Book Review: Aftershock by pattrice jones (2007)

Monday, June 4th, 2007

W00t, here it is! Finally finished my review of pattrice jones’s Aftershock, which I totally loved. I also loved that I was able to squeeze all of my thoughts – or at least a summary thereof – into the Amazon review. (Probably due in no small part to the prelim/mini-review of Thursday last, in which I excised the copious quoting right outta my system.) Amazon, for those not in the know, caps reviews at a crazy 1000 word limit. I clocked in at 980, hence the w00t! I thought I was going to have to chop it up, like with my Bird Flu review. So w00t, w00t.

I’m still mulling over some of jones’s finer points, such as her building bridges / being bridges conclusion, mentioned briefly at the end of my Amazon review. Time permitting, I’d like to elaborate on that.

But for now, let me just add the following thoughts, which ended up on Amazon’s chopping block:

I love, love, love that jones used gender-neutral and alternating masculine/feminine pronouns and terms. And I super-love that she made a point out of explaining as much in the User’s Guide.

I love, love, love that she avoided citing and otherwise drawing upon animal-based research, sticking instead to psychological studies that utilized willing human volunteers. She has my undying admiration for that, since I’m sure it made writing Aftershock infinitely more difficult.

I love, love, super-duper-love that the issue of trauma and activism was approached from a eco-feminist, anarchist, humanist-without-the-speciesism, animal liberationist, socially progressive perspective. And the discussion remained rooted in sound social and biological science all the while! Totally awesome. Methinks we need more therapists – and activists – like jones in the world.

Amazon review after the jump. If you likey, please hop on over to Amazon and give my review(s) a helpful vote(s). Remember, the more votes I get, the further on up in the page my reviews will appear – thus exposing more and more Amazonians to a pro-animal view. So a vote for me is a vote for the fuzzy wuzzies, is what I’m sayin’.

/ groveling /

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from the mouths of existentialist – eco/anarchafeminist – lesbian – dreamer/blamers…

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

So I finished Aftershock almost a week ago now, but haven’t yet gotten around to writing a review. Sure, I’ve given it an inordinate amount of thought, but that’s as much as I’ve mustered. Shocker, eh? It’s a wonder how I ever graduated college, I tell ya, wut with my perpetual procrastinating and all.

I can tell you, though, that the book was unexpectedly awesome. I say “unexpectedly”, not because I thought it would suck (I didn’t!), but because I’m not usually a fan of the whole self-help genre. Particularly when I’m “assigned” the book (for lack of a better term, in this case), and thus am not in need of the type of help offered in said book. Rather than shooting for folksy and falling just short of readable, Aftershock is the rare self-help/advice tome that manages to make the material accessible without completely dumbing it down for the lowest common denominator.

I also love, love, love that author pattrice jones approaches the issue from a vegan / animal rights / feminist / queer / ecological / radical / progressive perspective. More often than not, veg*ns and ARAs are ridiculed by social conservatives and “progressive” “liberals” alike; much like atheists, us animal rights “fanatics” are the lone group that manages to inspire scorn on both sides of the political aisle. Browse enough liberal blogs while agitating for animals, and you start to feel awfully isolated from other so-called lefties. So it’s really freaking awesome to find the topic of post-traumatic stress and depression among activists discussed with a deference to the experiences of animal rights activists.

Anywho, this is starting to sound like a review, so I’ll shut up now. Instead, I thought I’d pull some quotes directly from the mouth of existentialist – eco/anarchafeminist – lesbian – dreamer/blamer pattrice jones herself. Much to my surprise, “Quotables” was the most frequently viewed category in May…so I may as well give y’all whatchawant.

After the jump, words of wisdom via pattrice jones. Who is currently blogging at SuperWeed. So go give her a shout out, is what I’m sayin.

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