Reviews

Flanöz: Şehirde Yürüyen Kadınlar by Lauren Elkin

thatsnotoli's review against another edition

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informative

4.0

itselizabethclaire's review against another edition

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inspiring reflective medium-paced

3.75

beetific's review against another edition

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3.0

I think I've developed a habit of not reading blurbs carefully, and then becoming disappointed by the books I read because they end up not conforming to the expectations I had of them. I was under the impression that this would be less of a memoir and more of a "history", so to speak, of the relationship between the women mentioned in this book and the places they "walked". I thought there would be much more of a recreation of the cities covered in this book (I thought that I, too, would get to "see" and "walk" these cities) but it was a much looser depiction of the impact that these cities had on certain women throughout the last two centuries or so, and on the author herself.

I don't think I'm averse to reading memoirs, but I wasn't a fan of this one because I didn't really know much about the author herself beforehand. I think I've also discovered that I don't really have as much of a fascination with Paris as most people do (I was really looking forward much more to reading about London and Venice) so the fact that the crux of the book was the author's periods living in Paris left me uninterested. I was also a little bit put off by her chapter in Tokyo (which I actually found myself really intrigued to learn about, particularly given the author's juxtaposition of Tokyo's 'unwalkability' with the 'walkability' of London & Paris) because it was so negative! It seemed uncharacteristic for an author with such a wanderlust to be so critical of, and unhappy with, aspects of Tokyo that did not conform to those of more "Western" cities (the food, the culture, etc.). (Am I reading that section through too much of an overly PC lens, though, and judging the author too harshly for not censoring her honest thoughts on a place? I don't know- I can appreciate the candidness but it still struck me as reading too much like the thoughts of a whiny white girl lol).

I really enjoyed the ending of the section of New York-Return, where the author makes some interesting comments on the idea of being American and national identity. Some of my favorite sentences from this section:

Does an American belong more in America than elsewhere when most of us came from elsewhere?...All of us are exiles, but some of us are more aware of it than others...Americans describe themselves through fractions of other places...What you place before the hyphen- Mexican-American, Italian-American - defines you more than what comes after.

jenniferaimee's review against another edition

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informative reflective medium-paced

4.0

slhandy45's review against another edition

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4.0

The book was more about selected writers and their writing than I expected, but I enjoyed the mix of biography, literary analysis, and memoir. Who knew that women wandering through cities was a thing? I thought it was just me.

samsamsamala's review against another edition

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hopeful informative reflective medium-paced

5.0

anniew415's review against another edition

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4.0

Loved it. Smart, interesting...took me a bit to get into it as I didn’t have access points to the works referred to in the first few chapters, but overall really enjoyable as a woman who loves traveling exploring cities solo...

amberjanereads's review against another edition

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adventurous informative inspiring medium-paced

4.0

andforgotten's review against another edition

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4.0

My favorite genre is autobiographic non fiction threaded with literary references. I love these meanderings through the world and through literature, accompanied by various women who have left their mark - it's unfortunate that the final chapter was wrapped up quite so quickly.

jerrylwei's review against another edition

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2.0

I couldn't finish this book. The passages are disjointed; the history is at times interesting, at times too shallow. Her discussion of Paris and women in it is most compelling. Her discussions of French protest culture were illuminating. Avoid the Japan chapters.

Her writing is at times cloying, at times faux-academic, but all too often censorious. At one point, she uses a misleadingly suburban euphemism for rape.