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Dirty Weekend: A Novel of Revenge
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Dirty Weekend: A Novel of Revenge

3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  414 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
"Bella woke up one morning and realized she'd had enough". So begins the triumphant tale of one woman's personal vendetta against a world of peeping toms, rapists, and obscene phone-callers.
Paperback, 187 pages
Published May 1st 1994 by Cleis Press (first published 1991)
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(showing 1-30 of 720)
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Yara Tethys
May 12, 2007 Yara Tethys rated it really liked it
This is THE BEST post-break-up book ever.
bobbygw bobbygw
Apr 07, 2011 bobbygw bobbygw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, feminism
This is strong, provocative fiction whose style is reminiscent of the writers Gordon Lish (e.g., Peru, Dear Mr. Capote), early Jenny Diski (e.g., Nothing Natural) and Andrea Dworkin (Mercy, Ice and Fire), in terms of its honesty to consider and portray ugly realities and truths through the experiences of their female characters and the chameleon forms of violence perpetrated against women. Dirty Weekend, an account of 48 hours of violence against one woman, and her retributions, is by turns biza ...more
Aug 01, 2008 Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any woman
Recommended to Rose by: online reading club
It says something that the author was able to get the hippyest, dippyest, non-violent, anti-vigilantism chick in the world to cheer on each scene where Bella exacted revenge on her attackers. Also, I have never really been into guns, but this book powerfully made the argument that the only thing that can put men and women on equal footing in this world is a gun. A a big helping of rage doesn't hurt either.

There was a discussion of whether we should warn men that we'll strike back if they strike
Dawn Sam
Oct 06, 2009 Dawn Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is like reading the female version of a Chuck Norris revenge movie. Are Bela's criminal acts defensible? Marginally, if at all. Is she a model of moral propriety? Heck, no. But for everyone who has ever been cat-called, stalked, molested or goddess forbid, raped, this book is like a cleansing tonic, an opportunity to live out your violent revenge fantasies. The subtitle of the book is "A Novel of Revenge," after all.

Here's a quote:
"She was too nice. She was just too nice. Niceness had alway
Jan 11, 2008 jack rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
are you mad at the world? read this book. the main character just goes totally bananas and beats up and kills all these men that fuck with her. it is totally awesome.
Dec 05, 2008 Gina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
one of the best feminist books EVER. revenge fantasy but with a plausibly awkward, angry & not-superhuman protagonist. read read read.
Oct 09, 2007 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing feminist revenge fantasy. But be forewarned, there is more hardcore violence in this book than in any Tarantino movie.
Mar 28, 2010 Miriam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a wonderful and empowering book, for when you have had enough
Ileana Cocos
Well :) let's start by saying that the book is naughty. Very naughty. But not in the porn romantic kinda way you see in the soap opera books,or how do u call them, but in a veryyy veryyy dirty way indeed. The title speaks for itself. If I would write a book right know, it would probably be in the way Zahabi did it, a bit chaotic, a bit meditative, a bit like a mind, that speaks out, a story-teller that is watching behing the dirty dirty scenes. The idea itself of the book striked me as a very od ...more
Paul Bryant
I remembered I read this one when it came out and now looking at the GR reviews, I confess I'm a little surprised at all the high-fives proffered by the female reviewers. Because Dirty Weekend is right there with I Spit on your Grave or Last House on the Left or Baise-Moi, all those rape revenge movies that got trashed by all the critics and are generally hated by women for pretty good reasons. So I wonder if the reviewers here like those movies. And I do think you can compare Dirty Weekend the ...more
Jun 06, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ah..Psychotic vengeance and gore, delivered by a woman. Just what I needed. Now I feel better. Bring on the Mary Sues. My irritation meter is back at zero.
Trixie Fontaine
Mar 13, 2015 Trixie Fontaine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this quite a few years ago and don't remember a ton of specifics, only that it really moved me / I liked it a lot.
Alison Cresswell
All women should read this book !
Jun 28, 2007 Dorothy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone but especially chicks
I picked this up in B&N's bargain bin when I was in college, almost 10 years ago. This is one of my favorite books probably because at the time I'd never read anything like it. I've read it a few times over the years and each time it gets my fist pumping in the air, "You go girl with your badass self." I will always remain distrustful of male dentists.
I even loaned it to my dad and he enjoyed it but admitted he was a little scared of the protag.
Thomas Strömquist
To use a cliché, this book is like a punch in the jaw. This has been used to describe books good and bad in my opinion and this one represents the good. Bella's revenge is of the kind where you know you should avert your eyes, but you can't. I realize that this book is nearing 25 years now, and it may be tame in comparison, but in the early 90's it really packed a punch.
Dec 25, 2007 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Female Quentin Terantino Fans
This books is just purely good. It plays a movie in your head. It is a book about coming back, reclaiming self, saying "I am . . . respect me . . . stop treating me like I exist only to satisfy your idle needs . . . I am . . . respect me or I will reduce you to the slime that you are. . . ." Thats what this book is about. Read it.
I loved this book. Ingenious story idea. An excellent read and thoroughly entertaining all the way through. An easy read, even though full of violence at times the story is quite compelling and you really sympathise with the character Bella. A very feminist empowered read full of black humour and nonstop action.
Xochitl Alvarez
Aug 08, 2010 Xochitl Alvarez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
When I read this the first time in 1994, it was atually entitled "The Weekend". I fell in love with it instantly and have read many times over the last few years. Every woman has a Bella inside, I feel.
Aug 03, 2011 Lynne rated it it was amazing
I bought this book at the tail end of a very ill considered marriage. And then promptly gave copies to every other woman I knew who was in a relationship with a bastard. We all LOVED it.
Jan 02, 2008 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't recommend this book enough! It's a great black comedy with some serious feminist undertones. Unfortunately it seems to be quite hard to get ahold of now so grab it if you see it!
Tom Steer
I am perplexed by the number of positive reviews this book has received.

