Thoughts on The First Bad Man by Miranda July (Book #2)


first bad man

Overall rating: 2.5/5

Ok, so to be totally honest, I have no idea where the fuck to begin with this book.  So this is just kind of a battery of comments:

1) I enjoyed July’s collection of short stories (No One Belongs Here More Than You).  However, in contrast, I think this book tries wayyyyyy too hard to be edgy.

2) I would feel odd recommending this book because there is some very intense sexual shit that goes down and I think people would judge me for saying ”you’d like this!”

3) The story in and of itself is something that I cannot really relate to. It’s about a woman who likes a person on the board of her company, and he tells her he wants to have sex with a 16 year old and that he’s in love with her (he’s in his late 60s). Then, a girl (daughter of a person on the board at her job) moves in with her and they have a very strange intimate/violent relationship. They end up in a kind of lesbian affair, and the girl gets pregnant and they sort of take care of the kid together until the girl moves out. The protagonist in the novel is in her 40s and the girl is 21. So again, this theme of older folks getting with people significantly younger.

4) I found myself reading this book quickly to get through it.

5) The ending is lackluster and kind of a let down. After all the intense and bizarre drama, the ending just kind of falls flat.

6) I realize #3 is kind of hard to read and a little confusing, but I don’t want to reveal too much of what happens in the book. I hate spoiling shit.

7) I don’t think I liked the book that much because it was so convoluted and so bizarre that it seemed like there was a ton of focus on making the reader uncomfortable for no clear reason.

8) I am glad I borrowed this from the library.

3 comments on “Thoughts on The First Bad Man by Miranda July (Book #2)”

  1. OH GOOD WE CAN CURSE ON THE BLOG! I was going to ask about that. I’ll be sure not to hold back on future reviews.

    So now maybe you understand my reaction to this book on your list. Imagine listening to the audiobook while walking around New York City and in other public realms. All I kept thinking was “What the fuck am I listening to?” and “It’s weird to be sitting next to a stranger in Starbucks listening to this.”

    I found it very odd and not relatable. And I thought overall there was a weird fetishization of a woman’s desire to have a baby. As a feminist and self proclaimed nonbreeder, I really couldn’t get down with that.


    1. Omg I was thinking to myself “good Lord this as an audio book must have been out of this world!!!”

      Never hold back! Looking forward to your reviews.

      The whole plot seems confused and not thought through. Part of me thought, is she phillip? Is there something I’m missing? But no- just a mishmash of confusing sexual and racy language and some quirky tidbits about snails and grocery stores.


      1. Oh I can see how it would be even more confusing to read. In the audio version the narrator would change her voice slightly to distinguish characters. It was kind of a husky fake sounding voice which added to the creep factor, but made it easier to keep track of who’s who.


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