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Radical Sanity : Commonsense Advice for Uncommon Women Paperback – February 20, 2001


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women

"One of the more honest, insightful and witty books on the subject of women to have come along in a while."
-Karen Lehrman, New York Times Book Review

"The Courtney Love of letters--an extraordinarily thought-provoking, absorbing, wise, often poignant read. You can disagree with Wurtzel, but at least she always has a passionate point of view."
-Dana Kennedy, Entertainment Weekly

"It's got the preposterous energy of a great, drunken tantrum, and a voluptuous, sprawling style, with lots of good, zinging jokes."
-Mary Gaitskill, The Village Voice Literary Supplement


Praise for Prozac Nation:

"Sparkling, luminescent prose...by turns wrenching and comical, self-indulgent and self-aware, Prozac Nation possesses the raw candor of Joan Didion's essays, the irritating emotional exhibitionism of Sylvia Plath's Bell Jar, the wry, dark humor of a Bob Dylan song...a powerful portrait of one girl's journey through the purgatory of depression and back."
-Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

"Thoughtful...Very brave...like all provocateurs, she poses questions which make you think."
-Julia Phillips, Vanity Fair

"Sylvia Plath with the ego of Madonna."
-The New York Times Book Review

From the Inside Flap

Miss Wurtzel is back, and this time she's armed with advice for the modern woman. She's found the secret of life, and it's within everyone's reach. It's about enjoying your mistakes. It's about being strong. It's about eating dessert. It's about having opinions. It's about adoring feminism. It's about embracing fanaticism. It's also about saying your prayers, not overpacking, and making your boyfriend do the dishes.. Some of her words of wisdom:

- Think Productively: It's not that you have to see it to believe it; on the contrary, you have to believe it to see it.
- Be Gorgeous: I myself believe that I am about ten times prettier than I actually am. By dint of sheer will power, I have managed to convince many people of this.
- Enjoy Your Single Years: Do not think that the whole point of being single is being married; men don't think this way, and neither should you.

In Radical Sanity, these lessons, and many more, are delivered with the sharp wit and candor we've come to expect -- and love -- from Elizabeth Wurtzel.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 85 pages
  • Publisher: AtRandom; 1st edition (February 20, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812991605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812991604
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.2 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,322,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Ksuzy on January 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
I opened up this book not knowing what to expect, and was surprised at first how empowering it seemed on the surface. Some of the advice is actually worthy of praise, for example, she encourages women to ask questions and learn more about the world and to have opinions about things-- in other words, to use our brains and our voices! She also encourages women not to be afraid to indulge in life by doing things such as eating dessert and not being afraid to let the men clean up after a dinner party. Where the book starts to fall apart, however, is when she starts to suggest that in order to "be gorgeous," women should have some make-up on and should be pleasing to look at (in order not to offend those around them), and that to be fulfilled, a woman should fall in love and settle down. It's not that there's anything wrong with these things, but these are not radical ideas-- in fact, they fall very much in line with traditional advice-- and they may not be for everyone and these chapters don't seem to fit with the rest of the book, as the former chapters were vague enough to fit most women's lifestyles and choices. Was she running out of ideas on things to write about or was she that locked in to one path to happiness? We didn't need another book aimed at young women that claims to contain some secret to life so that when they try to live up to it and fail, they feel guilty and miserable, unaware of the rich options available out there.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By M. Karam on August 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
Before reading this book, I was a big Wurtzel fan. In Prozac Nation, I finished the book feeling like I had a fair idea of who she was. I respected her. This book revealed to me that she is not at all what I'd formerly imagined. I got the feeling that this work was something she through together just for the purpose of making a few bucks and having another title under her belt. It is unlike not only Prozac Nation but all her other titles. I noticed a number of contradictions within this work. Personally, I was uninterested in taking any of her "advice" which I felt was lacking sincerity. There were also generalizations made by Wurtzel about women which I thought isolate were untrue, unfair, and far from feminist. If this book hadn't been written by Wurtzel, I'd most likely have stopped reading it midway. The only reason I completed it is because I was a fan of hers. I expected better.
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
Has Wurtzel's life become--gasp--normal, and does she need to plagarize others? Let's see..."It's not that you have to see it to believe it; on the contrary, you have to believe it to see it." I believe that Wayne Dyer wrote a whole book on that concept some years ago. Ah yes, then there's that gem about men doing the dishes. Wasn't Gloria Steinem talking about that, about 40 years ago???
Let's see, if you can make it past all of this radical advice which has been around for decades, there are the contradictions. Wurtzel wants a daughter who won't have to worry about dieting or such mundane things as cellulite, but yet she has a whole chapter on being beautiful. Same thing with love. You should enjoy being single but you still must find Mr. Right.
I read through this book at a bookstore. I picked it up because two woman were reading it together and laughing hysterically. I actually found it more pathetic than funny. It is always sad when an author gets this desperate, that they have to rehash other people's work and ideas. Perhaps Ms. Wurtzel needs a higher dose of Prozac, or Ritalin. Or maybe she might offer advice to people, such as herself, who think that the destruction of the World Trade Center was a "work of art." Yes, she said it, that watching the towers collapse was a work of art, and she felt absolutely no emotion. How's that for uncommon advice for an uncommon woman?
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
A friend gave it to me, implying I guess that she thinks I'm an "uncommon woman." So that was cool. But this book sounds like it was written, I swear, by one of my my ninth-grade students, without any editing. It is THAT trite. I cannot believe that this book was written by a woman in her early 30's. I can only conclude. . . . I don't know what to conclude. I find absolutely no insight in this slim volume. If you're 13 or 14, you might relate to some of what she says and the way she says it; otherwise just chat with a friend. You're bound to get something more original and helpful than what's in this book.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
The title doesn't lie--the sense in this book is so common that it's boring. Read KISS MY TIARA instead. It's smarter and funnier. This book probably wouldn't have had a chance if PROZAC NATION hadn't been so popular. I don't know why Wurtzel is trying to appeal to the masses. She should stick to her usual audience--readers who gobble up her solipsistic, smarmy ramblings.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By "sfzook" on March 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
"Radical Sanity" is not nearly as delightfully manic as "Bitch" or "Prozac Nation." You cannot picture a young woman seething with anger, depression, or ideas, but perhaps this is good. "Radical Sanity" is more ambitious than Maria Shriver's attempts at telling young woman how to live, even though some points are duplicated. In this very fast read, Wurtzel tackles the problems of ex-boyfriends and the stigma of single women with cats. As always, she is honest, but I missed the sense of controversey and Wurtzel herself that her other books have had. In "Radical Sanity," Wurtzel shares her experiences, but she seems far more... normal (and organized). For that, I think this book is good for 20 and 30 something females because Wurtzel makes feminism and self-centeredness seem so simple and needed. Of course you shouldn't clear the dishes if the men don't. Of course you should enjoy your single years. Some readers may dislike the fact that Wurtzel joins the ranks of the common woman for this book, but I think many young women will find reassurance in Wurtzel's ideas.
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