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Kinky Paperback – March, 1997

18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

I'd buy this book just for the cover, but the poems are even twice as wonderful. Denise Duhamel has apparently obsessed for months about the Barbie doll phenomenon: all the poems have to do with the "what if " of Barbie attempting to fit into the real world. For example, what if Barbie were codependent? What if Barbie were in therapy? What if she were a religious fanatic? Do you know why Barbie and Ken don't dress in underwear? Why Barbie joined a 12 Step Program? How can you sleep nights without delving into the mysteries of this pop culture darling with the plastic eyelashes?

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 90 pages
  • Publisher: Orchises Pr; 1997 edition (March 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0914061615
  • ISBN-13: 978-0914061618
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Howard F. Mandel on May 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
First off this is one of the funniest books of serious petry ever written. Second, using Barbie to show all the hypocracy and flaws in our culture and society works wonderfully. Third the empathy the poems show for those of us, for whatever reason, don't fit the Barbie and Ken mode is truly touching.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
I've read all of Denise Duhamel's collections of poetry. _Kinky_ is the funniest, most focussed, most controlled, least self-absorbed, most accomplished of them all. I've given it to friends and shared it with my family, and we all absolutely love it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
Perhaps you should hire Duhamel to design the next Barbie? Her poems are funnier than most stand-up comic routines! Each is a twisted little Barbie fantasy--a grown-up playing with the doll. Listen in on Barbie's therapy sessions, which, perhaps, are not all that different from your own. Duhamel deconstructs Barbie with tenderness--no small feat for a book of satire.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Irina Lives on May 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The cover of Denise Duhamel's fourth collection of poetry shows a bloated Barbie, surrounded by sweets and balancing precariously on impossibly tiny high-heeled feet. Artist Bob Dahm's cover is admittedly humorous and undeniably cute, although body dysmorphia is only a small issue among the many that Duhamel attacks successfully through the use of persona poems featuring America's favorite beauty icon. This illustration captures Barbie's freakish dimensions and accentuate how cartoonish a regular Barbie doll is without an artist's manipulations. While Kinky is certainly an attention-getting title, sexuality again is just a tiny facet of the breadth of Barbie's issues.

Denise Duhamel takes the reader on a journey through a wild array of Barbies by going into her many issues including love, body image, self worth, sexuality, race, self image, careers, and faith just to name a few. Sections are organized by Barbie's makeup. In Lipstick, Duhamel concentrates on race relations, how we treat minorities, various ethnicities and politics. Powder Blush gets a little into sexuality but is really more about relationships and major life events. The Mascara section covers body issues, reproduction and the importance we place on fashion over so many other more important things. In Eye Shadow, Duhamel takes us soul-searching with Barbie, and gets into her philosophy and faith.

Through the use of a cultural phenomena like Barbie, Duhamel's poetry appeals to a broad range of readers, literary and less so. Barbie is iconic and she has been marketed as everything from the all-American cheerleader to a veterinarian, a flight attendant and a pilot, and she's had editions in several ethnicities and as characters from several films.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Matthew T. Mason on November 10, 1997
Format: Paperback
An entire book of poems about Barbie dolls? You bet, and you bet it's good. Duhamel approaches these overly-proportioned pieces of plastic with a mixture of childhood enjoyment and deep cynicism which will wash you away with both the humor and the tragedy you didn't know were there. This book is fantastic, it's poetry that's not just alive, it's brighter than a pink taffeta ball gown.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 6, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book of poems was all these things and more. The messages portrayed in the Barbie- her figure, her dependence on Ken, her inability to move or feel, it is like the woman before the women's rights movement. Denise Duhamel must be a feminist. There was so much depth in her poems, they were definitely not just about Barbie. I loved how she mocks society, for example how Barbie, on her wedding day, wishes she could just pick out a tux and not do all the things the bride has to do... I look forward to meeting Denise Duhamel in my poetry class today!!!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
The book explores the issues of gender, beauty, religion, and effects of imperialism and corporatization with cutting and savvy humor. A quick and pleasurable read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PoetryTeacher on July 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
Witty, surprising, and focused, Kinky is a book of poetry that I purchased a long time ago and reread almost every other week. I love Duhamel's sense of humor -- it is biting. The theme of the book could not be more fitting. Scrutinizing Barbie, her inadequacies, her flaws, her perceptions of reality, is a fascinating foreground set against a background of political, social, and emotional turmoil. Highly recommended to all readers!
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