Friday, June 29, 2018

Audiobook Review: Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein

Rating: ★★★★ | Penguin Audio | 7 hours and 4 minutes | Memoir | 10/27/2015

I find Carrie Brownstein really interesting. She’s one of those people who has managed to have two very distinct yet very successful careers in the public eye. Depending who you are you may know her from the rock band Sleater-Kinney or, if you’re like me, from the award-winning show Portlandia.

This memoir is focused exclusively on her relationship to music and Sleater-Kinney. I picked up this book because it was like a window to the eclectic and chaotic world of 90’s punk rock band life during the riot grrrl movement--a world I knew nothing about.

This is a fun listen on audiobook,  Brownstein does a great job narrating her life story from her wistful childhood in the Seattle suburbs to her unexpected rise to notoriety. She reveals all the grit behind band life and is open about the ups and downs of forming and keeping a band going for over a decade. The audiobook has fun bonuses like musical interludes, a section where guest narrators show up, and an interview with Brownstein and the audiobook producer. The only thing you would  miss by not picking up the physical book are all the photographs

Her narrative is very personal, I expected her to dig into the riot grrl movement and feminism more broadly, but she keeps it only to her experience. This book also has a tendency to periodically take a turn for the literary and purple prose. There were some paragraphs where I had no idea what she was talking about.

Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl is a fascinating and honest memoir, but may not be the best book for fans looking to get a more behind the scenes look at Portlandia. Maybe the story of Portlandia will be her next memoir because I don’t understand how she went from musician to successful sketch comedy writer/producer/actor.


The whole time I read this I was thinking this could be a TV show and it looks like a pilot is in production for Hulu. Now, I just want a Last Black Unicorn based TV show, come through HBO

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