Read Remark Book Review - Shrill by Lindy West

Book Review: Shrill by Lindy West

One-sentence summary:

Lindy West shares her irreverent look at a collection of stuff in her life, including body size, career, and internet trolls.


I swear , sometimes when I write these one-sentence summaries, I feel like the biggest dolt. “Collection of stuff?” You couldn’t come up with a better description than that, Beth??

Lindy West has a great view on….collections of stuff. I first heard her on This American Life and decided her book must get in my brain, post haste.

Lindy West is the outspoken alter ego many of us wish we were brave enough to be.

It’s her superpower, and also the very thing that draws so much criticism.

She’s not exaggerating about the hate she’s received. Lindy West recently stepped back from her Twitter account, but a quick search of her name still brings up tons of incendiary comments.

Why do people think internet trolling is okay? Trolls are still real people throwing hateful comments at other real people. The fact that a machine offers a buffer between two parties doesn’t make the person on the other end any less of a person or the feelings any less valid.

I don’t get it. If you don’t have the guts to say something to someone’s face, then it shouldn’t be said. It’s easy to get caught up in the adrenaline rush of letting hate spew out in seemingly innocuous words, safely contained on the screen. But those words have a real and defined end point, and now that hate has been spread on a global scale.

The internet is not anonymous.

It’s a scary trend, one that seems to be spreading. Do you have different political views than me? TROLL! Are you less than supermodel-levels of beautiful? TROLL! Are you a gender/race/sexuality/religion that’s different than mine? TROLL TROLL TROLL!

When and how did that become the norm? My sister is a different political affiliation than I am. Does that mean we should be insta-enemies and spew hate at each other on a public forum based on that one fact? Of course not!

But that’s the stance people seem to be taking online lately – they take this one fact that runs contrary to their own view, and then attack the person’s entire being based on this one fact that in reality is only a small fraction of their whole self.

OK, I’m on a rant and have probably messed up plural vs. singular, making grammatical errors everywhere. And now I’m waxing philosophic on trolls and not even reviewing West’s book. Getting back on track…

Things I love about Shrill:

  • West’s fearlessness (seriously, this woman has no filter)
  • Her description of Maude from A League of Their Own
  • The story about her appearance on the Jim Norton show

And much more, of course, but those are my favorites. Must read more from Lindy West, stat.