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Too Much: How Victorian Constraints Still Bind Women Today

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  119 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Lacing cultural criticism, Victorian literature, and storytelling together, "TOO MUCH spills over: with intellect, with sparkling prose, and with the brainy arguments of Vorona Cote, who posits that women are all, in some way or another, still susceptible to being called too much." (Esmé Weijun Wang)

A weeping woman is a monster. So too is a fat woman, a horny woman, a
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Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 25th 2020 by Grand Central Publishing
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  119 ratings  ·  28 reviews


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Rachel
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wrote this book, so it's not impossible that I'm biased.
Anna Luce
TW: mentions of self-harm

Not only was Too Much not enough but what little it offers is wholly problematic.
This book would have made slightly more sense if it had been published in 2010 instead of 2020. Its analysis of the social norms and literature emerging from the Victorian era are far from insightful or innovative. There are so many referencers to films that are now considered outdated and of little cultural relevance. Cote's theory of too muchness is unclear and indecisive, and her
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Tanja ~ T's Book ~ KT Book Reviews


Well okay, friends... I guess Im too much! LOL! What an incredible and insightful look into women and what was and is commonly thought of them. US. Im buying one for all my girlfriends and a few guy friends too! A must-read!!.

Thank you to @grandcentralpub @hachetteus and @readforeverpub for sending this one my way! My new coffee table staple!!.
Get it on Amazon - https://amzn.to/3cqe5kE


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Deanna Ogle
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-books
This book is very near and dear to my heart. Rachel Vorona Cote talks about Too Muchness which Im sure many of you are familiar with: too loud, too large, too imaginative, too sexual, too irreverent, too independent, or you take up too much space.

The author examines how the Too Muchness of women in Victorian were treated and then ties it to how women are still limited, stifled, exiled, caged, and bound by those philosophies today.

Each chapter is about a different type of Too Muchness and
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Liz DePriest
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Vorona Cotes background as a literary critic/graduate student is immediately apparent, and yet she manages to communicate the findings of her deep scholarly inquiry with entirely accessible and often lyrical prose. The breadth of Victorian and recent women/figures she analyzes is impressive, as are the ways she manages to illuminate the lineage between Victorian conceptions of women who were too much and our own. In her hands, for example, we can see common threads between the judgments and ...more
Marion
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This might surprise you, dear reader of this goodreads review, that I have been called too much. And its probably one of the most exhausting and infuriating things to be called. I come from a long line of too much women. And let me tell you we are pissed. ANYWAY SO when I saw this book my too tall too fat body jumped up and down and I shouted too loudly and too intensely and felt too much.

Reader, this book was made for me.

Like actually made for me. This book is all I want in nonfiction.

I grew
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Laura plantladyreader
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, non-fiction
I do love a good non-fiction, but only when I am really drawn to the author or the subject matter. With Too Much, it was both. Rachel Vorona Cote is a HILARIOUS writer. This book read part memoir, part feminist rant that we all needed.

It is broken into sections of attitudes and character traits that are deemed "too much" in society today - too loud, too big, too old, too bossy, etc. Each section, Cote draws on literary references, current pop culture and her own past to argue that woman have
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Melissa
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Reading's been kind of hard for a few weeks but hurrah for an impromptu 24 in 48 stay-at-home readathon. I was able to finally quiet my brain and read the rest of Too Much. This is really interesting - a book about books that is also a memoir, specifically how Victorian mores still exist to make women feel "less". To make themselves smaller (physically, spiritually, and intellectually) and quieter. Personally I would have liked a bit less memoir and more criticism, but that's going to be just ...more
Leigha McReynolds
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Do you like feminism, Victorian literature, savvy cultural critique, and/or authentic life-writing? If you can say yes to two or more of these things, then I'm confident you'll like this book because it weaves these together into a compelling reflection on culture and femininity. Oh, and let's not forget the well-crafted prose that's a joy to read.

If you're a feminist with a penchant for Victorian literature and women-centered contemporary popular culture, then you are the exact target market
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Nic
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction-tbr
I should probably preface this with a warning: Im not particularly fond of victorian literature. My bias comes, mostly, from its treatment of women, so I knew this book was very much My Thing ™.
That said, I think even victorian lit lovers would appreciate Rachels clear portrait of how notions created during that time still corset (haha) women today. Mixing history, literature and pop culture references, Too Much doesnt pretend to know everything (the author herself remarks how little she could
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Melinda Borie
Mar 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I waffled on whether to give this only three stars, because it was a little more personal and less academic than I was expecting (and than Trainwreck, a book to which it is similar enough I must mention it, although to compare them more completely would do a disservice to both). But I enjoyed it enough to round up.
Miranda
Mar 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Most of my enjoyment of this book stemmed from the pleasure in seeing someone articulate issues that I've been concerned with my whole life. However, the identification of issues wasn't then followed up by analysis of those issues. It seemed more like a literary review mixed with an airing of grievances than a fully formed and supported thesis.
Living My Best Book Life
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Too Much is a witty and excellent book about the "Too Muchness" women have and continue to face. Rachel Vorona Cote uses the Victoria Era to show how women were trapped in certain boxes then and how women still are today.

