Something That May Shock and Discredit You

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In his newest book, Daniel Mallory Ortberg brings characteristic humor and depth to his contemplation of gender and religion. Something That May Shock and Discredit You resists easy categorization, with satirical poems, moving personal essays, and thoughtful critical analyses fruitfully bumping up against one another. With an artful hand, Ortberg also brings a wide array of texts into conversation with one another, considering the Bible alongside the The Golden Girls and taking on the voices of both Marcus Aurelius and Regina George.

Ortberg’s skilled exploration of wide-ranging topics and genres results in a book that delivers delightful surprises again and again—one is never sure what cultural reference will next reveal itself as a jumping-off point for a funny or stirring reflection on Ortberg’s gender transition or his relationship to his faith. While I was most drawn to the sections of the book that reflected on literary texts or cultural figures I was already familiar with, Something That May Shock and Discredit You is never boring. Each page buzzes with Ortberg’s energy, humor, and perspective, conferring readers with the sense that deep meaning can be found even in things that are seemingly silly, archaic, or mundane.


Reviewed By:

Author Daniel Mallory Ortberg
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 256 pages
Publisher Atria Books
Publish Date 2020-02-11
ISBN 9781982105211
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue June 2020
Category Poetry & Short Stories
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