Snoakes's Reviews > A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing

A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride
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Apr 08, 2014

it was ok
bookshelves: desmond-elliott-2014

It's a brave author who chooses to ignore the normal conventions of written English. The novel is written in fractured phrases - it's rare to get anything like a fully-formed sentence. This is effective to imply fleeting glimpses and impressions, thoughts and feelings, but over the length of a book gets extremely wearing. Used more sparingly with more a pedestrian narrative to move the plot along I might have engaged & empathised with both the book and the character more.

At the beginning the narrator is a small child , so the fragments of prose are very unstructured and I found it highly irritating. Fortunately as she grows up her voice becomes slightly more comprehensible and you begin to bounce along with the rhythm of it. However, by your teenage years, half-formed or not, you are capable of thinking in coherent sentences, so I found the style detracted from both the story and the character.

For me it is a gimmick that does not add anything but in this instance merely serves to mask the fact that it is a fairly standard coming of age tale about a sexually precocious girl ridden with Catholic guilt and with a sick brother. Nothing wrong with that, but I desperately wanted it to be something more to reward me for the effort of reading it.

I have a feeling lots of people will disagree with me, but I found it a bit tedious. Emperor’s new clothes or am I just too thick to get it?
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Reading Progress

April 8, 2014 – Shelved
April 8, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
April 9, 2014 – Started Reading
April 11, 2014 – Finished Reading
April 28, 2014 – Shelved as: desmond-elliott-2014

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