Jamaica Magazine

Book Review – The Cries of Men

Written by Staff Writer

About the Book
The Cries of Men appeals to an older mature audience. The book is written within the social context of the Jamaican culture and the issues of masculinity, homophobia, rape, incest and abuse in Jamaica are discussed. O’Brien Dennis approach to the book is personal as he was savagely and repeatedly abused as a child.

The Cries of Men appeals to an audience that extends beyond those Jamaican men who have suffered sexual abuse. Women should find the book most interesting as it deals with bisexuality and men living on the low.

O’Brien has interviewed victims of male rape and child abuse and he has dish the dirt on the Jamaican culture that seemingly harbors and encourages male rape and child abuse. The impact of religion, culture and dancehall music is prevalent throughout the storyline. Dancehall music alone with the cultural values of Jamaica serves to intimidate, taunt and mock victims of male sexual assault and at least indirectly condone sexual violence. The Jamaican “Rude Boy” image is tackled. O’Brien was privilege to interview a Jamaican singer who illustrated the point of hypocrisy within Jamaican dancehall culture.

About the Author
O’Brien Dennis was born and raised in Jamaica where he was a victim of sexual abuse. Dennis now splits his time between homes in New York and Massachusetts. He holds a BA in African history with a minor in international relations from the University of the West Indies, Mona.

The author is especially effective when interviewing other victims of male rape or child abuse. He seems to have a talent for putting people at ease and encouraging honest, sincere considerations of painful personal experiences and relevant issues.

The book should appeal to an audience that extends beyond those Jamaican men who have suffered from sexual abuse. The issues of false masculinity, homophobia, rape and coercion are evident throughout the book and, unfortunately, timeless. Women should find the book most interesting as it deals with bi-sexuality and men living on the low. The primary goal however is to each other victims of male rape.

Dennis also perceptively considers the Jamaican culture that seemingly harbors and encourages male rape and child abuse. He helpfully speaks to the dominating concepts of homophobia and false masculinity, and how these attitudes are sustained by religious beliefs and dancehall music, which serves to intimidate, taunt, and mock victims of assault and at least indirectly condone sexual violence.

The author passionately and candidly examines his own history. One of the extraordinary strengths of the book is the author’s sense of story. He has an admirable talent for grabbing the reader’s interest and keeping it throughout on episode involving the painful details of rape. He gives accounts of his personal journal entries, which are filled with grammatical errors. The author has become dyslectic over the years and throughout the book, as he becomes the child these errors are evident.

To purchase visit http://www.obriendennis.com/

About the author

Staff Writer