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Manhunt (2022)

de Gretchen Felker-Martin

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
4742551,938 (3.31)3
"Beth and Fran spend their days traveling the ravaged New England coast, hunting feral men and harvesting their organs in a gruesome effort to ensure they'll never face the same fate. Robbie lives by his gun and one hard-learned motto: other people aren't safe. After a brutal accident entwines the three of them, this found family of survivors must navigate murderous TERFs, a sociopathic billionaire bunker brat, and awkward relationship dynamics--all while outrunning packs of feral men, and their own demons"--… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 18 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
It has been a while since I've read a book written with excruciatingly disturbing and disgusting details. I loved every page of this (lol I had to pause all snacking whilst consuming this book). I must now read everything else written by Gretchen Felker-Martin. ( )
  s_carr | Feb 25, 2024 |
This horror-fantasy genre novel is a new entrant into the "scientifically impossible methods of bringing about the apocalypse/dystopia" pool. Here, a virus targets human testosterone and almost overnight turns all men into vicious large cats, complete with claws and barbed penises, which hunt down women in packs to rape and eat them.

Which is not actually the most notable thing about the novel. Our main protagonists are two trans women, Fran and Beth, who like other trans women avoid the virus by taking estrogen and using various testosterone-suppressing methods. More than feral feline men, they fear the ruling Maryland Womyn's Legion, literal feminazis out of Rush Limbaugh's wildest dreams, though called TERFs of course (also called "the same stupid white women who thought pussy hats could overthrow the government" among plenty of other insults; indeed there's a lot here for misogynistic right-wing men to like). Their shock troops, the XX (apologies to the excellent indie electronic band by that name), hunt down and execute trans women in the street when not shipping them off to labor camps, greet each other with a special fascist salute, and preach about the eternal pure Matriarchy they are building.

Reportedly the author says her novel was not written for cis people, which seems clear enough from the text as well. In that vein, there's a scene in which the killing of J.K. Rowling is gleefully recounted, which I have to say I found off-putting, not generally being supportive of fantasies of killing off one's ideological enemies, be they Rowling or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but then I'm not a member of a persecuted community which may appreciate reading a fantasy that does just that.

On the positive side Fran and Beth are complex and sympathetic characters, the plot moves quickly and the action is pretty good. It does bear a slight resemblance to [b:The Girl with All the Gifts|17235026|The Girl with All the Gifts (The Girl with All the Gifts, #1)|M.R. Carey|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1403033579l/17235026._SY75_.jpg|23753235] which its press compares it too, though it is less literary than that horror novel, which I'm a big fan of.

I'd give it around 2.5 stars, only having read it because of its inclusion into a literary event I always take part in, but I can easily see its intended audience appreciating it much more highly. ( )
  lelandleslie | Feb 24, 2024 |
I really was looking forward to the concept. I didn’t enjoy the writing. I’m not entirely sure splatterpunk is for me. ( )
  HauntedTaco13 | Dec 29, 2023 |
Like most books that suffer from hype by way of controversy, this book could best be described as "just okay." That anyone feels strongly about it one way or another is kind of baffling to me—especially since both fans and critics harp so hard on its soooooo disturbing!!!1!! I'm starting to think yall just haven't consumed horror media harder than Goosebumps.

Most of the...apolitical? elements are thin, but not so thin that the thin-ness impedes readability. The post-gender-apocalypse has produced a world where, apparently, most people live safely enough in towns and cities, more or less unthreatened by the rape zombies that roam the countryside, ready at any moment to provide swarms of gross-out danger when—and only when—the plot demands. It's like a late season of a long running zombie show where the excitement of seeing people get their arms ripped off has worn off and the writers have to scrape the bottom of the "people are the real monsters" barrel to keep the cash cow milky, except I didn't even get to see people get their arms ripped off.