This is a must read for those who enjoy reading about feminism. Her references are seriously so good and witty.

I give Too Much 4 stars. It is relatable, honest, and highlights the limitations women have faced in the past and present.
Mary Foxe
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
DNF.

My process as I read.

First Page: Yay! Acknowledgment that most of the content related to Victorian heroines is about straight, cis het white women. Good. Good start.

At First: Yes, discussing hysteria and social pressures of the Victorian society.

As It Continued: Um... okay. Uh... are you getting to a point or are you just on a Tumblr rant?

When I Almost Gave Up: Uuuuuuuh... that is a very specific interpretation of Alice in Wonderland you got there. Very... okay, this is why people hate
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Kai Charles(Fiction State Of Mind)
I have always been drawn to the Victorian Era though it wasn't one of the best times for women. Rachel does a great job of drawing on literary references, Historical figures and her own personal life to show how easily a Victorian woman and even women today can be seen as just "too much". Women consistently are judged as too emotional, to aggressive, too fat, to demanding. Bonus points for women of color who face the same struggles along with the fear of being labeled "too loud" or "too ethnic"
Melissa Anderson
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A book about the female muchness. How we are always Too Much. Drawing from Victorian era literature, Rachel Vorona Cote shows how, even today, we are restricted by Victorian constraints. Yes, we no longer wear corsets, but our bodies are even more cruelly scrutinized. I absolutely loved this book and I relate to Rachel so much. Many of her Too Muchness is similar to my own and I felt a kindred spirit. This book isn't preachy, but it teaches us how to draw power from our Too Muchness and allow ...more
Genna
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received an arc from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

When we live authentically, Too Much women risk the litany of assessments recounted to me, a liturgy of intended shame, although we strive to embrace it: loud, shrieky, shouty, shrill, intimidating, difficult, noisy, obnoxious, scary, strident, bitchy, bossy, pushy, not normal, intense, inappropriately lacking in deference, gobby, mouthy, unladylike, too friendly, too talkative, too emotional, too outspoken, too direct, too
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Eva
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There were so many lines in this book that I wanted to highlight and underline. As someone with an interest in feminism, history (and art history) and literature, this book checked off all my boxes. But Rachel also has a knack for tying everything together in a way that leaves you feeling like you learned something new AND like you can absolutely relate. There's some really sharp prose in here and some serious thought about how all these themes tie together. I was sad when I was done reading it!
Carly
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-received
Part-literary analysis, part-memoir, Too Much is not just an important examination of difficult women but also a vulnerable work of self-reflection, the latter of which I wasn't expecting but ultimately enriched the entire text for me. Cote's impressive prose makes this a fulfilling read that acknowledges there is nothing inherently wrong about being "too much" anything.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are
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Lauren
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book! It's smart, vulnerable, and funny. Combines storytelling, literary analysis and cultural criticism in an engaging way (and makes you feel really smart because you're reading a book with big words but is not hard to understand because of how excellent of a writer Rachel is). If you are a woman, know a woman, or have heard of the concept of a woman this book is for you.

PS I'm biased cause we're cousins but also this book is great, buy it.
CR
Mar 22, 2020 rated it did not like it
Unfortunately, this book just wasn't for me at all. It was weird and contradictory to what the author states she is trying to do. I did not fully even understand what the point of this book even was. It felt like it was all over the place and that each chapter really just stood on their own and didn't build at all.


Go Into This One Knowing: Weird and Confusing
Victoria
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
this book absolutely ruled. in addition to being a pop history, it's also memoir, and it blends literary criticism and autobiography in a really gorgeous way. so much of this book had me yelling "YES, THIS!!!!!"

also there is one chapter that you will want to skip if you are triggered by content about self-harm. it's obvious which it is.
Claire
Mar 21, 2020 added it
dnf @ 25%
Sam Grill
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Part literary critique, part social commentary, part memoir. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Sally Epp
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So good. Im going to be thinking about this literary criticism and historical social commentary non-fiction book for a long time. ...more
Csimplot Simplot
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book!!!!
Maggie
Feb 25, 2020 rated it did not like it
We are in the middle of a pandemic and this author is so self absorbed all she seems to care about is tweeting constantly about her book, her book. Ohmygod stop. Get off of twitter and stop obsessing over your book.
Taylor
I love the concept of this book, and the opening is incredibly insightful. The chapters "Chatterbox" and "Plus" were definitely the highlights, but some of the chapters seemed shoehorned in. "Crazy" contains a long discussion of the Britney Spears meltdown in 2006 that is... weirdly analytical of an actual person that (I'm assuming) the author doesn't know, and out of place in a book where most of the examples are drawn from Victorian literature. "Cheat," on the other hand, veers wildly into the ...more
Sarah Furger
rated it it was amazing
Mar 10, 2020
Elizabeth Beutel
rated it it was amazing
Mar 25, 2020
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I'm a writer and occasional editor living in Washington, D.C. I write for publications like the New Republic, Pitchfork, Catapult, Hazlitt, Rolling Stone, the Poetry Foundation, Buzzfeed, and Literary Hub. I also used to be a contributor at Jezebel.

I have a B.A. from the College of William and Mary and an M.A. in Literature from the George Washington University. I amand will be in perpetuityABD
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