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Privilege

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4.67  ·  Rating details ·  15 ratings  ·  10 reviews
A cutting satire concerning the death spiral of the white, male identity.

With his divorce nearly finalized, the surprise success of his freshman book on the wane, and his ill-advised affair with grad student Lara Kitts put to bed, Dr. Barker Samuel Stone is on the precipice of a cozy tenure-track existence. All in all, none too shabby for a straight, aware,
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Paperback, 296 pages
Published November 22nd 2019 by Enfield Wizenty
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Average rating 4.67  · 
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Toby
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Provocative and timely, Jason Rothery's 'Privilege' looks squarely in the face of academic male entitlement and doesn't flinch. It's a curious thing when you read a book whose protagonist is both entirely irresistible but also completely repellent, where you love Barker Stone in the same paragraph you just finished hating him. That's where 'Privilege' really succeeds for me, as a book that offers no trite answers or solutions, and doesn't attempt to apologize for behavior knowingly undertaken. ...more
Leslie
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Privilege is a fascinating read. Takes us on a journey of the current culture/gender/relationship wars through the eyes of a sometimes sympathetic, sometimes infuriating, sometimes merely hapless protagonist. While it has special relevance for anyone (student or prof) who has spent time on a university campus in the last decade (you will laugh out loud!), the debates/dilemmas have spilled into mainstream media in ways that challenge our beliefs and actions. Thought-provoking and entertaining!
Brad
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
While reviews and summaries use terms like “dark humor”, “parody”, and “satire” none of them really capture the unique tone of “Privilege”. Various parts of unique cringe-comedy, time-capsule of a very specific period of early 10s Toronto, dense real-world academic theory, and razor-sharp skewering of academic life - all blended to a unique melange. It’s also a book that asks hard questions, putting the reader in situations that may challenge their own assumptions and preconceptions of ...more
Clayton Mckee
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rushdie and Rothery? Would that be blasphemy? I’d imagine that neither author would suffer by comparison. While Rothery is firmly grounded in realism, his biting wit and lofty perspective remind me of Rushdie and Kundera. This is a brilliant debut novel: I find myself eager for his next work.
Nikola Cornij
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
THIS SHIT IS HIGHLY ADDICTIVE!!! "The hollow men, the stuffed man", beware! This content is dangerous! The book cover is also at fault because it's missing a big, fat red writing with some sort of warning about it!
Ross
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jason Rothery takes you on a fantastic journey ..... I couldn’t put it down! Such strong writing, you are never sure where he is going with the story, but you want to go on the ride anyway..... Current, clever issues that you can both defend and argue, but always want to find out more. It borders on taboo at this time in history, and plays with your belief system. A great read by an excellent writer, his first but not his last novel, well done sir!
D.j. Goodword
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I feel attacked. And warned. And am lucky to have read this before... making choices.

This is the right book for the moment and more people need to read it.

Coby Friesen
Dec 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Portrait of a young straight white cis male who sees himself as progressive and woke only to be still deeply entrenched in the decaying sexist/racist ego-filled personalities of our time. It’s one thing to have the knowledge of being woke, and a completely other thing to live out those values, which begs the question of how far we have yet to go.

There is a lot to love in the writing. Even though this character commits some unsavoury acts, it is actually quite fun being inside Barkers head. He’s
...more
Jason Mehmel
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book dives into some very fraught subjects, but it does so with such humour, wit, and frank interest in those subjects that you can't help but dive in.

The characters are interesting, flawed, complex figures, which prevents easy classifications.

And rather than any kind of apology or defence of 'Privilege' as a concept, instead it routinely tries to chart the space created as we investigate, depower, and otherwise transfer that authority. By not giving his main character a position of, ahem,
...more
Andy Milner
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Privilege is a very good, if needlessly lengthy, campus novel. It’s much in need of a more judicious editor: the fascination with video games grows tiresome, but I suppose that’s part of the satire of the modern-day Academy. Also, the grammatical and punctuation clangers render the narrator’s disgust over poorly written essays a trifle ironic. Nonetheless, Mr. Rothery captures voice and the maddening complications of time and setting with skill and relish. As a cis white guy, and a former ...more
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Jason Patrick Rothery is a writer, theatre artist, and lapsed academic. Privilege is his first novel.
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