A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing

A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing

Book - 2014
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The story of a young woman's relationship with her brother, the long shadow cast by his childhood brain tumour, and her harrowing sexual awakening. Not so much a stream-of-consciousness, as an unconscious railing against a life that makes little sense, and a shocking and intimate insight into the thoughts, feelings and chaotic sexuality of a vulnerable and isolated protagonist, this novel plunges inside its narrator's head. This isn't always comfortable - but it is always a revelation.
Publisher: Toronto :, Simon & Schuster Canada,, 2014
ISBN: 9781476789026
Branch Call Number: F MCB NVD
Characteristics: 224 pages ; 22 cm


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May 10, 2017

This is a raw, unflinching gut-wrenching, hard to read and harder to bear book written in "stream of consciousness" , a dense, interrupted, shattered language. An astonishing book that was one of the most difficult book I've read.

Nov 07, 2016

Gasp. The author does make you feel the plot and the characters. It is entirely believable and unbearable. Other reviewers and the author herself have said she referenced James Joyce. It's her first book. I hope later she develops the gestalt, direct experience narrative so there is more flow.

A great start.

Apr 02, 2016

This is a brilliant book, worthy of the Bailey's prize. It is challenging to read although it does not take long to become engrossed in the mind of the young woman narrator. Although it is modern in its writing, it tells a story that could have been written by Edna O'Brian in the 1960s - a fatherless family, disturbed mother, perverted uncle - all oppressed by religion and overall, a story characterized by guilt. The pain of the young woman is almost unbearable. Highly recommended.

Mar 17, 2016

One of the most challenging books to read that I have ever encountered, but absolutely brilliant. Read my review at

Jul 08, 2015

Could not get through this. Rambled too much; too hard to follow.

Mar 28, 2015


Jan 06, 2015

This acclaimed debut novel from Irish writer Eimear McBride is something of a half-formed book: a lumpy, bitter stew of Beckett, Joyce, working class vernacular, and pretty much every form of Irish miserablism (dysfunctional family, abuse, bad sex, the Church, God, general bleakness). The clipped, blunt sentences are perhaps the most notable aspect, but they owe a lot to Beckett's experiment novels. Interesting on some level, but overly familiar.

Oct 19, 2014

In A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, Eimear McBride takes you inside a young woman’s mind teeming so violently, body pained so volcanically, soul torn so profoundly that you’re left shaking by the last page … if you last to that point. You might not. As McBride inhabits this character at the cellular level, the effect is scorchingly intimate, uncomfortable, unbearable and possibly unreadable for some at times. The rewards and insights are great, though, for the reader that can persevere with this thorny, brilliant debut novel. - See more at: http://bookgagabooks.ca/#sthash.JyTuoLuf.dpuf

Winner of the 2014 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction
Longlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize


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Oct 19, 2014

Something. Words words. I’ll go on my own. Your temper that’s the devil up. Normal almost sight again. Pull the bed but melt like water. Gone to hell. All your muscles. You’d give me a hit but can’t. I. There. Lie back. Lie back. You have to. Don’t do this you say.

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