure, there is also a good bit of subtext on feminism. So, if this sounds interesting to you, I would give it a shot. If you’re sensitive to graphic sexual material, I would avoid it.

Links and References

Author Information: Website, Wikipedia, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter

Book Reviews: Washington Post, New York Times, The Guardian

Purchase: Buy It On Amazon.com

Other Books By Miranda July: The First Bad Man is Miranda July’s first novel, though she has written a collection of short stories called No One Belongs Here More Than You (2005), and she is an acclaimed artist and filmmaker.