Review – The Refrigerator Monologues

Posted 8 August, 2017 by Nikki in Reviews / 9 Comments

Cover of The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. ValenteThe Refrigerator Monologues, Catherynne M. Valente, Annie Wu

If you’re not into comics, you might not know about the trope of “women in refrigerators”, recognised by Gail Simone. Basically, it involves female characters who are killed off to further a male hero’s story — like Alexandra DeWitt, who is literally shoved in a refrigerator to die for the manpain of Green Lantern. Catherynne Valente takes a bunch of those stories and lets the women speak for themselves. If you like working it out, don’t worry; I won’t spoil which women are included in the line-up.

It’s a fun bunch of stories; they don’t end well for the women involved, because that’s the set-up here, and there’s a certain amount of rage at how this shit keeps on happening in Superhero Land (not to mention everywhere else as well). So if you’re looking for a transformative work that changes these stories, that’s not what this is. For now, it just gives the women voices; lets them tell their half of the story.

I enjoyed it a lot, and I’ll be looking out for a copy just to have — I borrowed the copy I read. The art included is pretty cool too (though this is a prose work, not a comic).

Rating: 4/5

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9 Responses to “Review – The Refrigerator Monologues”

  1. Hard to believe that the consequences of ‘man pain’ which involves women suffering real and terminal pain is a trope that is still current in this media — especially with what we know about the real truth of the matter. But I don’t know that I’m surprised. The creators of this certainly have a right to be angry, if that’s what they’re expressing.
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      • arbie

        I wasn’t disputing – can’t actually remember where I came across it first but since then I’ve been seeing it everywhere.

  2. I reeeeeally want to read this!!
    Did you read the short story “eyes I dare not meet in dreams” by Sunny Moraine on the Tor online fiction website?? It was in the same veine I believe, and really good!

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