Whilst it was not totally without merit, I found the style to be condescending and repetitive, made all the more remarkable by the fact that it manages to describe so little in its quest to stretch half a novel's plot out to the narrative length of a full book. The story is little more than episodic vignettes. The characters are all one-sided: the protagonist unbelievable and thinly drawn, the supporting cast are nothing mor
Nov 01, 2014 Ruthiella rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I have owned this book that a friend gave me now for over 20 years. It has moved house with me at least 5 times. I idly picked it up last year, but it was just after I had read Less Than Zero and I just couldn’t face another brutal read at that point, even one with a purported feminist outlook. The book is a Dirty Harry type revenge fantasy with a female protagonist. Violent with sexual content, it is a little hard to take at times. But worth the read if you are a woman and have ever felt like y ...more
Mar 08, 2009 Mandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is possibly the best book I have ever read. A very dark psychological thriller.
Wahiaronkwas David
Wicked. By turns funny and horrifying.
Umm ... dont f@#k with women ... ever
Jun 09, 2011 Del rated it really liked it
Simply excellent.
Oct 01, 2013 Sharon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really thought this book was going to be something psychologically fantastic and deep but really all I felt it resulted in being was vulgar and violent. It’s a dark book but it doesn’t really come up with anything profound. Bella is a muddled up and lonely girl who always finds herself the underdog. She is in her dingy little basement flat in Brighton when she discovers she is being watched by a pervy and dangerous guy over the road who begins to phone her, follow her and threaten her. But thi ...more
Jan 23, 2016 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not for the faint-hearted! A visit to a Persian fortune teller convinces Bella that matters need to be taken into her own hands as regards her peeping-Tom neighbour Timothy, who has progressed his harassment to threatening phone calls. What follows is a weekend of brutality (graphic brutality). I enjoyed it though the grammatical errors, I counted at least 6 very obvious ones, including a sentence which was repeated, are unforgivable from a book that was first published 15 years ago.
Peter Idone
Dec 07, 2012 Peter Idone rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
With neither humor nor depth, this novel plods unbelievably on toward one scene of revenge exacting violence after the next. It’s as though the prose gets in the way for the next blood spurting money shot to take place so might as well repeat the wording of the sentences one after the other because what the writer wants to get to is the wet work executed upon the deviates and pervs that her character is slaughtering. I was waiting, almost hoping, for a Travis Bickle like scene when Bella, in her ...more
Jan 31, 2016 Irwin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is 20+ years old, and couldn't find it anywhere aside from kindle. A best in genre choice from Wall Street journal. Reminded me of "Mice", similar story line how the weak pushover extracts her revenge over the course of a very dirty weekend in graphic, noir style. Short, fast paced and worth it.
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Helen Zahavi is a British novelist who worked as a Russian-English translator before becoming a writer.

Her first novel, Dirty Weekend (1991), is about a young woman who is tormented by a predatory neighbour until she finally has enough. So with a smile on her lips and a gun in her hand she goes out in the night and kills seven perverts in two days.

The book caused a media storm on publication and
More about Helen Zahavi...

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“She smiled at him. It was her special smile. Her please go away you piece of sub-proletarian turd smile.” 5 likes
“She could never take an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. The weak and flaccid parity would make her nearly puke. She wants an eye for a tooth, and a life for an eye.” 4 likes
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