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Old 2nd Jan 2014, 13:01   #1
vencut2
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Default A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing

Oh. This. Tricky strange and. Strange beautiful but grim.

The story is by turns brutal and desperately sad and normally I wouldn’t even start a book with such a plot, but the reviews I read suggested it was extraordinary and so it proved. The style forced my reading pace to slow immediately, but rather than becoming irritating it had the effect of drawing me in closely and I couldn’t let go.

Here’s an extract, from the first time the narrator and her brother travel to a new school; I think it gives you an idea of the rhythm and poetry of the writing without giving away anything of the plot. The brain fills in the missing words, skips the repeats, judges the gaps made by the full-stops – at one point in the book language breaks down completely, adding even greater force to the events described – but at other times the phrases lengthen and a few words produce a much bigger picture.

“We sliced through that fug school bus. So misfortunately new. Thicken soup-ish teenage sweat and cigarette boys slop always at the back . . . Felt my hormones long to slink quiet out of these hard eyes. Do not be seen. Do not see me. But I must turn myself to the great face of girls.”

Final thought: what on earth will Eimear McBride write after this?
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