A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing

  • by Eimear McBride
  • Narrated by Eimear McBride
  • 7 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.


What the Critics Say

"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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- AnnaJean Hughes


Harrowing and laden with horror. Found the juddering, broken thought processes tiresome. Glad that it was read by the author or I would have doubted that the reader was expressing the book as intended. I listened to this as I had seen enthusiastic review. I am willing to believe that I have not appreciated the depths and subtleties of this grief- laden work, but cannot recommend it except as a challenge to comfort zones.
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- Boomer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-08-2014
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Ltd