Monday, April 12, 2010

Rape Me, by Virginie Despentes

(pb; 1991, 1999: translated from the French by Bruce Benderson)

From the back cover:

"Manu and Nadine have had all they can take. Manu has been brutally raped, and determines it's not worth leaving anything precious lying around vulnerable -- including her very self. She teams up with Nadine, a nihlist and prostitute who watches pornography incessantly, and they enact their own version of les vols et les viols (rape and pillage) -- they lure men and have sex without a second thought; they rob stores and kill anyone who gets in their way. Nadine and Manu are in search of ultimate, true freedom -- even if it means death."

Review:

Raw, chaotic-charactered, sexually explicit crime spree novel. Despentes' writing is spare, the characters -- even Manu and Nadine -- read like real people, and are (almost) sympathetic; the tone and headrush-pace are old-school violent and brash as mid-Seventies, f**k-everyone-and-everything punk.

Potent, nasty-kicks book, if you don't mind your reading choices spiked with unrepentant, self-destructive hedonists, equally crazy notions, and a couple of terrifying -- if brief -- rape scenes.

Rape Me, released cinematically under its original French-equivalent title (Baise-Moi), came out on in France on June 28, 2000. The film's stateside release date was June 1, 2001.

Karen Lancaume (billed as Karen Bach) played Nadine. Raffaëla Anderson played Manu. Ouassini Embarek played Radouan. Delphine McCarty played Severine. Hacène Beddrouh played Lakim. Patrick Eudeline played Francis.

Rape Me was co-directed and co-scripted by book author Virginie Despentes and Coralie.

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