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Clever Girl Paperback – 11 Oct 1996

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; New edition edition (11 Oct. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330342606
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330342605
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 1.6 x 13.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,178,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By SJ SMART on 7 May 2010
Format: Paperback
An interesting and moving read of a talented, thoughtful main female character, beginning in the later 1970s early 1980s as a teenager and moving through a lot of sexual troubles and problems in to her adult life.

I couldn't put it down and it has left me feeling very sorry for Sarah the main character who is a "clever girl" but doesnt deserve any of the troubles she has to endure. A very moving book
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
Mentally disturbed, mentally disturbing and tries way too hard 1 May 2009
By Erica Starks - Published on
Format: Paperback
"Clever Girl" (a pretty generic title, considering the tone and subject matter of the book) details protagonist Sarah Clevtoe's struggles to be a functioning person after suffering multiple sexual abuses early in her life. The story begins during her adolescence, an already confusing time for most kids without the added weight of being used as a communal blow-up doll by her fellow classmates. She goes on to become a good student, but fails to excel or even do a fair job at cultivating a career or a relationship not based on her acquiescence to filthy sexual desires of various loser men. I won't give away what happens after Sarah's ugly behavior on a train, but suffice it to say that the book loses any charm or depth it had in order to drag the reader down beyond any capacity to like, feel sorry for, or even care about what happens to its main character. Likewise, despite the considerable reasons for her low-self esteem and worth, though, it's hard to relate on any level to Sarah for any length of time as her narration is swollen with self-pitying helplessness, and an endless number of overly wordy yet totally unnecessary descriptive passages.

The thing is, Tania Glyde is a gifted writer. It's clear that she is talented and has a knack for colorful prose, but again, its over-usage brings the book down, like she (Glyde) is trying way too hard to prove how big her considerable vocabulary is. On top of that, the sexual subject matter, while potentially riveting just becomes stale, predictable and even downright gross at some points--and I am really not a prude. I can count on less than one hand the number of books I've found completely repugnant with little to no redeeming factor and this is at the top of the list. At one point I physically gagged (what about? Let's just say it involves the attempted self-diagnosis of a nasty female problem through ridiculous and unrealistic means).

Honestly, I could go on and on about the problems I had with this book, but instead I'll just leave it at this: read it if you are in the mood to be depressed, disgusted, disturbed AND confused--the ending is an incomprehensible mess designed to shock and awe the reader but instead just leaves you relieved the dreck is finally over.

The first star is for the respect I have for any author's hard work, no matter how I feel about the end product; the second because Tania Glyde's talent for words is apparent despite the fact she tried way too hard to convey the beauty of such an ugly story.
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