The plot, like the threat level, is uneven. Tensions escalate and de-escalate as a way to move our heroines from one trauma to the next, independent of what has happened before or after. The effect, while not of great literary merit, is at least kind of effective—there's certainly some horror in a world where suffering is both inevitable and unearned, more acts of a cruel God than consequences of the characters' admittedly awful personalities. It also meant this was a quick read, which was fine by me.

As for the characters—well, they definitely exist, though they feel less like people and more like vehicles for suffering and self-loathing. I found them neither sympathetic enough to root for nor loathsome enough to root against. For the most part they fade into the background of their own narration as they rotate through a musical chairs of sex partners (or sexual assault partners, as the case may be).


The book isn't particularly successful as a political satire-slash-critique-slash-commentary on misogyny-slash-transphobia, either. Probably the most obvious issue is that Gretchen Felker-Martin has constructed a world where transphobia fundamentally makes sense and feels justified. Trans women in this world are at risk of becoming rape zombies if their supply of balls dries up—meaning they very much do pose a potential threat to everyone around them. While it's a good source of internal horror for the characters, it also renders the motivations of the TERF antagonists both reasonable and sympathetic.

And, on the subject of the TERFs: they did not strike me as very TERF-y. Or very consistent, for that matter. On one page, they're murdering trans women, and on the next they're offering trans women genital reassignment surgery and a place in the sisterhood—an offer that is, by all appearances, totally sincere. The TERF PoV character doesn't demonstrate any particularly transphobic views—she views trans women as women and refers to them as women in her narration. I'm not sure what the point was of even calling them TERFs, other than the fact that it's catchier than calling them transphobes.

In fact, the more I read, the less convinced I was that the author intended to critique these things. Gretchen Felker-Martin, as a Twitter personality, certainly seems to care more about being inflammatory than about offering salient observations about, like, anything. I don't know—maybe the expectation is unfair, but this book has definitely been pitched as a response to other "gender-cide" novels, if not as a response to transpobia at large, and it just doesn't work on that level. ( )
  maddietherobot | Oct 21, 2023 |
This book is classified as horror, but it tries too hard to be simply shocking and disgusting. A virus has turned all men into animals who hunt women. Women try to keep the upper hand in this new society, but become militant. Most of the main characters in this tale are transwomen, some were in the process of transitioning when the virus happened. They are stuck between genders, hoping to hide from the cis-women and stay uneaten by the men. They survive by hunting men and eating their testicles and adrenal glands. How this helps them, I'm never quite sure. Wouldn't that expose them to testosterone and make them MORE attractive to the virus that affects men? the whole premise didn't make sense. Don't read this book while you are eating yoru breakfast! ( )
  mojomomma | Oct 10, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 18 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Manhunt keeps its trans characters at the centre of the narrative. It is their actions, their desires, their decisions that power the plot; and it is them we ultimately care about. That alone makes this book stand out among all other gendercide novels I have read (and I have read a lot of them). But it is Felker-Martin’s attention to the actual mechanisms of the patriarchy, including how supporters of patriarchal power – like Teach – would respond to any threat to that power which makes this book essential reading.
adicionado por pnppl | editarInterzone Digital, Kelly Jennings (Apr 5, 2023)
 
Greater than any achievement in its plot is Manhunt’s ability to dance along the boundaries between the mind and the body, internal experience and outside world, and our senses of pleasure and disgust.
adicionado por pnppl | editarLos Angeles Review of Books, Christ (Apr 30, 2022)
 
Disgustingly rendered and brilliantly imagined, Manhunt was gripping as much as it was repulsive. It's rare to read a horror novel that truly tests my limits in a (mostly) pleasurable way — and Manhunt delivers. It's a challenge, and one I hope more readers take.
 
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"Beth and Fran spend their days traveling the ravaged New England coast, hunting feral men and harvesting their organs in a gruesome effort to ensure they'll never face the same fate. Robbie lives by his gun and one hard-learned motto: other people aren't safe. After a brutal accident entwines the three of them, this found family of survivors must navigate murderous TERFs, a sociopathic billionaire bunker brat, and awkward relationship dynamics--all while outrunning packs of feral men, and their own demons"--

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