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Eimear McBride's debut novel, A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing, was published in 2013 to an avalanche of praise: Nominated for a host of literary awards, winner of the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction and the inaugural Goldsmith's Prize, declared by Vanity Fair to be "one of the most groundbreaking pieces of literature to come from Ireland, or anywhere, in recent years", McBride's bold, wholly original prose immediately established her as a literary force. Now she brings her singular voice to an unlikely love story.
One night an 18-year-old Irish girl, recently arrived in London to attend drama school, meets an older man - a well-regarded actor in his own right. While she is naive and thrilled by life in the big city, he is haunted by more than a few demons, and the clamorous relationship that ensues risks undoing them both.
A captivating story of passion and innocence, joy and discovery, set against the vibrant atmosphere of 1990s London over the course of a single year, The Lesser Bohemians glows with the eddies and anxieties of growing up and the transformative intensity of a powerful new love.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Pictorama on 11-23-16
Took a little while to get hooked
What did you love best about The Lesser Bohemians?
The language seemed pretentious at first and was distracting, but t hen there were beautiful passages and descriptions once I got used to it.
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Lesser Bohemians?
The author is gifted at making everyday life come alive and taking you to a very specific place and time.
Have you listened to any of Eimear McBride’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
There are revelations about the past lives of the characters which are painful but moving.
Any additional comments?
It fascinates me that this starts out very much a story of the first person female narrator who has a very moving story - yet the book ends up really being about the life of the man she is involved with. I would like to have heard more of the woman's story - however it is as if being in her mind with her she can't be self conscious enough to tell her story.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By jdk on 06-11-17
Beautiful Poetic Style; Failed Characters
As a romance the story fails because the characters, their decisions and actions are not believable. The erotic language is effective to a point, but still there are problems. It seems the narrative follows the growth of Eily's sexual and emotional self awareness, but I felt this conflicted with the natural intimacy of the locus of the narrative.
I guess, as is often, the streaming words of consciousness ask as many questions as they answer as a device for delivering narrative. Placed hard against gobs of exposition through ranting dialogue weakens this story stylistically.
McBride is gifted with language and I'm sure she'll write a masterpiece, but this ain't it. Joyce? Not yet.