Kali Napier's Reviews > The Bass Rock

The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld
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it was amazing
bookshelves: aww2020

In many ways this book should not have ticked all the five-star boxes for me -- it is a multi-period novel where I was much less invested in one strand, eager to get back to the other two.
Yet every page belongs.
Even the pages that weren't part of Stories I, II, II. They were almost more powerful in their non-identification, their ghostly vagueness. They are stories embedded in the places the characters in Stories I, II, III tread. Where we all tread. The reason I give this 5-stars is because it succeeds where I think Charlotte Wood's 'The Natural Way of Things' didn't -- it exposed the truth of what men perpetrate (and have been allowed to) in a way that built my rage, rather than having it made explicit in the writing.

I read this through the night, gave up sleep, because every single page resonated. Every single page built a giant accusation that the brutality perpetrated by men upon women has not diminished with time. Women are called things other than witches now. Women are dealt with in other ways than burning and drowning, though that still happens too. It has not gone away, maybe it has increased because now men are being told 'no' more.
And the violence is not just upon women, but also on those viewed as 'lesser' / without voice, as this novel shows.
This book dredged up so much personal anger against the NotAllMen hashtag. Because how do we fucking know? What are the identifiers? Perhaps if a man doesn't drown or burn? Even so-called good men are a thin veneer of civilisation away from their wolf nature (as we all are, and I am being binary in this review as I think it can be assumed what 'man' as perpetrator/wolf means here). I can count on fewer than the digits of one hand the good men I have known throughout my entire life. (Grandad, who was the best of them.)
This is why I no longer date -- because my first filter is 'do they look like a serial killer?', which is okay for a first sweep, but not adequate enough. (Perhaps a better filter is to say 'no' to something they want/expect as their due. But that is often far far too late.)
There has to be so much change in gender relations, beginning with men no longer viewing women as having a use-by date, as their entitlement, as being disposable.
This review may not seem like it is specifically about Evie Wyld's book. But it really really is. This rage is the purpose of the book. It is a five-star read.
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Reading Progress

October 29, 2019 – Shelved
October 29, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
February 13, 2020 – Started Reading
February 13, 2020 – Shelved as: aww2020
February 15, 2020 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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message 1: by Shastra (new) - added it

Shastra Deo LOVE this review; so keen to read this book!!


Kali Napier Thanks, Shastra. It is such an immersive read.


message 3: by Anne (new)

Anne Casey A great review Kali. I can't wait to read Bass Rock (I loved All the Birds Singing) and I am with you on the rage. Not knowing which men are dangerous, and knowing how quickly it can turn has haunted my life, despite a great husband, son, father and brothers. The fear is how women stay biddable.


Kali Napier Anne wrote: "A great review Kali. I can't wait to read Bass Rock (I loved All the Birds Singing) and I am with you on the rage. Not knowing which men are dangerous, and knowing how quickly it can turn has haunt..."

Thank you, Anne. I have hope when I listen to my daughter and son's generation. They don't seem to have internalised the misogyny.


Allison Brilliant review 👏👏


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