Monsters: What Do We Do with Great Art by Bad People?

Science, Study & Work, Smart Thinking
Hardback Published on: 11/05/2023
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Bookseller Reviews

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No More Heroes
This is a highly readable (and thankfully very funny) look at the history of the inner turmoil a fan experiences when faced with unavoidable truths about t... READ MORE
Jo at Greenwich
What is left between cancel culture and denial?
In ‘Monsters’ Claire Dederer takes the reader on a personal and honest journey out of the dilemma of dealing with beloved artworks and their monstrous crea... READ MORE
Am I a monster?
What a truly great book! In 'Monsters', Claire Dederer perfectly deciphers the problem of separating the author from the work. Using case studies throughou... READ MORE
Rowan Maddock
I'm so glad I read this!
I was originally skeptical about reading this book, as I believed it would be too focused on the 'seperate the art from the artist' concept. However Dedere... READ MORE
Isobel Holmes
Engaging and Thought-Provoking Writing!
I feel like I had way too much fun reading this book. Historically, I've never been a non-fiction buff, but this book literally kickstarted a burning desir... READ MORE
Ellie at Lancaster
Can you separate the art from the artist?
This book examines whether it is possible to love and appreciate the art when the artist is a monster. Examining a variety of artists and their 'crimes' th... READ MORE
Sarah in Wolverhampton
Thought provoking
An interesting book that discusses if we can still consume the art of people who have done/been accused of monstrous things. Are men and women artists held... READ MORE
Angie at Blackpool
Compelling and Thought-Provoking
An absolutely fantastic read, which is both entertaining, harrowing, and deeply self-reflexive. Dederer takes the preachy or pretentious pedestal and absol... READ MORE
Ellie at Lancaster
Am I a monster, or is this what it means to be human?
It is not very often that I am at a loss for words. Claire speaks at length in this book about our consumption of works of art that allow us to feel "seen"... READ MORE
Liv Hunter


A passionate, provocative and blisteringly smart interrogation of how we experience art in the age of #MeToo, and whether we can separate an artist's work from their biography. What do we do with the art of monstrous men? Can we love the work of Roman Polanski and Michael Jackson, Hemingway and Picasso? Should we love it? Does genius deserve special dispensation? Is history an excuse? What makes women artists monstrous? And what should we do with beauty, and with our unruly feelings about it? Claire Dederer explores these questions and our relationships with the artists whose behaviour disrupts our ability to apprehend the work on its own terms. She interrogates her own responses and her own behaviour, and she pushes the fan, and the reader, to do the same. Morally wise, deeply considered and sharply written, Monsters gets to the heart of one of our most pressing conversations.

  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
  • ISBN: 9781399715034
  • Number of pages: 288
  • Weight: 480g
  • Dimensions: 236 x 158 x 32 mm

Customer Reviews

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Thought provoking
It's a very modern dilemma: how do we enjoy an artist's work when we know they were an awful person? Is it still acceptable to watch and enjoy the films a... READ MORE
Verity Halliday