Sunaina Luthra ON July 13, 2023, IN BOOK REVIEW, HOW TO KILL MEN AND GET AWAY WITH IT BY KATY BRENT-FICTION
The book peacefully basks in the front seat of the car under the gentle glow of morning light, defying the chaos of everyday life. Thetranquillityis ominously resisted by my colleague’s sudden and uncontrollable laughter.
I ruminate on her reaction and a sea of ineluctable thoughts flood me!
The unrestrained laughter, I thought must have been a cadence to the somewhat ‘awkward’ title of the book, a penchant every woman would flock in glimpses.
The piquant curiosity, I guess! The feeling to butcher men for their bête noir cruelty is a cascading trap, the mind webs to ultimately sign-off as ‘a woman who once dread finally made him meet an ignominious end’.
Getting back to the book ‘How to Kill Men and Get Away with It’, I feel sometimes a title conveys it all but often the digress is presumable. Let’s take an inward leap to the coarse anomaly of a woman’s mind ‘to kill but in the intellect of her diabolical pursuits, to some extent mismanaged’. Mind you, the book definitely does not suggest any creative means to slaughter men. Wish it would have; life would be less tyrannical!
The woman under scrutiny is Kitty Collins–a privileged and a glamorous social media influencer. You cannot miss the flawless persona of cavorting with her friends-Hen, Tor and Masie. But, she is a Philanthropist too; her charity is pretty anomalous from others. Charity- for god’s sake it’s not money Kitty exaggerates but the support she provides to women who face abuse. How? By killing men! Whoa! I would bet she is a ‘deuce’; a bad luck for men who were abusers in the past, still continue to toil their aggrandizement in the present.
My definition of Kitty—a female recidivist who has taken on the mantle to right the wrongs and embrace this path of benevolence!
It all starts with an accident when a lecherous man follows kitty from a night club. The salacious man’s poor ego gets hurt when she resists his lewd behavior. In an attempt to protect herself, she accidentally pushes him causing his instant death. She leaves the scene with no remorse and eventually recognizes her new calling.
What starts with an accident soon leads to a planned retribution as Kitty realizes she likes the feeling of taking revenge from men on behalf of all the outraged females. In the midst of all this, Kitty has a mysterious stalker threatening to expose her secrets. As the plot progresses, so does the layers of Kitty’spast life unravel; her father’s sudden disappearance and her ex-boyfriend’ massive brain stroke.
Was her past a bedevilling scourge that made killing men her psychotic hobby?
Will she ever stop?
Is there a clear justification for Kitty’s behaviour?
Katy Brent through her book ‘How to Kill men and get way it’ brings forth a spectrum of themes- betrayal, friendship, sexual harassment, mental illness, love and care. The plot is entertaining and well laced with humour and sarcasm. Readers will find it difficult to disentangle themselves from perplexity of either considering Kitty a pernicious influence on society or applauding her for her audacity to challenge the wrong.
The book is definitely not a bible of ‘female panjandrum’ exfoliating the ‘male imperium saga’; channelling a killing spree as Kitty headlocks for some ‘twists and tweaks’. I rather comprehend the coup de grace as a world where women are free to venture out without fear of being attacked or abused.
No time curfew, no pepper sprays and no fear of being judged!
Nevertheless, we don’t have to be out on the lonely streets being a messiah to erase injustice. We don’t need to search our predators but atleast we can voice injustice meted out on us..