Winner of the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year 2014
Winner of The Desmond Elliot Prize 2014
Winner of the inaugural Goldsmiths Prize 2013
Winner of the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction 2014
Shortlisted for the inaugural Folio Prize 2014
A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing is an unforgettable novel from a major new literary talent. Eimear McBride's award-winning debut novel tells the story of a young woman's relationship with her brother, and the long shadow cast by his childhood brain tumour. It is a shocking and intimate insight into the thoughts, feelings, and chaotic sexuality of a vulnerable and isolated protagonist.
The author's spellbinding reading illuminates every nuance of the text with feeling and sympathy. The listener enters the narrator's head, experiencing her world at first hand. This isn't always comfortable - but it is always a revelation.
©2013 Eimear McBride (P)2014 Faber Audio
"You only need to read the first paragraph of McBride's debut novel to know you are reading something special. She builds up images impressionistically over paragraphs and pages, and her writing has such glorious cadence that it should be read aloud." (The Times)
"A virtuosic debut: subversive, passionate, and darkly alchemical. Read it and be changed." (Eleanor Catton, author of The Luminaries)
"Eimear McBride is that old-fashioned thing, a genius... The adventurous reader will find that they have a real book on their hands, a live one, a book that is not like any other... [it] is an instant classic." (Anne Enright, Guardian)
"A writer of remarkable power and originality." (David Collard, Times Literary Supplement)
"A brutal and brilliant debut... This book will arouse powerful emotions in anyone who accords it the respect of reading with attention." (John P. O'Sullivan, Sunday Times Ireland)
"A remarkable achievement." (John Boland, Irish Independent)
"There's an immediacy, an emotional directness as the narrator rails against a frustrating, unfeeling world. Brave, bold, brilliant." (Daily Mail)
"Ten pages in and all the bells start ringing. It explodes into your chest." (Caitlin Moran)
"Soul-wrenchingly sad." (Financial Times)
"McBride weaves something dazzling... She set out to pick up the experimental modernist baton from James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, and she has done just that." (Observer)
"It truly is one of the most extraordinary things I've read in the last year." (Harper’s Bazaar)
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"Gibble Gobble Gibble Gobble"
This is such a brave brave book. Really it is. But it was hard listening in every way. The author's reading is at once lilting and lyrical, you are there with her, but the narrative boings about all over the place, a stream of consciousness and lost words. You me I they she are jumbled together and I found myself wanting at times to see the text, to know how it looked on the page.
Either way, I thought it good and terrifying and strong. Such a fascinating presentation of a mind's eye. Highly recommended, and tough, though you will likely find yourself dipping in and out, drifting with McBride's beautiful mad voice in your head.
"Ingenious writing- disturbing yet fascinating"
Despite it being deeply uncomfortable, I was captivated by this book. Incredible audio performance from the author herself - I recommend the audiobook to fully appreciate the style of this book. Not for the faint of heart, due to its merciless honesty, but do give this a read if you appreciate great writing
Such a beautifully poetic writer reflecting the disjointed and disturbing nature of the subject. Difficult to listen too initially because of the poetic style but let the narrative take you and it will make sense. So brave to take on this perspective but so important. Thank you.
trust me it's worth the listen. my advice is to set a side some time to listen as it's Irish author and performance are brilliant. it takes a moment to get into the sway. but there is the deep and loving sad story of this young girl.
"Extraordinary reading - not for the faint-hearted"
In terms of the reading, this is one of the best I've heard.
On the basis of the excellence of the reading, I'd try another. However, the content of this one requires a strong stomach and some persistence. This is not light-weight material.
An amazingly fluent and rhythmic reading that gains momentum and emotion as it nears the end.
It should be listened to in one reading, but it is a grim story which is horrifying as much as it is beautiful and moving.
I didn't think I would like this, but it is difficult not to acknowledge how difficult this book must have been to write. While I did not like the story, I cannot help but admire the skill with which it is written as well as the way it is delivered in this very unique reading by the author herself.
"Difficult to understand"
This book is written and narrated in a strange was, no punctuation, words popping out of nowhere meaning nothing. It's very hickledy pickledy. Like running through a maze and never getting to the end. With that said I stuck with it. This will not be for everyone!
"A hard listen"
This is an interesting book, a sort of post Joycean stream of conscious. The breathless, staccato delivery turn it into almost a performance piece of poetry. However, the relentless first person takes you rather too close for comfort into the mind of a troubled and self destructive young woman, whose refuge in random sexual partners is taken advantage of, even by the man who claims to love her. This is not a pleasant experience, but its worth listening to.
"Unique and haunting narrative"
It took me as many as four chapters to swallow the hook but I'm glad I persisted. Once you get used to the unique stream of narrative there is a raw and gleaming talent to be found. The subjects aren't always comfortable to be fully absorbed in, a brother's cancer, rape, violence.. but the experience is powerful and moving none-the-less.
Restores faith in the possibility of originality and brilliance. Moving, vivid, compassionate, extraordinarily insightful. And outstandingly read by the author.
"Challenging but beautifully written and narrated"
Definitely not a book to listen to if you're feeling low. The story is so sad but the writing is painfully beautiful. It took a little while to get into the style of the narrative but then it just flowed. It is almost like a poem and it was recited rather than narrated, which really brought it to life.
It's a book I'm glad I listened to but now I need to listen to something a bit lighter.
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