Camilla Outzen Rantsen
“Guynecology” is a collection of short stories about relationships, drama, and the random absurdity of everyday life in Los Angeles. Told through the lenses of a freewheeling narrator from Denmark, author Camilla Outzen Rantsen weaves fantastic tales that leave you entertained yet contemplative.
Marketed as an “intersection” between men and women, boys and girls, or whatever pronoun you prefer—each short story comes with a sense of whimsy and adventure written in a way that can only be described as “fluent Angelean.”
While the main character is originally from Denmark, her years of living in the city of Angels (or adjacent) have certainly molded her into what many may perceive as the Californian Carrie Bradshaw. While she’s not chasing Mr. Big or sipping Cosmopolitans with her girlfriends, she certainly doesn’t run out of interesting temporary male leads and fabulous girlfriends in her self-led novel of life. Whether it’s getting held at gunpoint or dealing with ghosts in a shared home—there is, simply put, no shortage of entertainment in this read.
Fun, witty, whimsical, and just plain fun, Guynecology is a daring work that is not afraid to experiment with free verse writing. While there is no specific plot in any of these stories, the author’s greatest strength truly lies in her writing style because she manages to keep you hanging on to her every word. While the book starts as funny and exciting, there are moments of vulnerability that showcases the author’s versatility, especially at the ending chapters.
Chapters thirteen and fourteen are my favorites because of their raw honesty and depiction of the female experience without losing its overall tone. While these chapters take such issues seriously, it doesn’t necessarily preach nor give out common internet talking points; instead, it deals with these issues with brevity without unnecessary sugarcoating. While it may seem strange to have such chapters dedicated to these issues in a book about relationships, you’ll find that it’s an essential part of the overall collection while perfectly showcasing the author’s style.
Ultimately, Guynecology is worth a read, especially if you’re looking for a short story collection that is new, exciting, and unique. While the author has yet to release other stories or books, I, for one, can’t wait to see what else she has in the future.
– The Moving Words Review
Official Entry: The Most Moving Book Award, Jan. 3, 2024