22 comments on “A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride | Book Review

  1. I love this review! I totally agree that it is difficult to recommend this book – both because the first few chapters are intensely difficult to get into and because the subject matter is so very horrifying. Still. I am loving it so far and I am so glad we made this our first post-wp group read.

      • It will probably take me a bit longer to finish because I cannot listen to it on my way to work (too depressing and too much in need of focussed listening) but I am loving it.

  2. Fantastic review! I’m not very far yet and just starting to feel in tune with the writing, but I’m glad to see that what I’ve gleaned so far matches up with your impressions. That it ultimately impressed you makes me more excited to continue!

  3. I made the mistake of getting the audio version of this and playing it in the car. I didn’t last long – found it too confusing. Clearly a book best read …

  4. At first I was turned off by your description of the language. Lazily, I thought, “I don’t want to have to work too hard to understand a book.” And it’s true. I guess I see it as a lack of respect for a reader when a writer makes a work so obtuse that no one “gets it.” However. I thought back to my experiences reading Bogeywoman (twice) by Jaimy Gordon and how it took me many pages to get into the weird language the narrator, who calls herself Bogeywoman uses. She makes up words and expressions. It was like dunking myself in a new culture, but once I got it, it zinged.

    • It’s true that some books can feel like hard work for the wrong reasons, but in this case, it’s the kind of effort that brings great reward. Still, I don’t doubt the style won’t work for everyone.

  5. Awesome review! I haven’t read this yet but I read McBride’s other book, Lesser Bohemians, this year and it sounds rather similar. I agree that the way she uses language can be initially off-putting because you do have to work a bit, but once I found my rhythm with it, I loved the book. I’m hoping to read this one soon and curious to see how similar they are because there is a lot in your description that sounds like Lesser Bohemians.

    • Thank you! Yes, it’s definitely the kind of hard work that pays off in the end.

      I would definitely like to check out more of McBride’s work off the back of this, so it’ll be interesting to see how much crossover there is!

  6. Pingback: July Wrap Up | Callum McLaughlin

  7. Pingback: Review: A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride – I have thoughts on books

  8. I agree with you completely! The book is emotionally exhausting and intellectually exhausting, too. And as you said, the ending feels inevitable, but it hurt no less because of that. Beautiful review!

  9. Pingback: Review: A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing, by Eimear McBride | Naty's Bookshelf

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