When thirty-eight-year-old New Yorker writer Ariel Levy left for a reporting trip to Mongolia in 2012, she was pregnant, married, financially secure, and successful on her own terms. A month later, none of that was true. Levy picks you up and hurls you through the story of how she built an unconventional life and then watched it fall apart with astonishing speed. Like much of her generation, she was raised to resist traditional rules--about work, about love, and about womanhood. "I wanted what we all want: everything. We want a mate who feels like family and a lover who is exotic, surprising. We want to be youthful adventurers and middle-aged mothers. We want intimacy and autonomy, safety and stimulation, reassurance and novelty, coziness and thrills. But we can't have it all."In this memoir, Levy chronicles the adventure and heartbreak of being "a woman who is free to do whatever she chooses." Her own story of resilience becomes an unforgettable portrait of the shifting forces in our culture, of what has changed--and of what is eternal....
|Title||:||The Rules Do Not Apply|
|Number of Pages||:||207 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Download » The Rules Do Not Apply|
The Rules Do Not Apply Reviews
This book is hard to rate, because I enjoyed it but I didn't like it, if that even makes any sense. It is a memoir about a particularly difficult time in the author's life, in which she has a truly horrific miscarriage, endures the collapse of her marriage, and suffers some economic insecurity. (That's not a spoiler, by the way--it's right on the jacket flap.)
I will start with the positive and point out that Levy is a really good writer, and this is the book's greatest strength. And it made me t ...more
Ariel Levy is a woman who grew up knowing she could have everything. She believed in the kindness of Mother Nature, the voice of reason (if it came from her), the importance of her own worth, and the ability to make her own rules. She traversed the world seeking adventure and writing about her experiences. Sometimes, her travels took her just subway stops away, but worlds apart from her day to day life - like the time she wrote an article for New York Magazine about a nightclub for obese women i ...more
One hell of a memoir - visceral and beautifully written. I disliked her intensely for most of the book but that matters not a whit. I admire her unflinching candor. This is one I won't soon forget.
Tough book to review, a memoir is. The writing, or the person's life? Ariel Levy's writing is bold, raw and purposely in your face, which is good for magazines and books to grab you by the throat. A memoir, most, should grab you by the heart for better or worse., but Levy's also grabs your conscience. I mean she takes it out to dinner, a seedy bar after, all the drinks, all the feels, and whips it around the room. You don't know who you are by the time it's over. Having grown up with upper-middl ...more
"All of my conjuring had led to only ruin and death. Now I was a wounded witch, wailing in the forest, undone."
The writing is good, though sometimes too melodramatic for me (see above). At times it seemed disingenuous and lacked real emotion.
For me to connect with a memoirist, I have to like him/her. I failed to connect with Levy.
That said, she went through a loss I cannot even fathom and I hope getting it on paper has helped her cope.
I'm in Ariel Levy's camp for life. While I thought Female Chauvinist Pigs didn't quite live up to its potential, I appreciated its thesis and Levy's engaging writing, and reading her New Yorker essays in subsequent years cemented my admiration. When I learned that The Rules Do Not Apply was based on her unforgettable essay "Thanksgiving in Mongolia," I became desperate to read it, and this book did not disappoint—I inhaled it in two days, riveted by both her story and her way of telling it. Thos ...more
WARNING: Highly Opinionated Review to Follow
In my sixty years, I've learned a little about people. Not a lot, mind you, but a little. I can now separate people into two categories: Drama Queens (male and female, against all stereotypes) and Those Who Prefer Peace and Quiet. I'm afraid I fall into the later category, and, as a result, I tend to regard DQs (quite judgmentally, I'm sad to say) as people who bring their troubles on themselves: You can't seem to have those extraordinary highs without ...more
Back in the day, I was a fan of Levy’s first book, Female Chauvinist Pigs, about women and the rise of raunch culture. So I was thrilled to get my hands on an advance copy of her memoir, about a woman who wants it all—lifelong companionship, fantastic sex, a child of her own, and a successful journalism career—only to learn, upon losing it all, that you can’t control most things in life. It was a powerful read for a neurotic control freak like myself.
from The Best Books We Read In J ...more