Customer Reviews


147 Reviews
5 star:
 (69)
4 star:
 (28)
3 star:
 (19)
2 star:
 (17)
1 star:
 (14)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, graphic, fascinating
Over the past few years I've seen a lot of references to Caitlin Moran on the social media feeds of some friends, and when I saw she had a novel out I was intrigued. Would this be a feminist manifesto that would improve my understanding of how my friends see the world? Well no - it's not a manifesto, but it's certainly an interesting look at the life of a teenage girl...
Published 3 months ago by Jim J-R

versus
80 of 83 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You've read it already.......
.....only with different names. This is basically How To Be a Woman all over again, only the heroine's surname is Morrigan not Moran. Actually had to stop a couple of times to check I hadn't accidentally picked up the other book by mistake. There is not much new here.

Moran is a very funny writer, but please. Also all the reviews calling it a "debut...
Published 4 months ago by E Silheit


‹ Previous | 1 215 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

80 of 83 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You've read it already......., 8 July 2014
This review is from: How to Build a Girl (Hardcover)
.....only with different names. This is basically How To Be a Woman all over again, only the heroine's surname is Morrigan not Moran. Actually had to stop a couple of times to check I hadn't accidentally picked up the other book by mistake. There is not much new here.

Moran is a very funny writer, but please. Also all the reviews calling it a "debut novel"? Come on, she's been writing books for decades. She is essentially the female Kingsley Amis: you get the same entertaining, but far too familiar book again, and again, and again. How many home schooled working class 90s teens from Wolverhampton do we need to hear about for her to acknowledge, we got the point?

This seems to be written for adults who want to read the YA fiction they wish they had in the 90s instead of real books. OK for all that but I expected more. Moran has a lot of talent. Here's hoping someone pushes her to write about something other than herself next time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Here we go again..., 26 Aug 2014
By 
S.M. Gidley (Sidmouth, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How to Build a Girl (Hardcover)
It’s ironic that a novel about a young woman who becomes a music journalist is like listening to a monkey endlessly pounding out the same two notes on a piano.

Moran is a good writer, stylistically you cannot fault her, but her subject matter has now officially not just worn thin, but completely and utterly worn through. Despite the disclaimer at the beginning, this is really just a warming-over of her own story, already well and truly milked in How to be a Woman and squeezed even further dry by her columns.

The only thing that I can see is different between her own life is the number of siblings. As is well documented, Moran is one of eight, in this novel there are “only” five children, with the youngest twins. Mercifully, this lets the reader off of her regular entrenched proselytising about the welfare state and her belief that having almost a football team of children when you have no hope at all of financially supporting them at all is some kind of noble enterprise.

Most worrying of all is the ending; it is left quite open, with the heroine’s move to London. I have a feeling that this is not the last we’ll hear of Dolly Wilde.

Water finds its level; Moran is unlikely to rise any furhter than this until she finds some new subject matter. Even enfants terribles all need to grow up some day.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not very well structured, but some likeable characters, 15 July 2014
This review is from: How to Build a Girl (Hardcover)
Really disappointing. I was hoping for a well-written, decent novel, as Moran's columns are always a great read, but this seemed to be written on a 'write-whatever-springs-to-mind-and-edit-it-later-oops-ran-out-of-time-so-it-didn't-get-edited' basis. Such a shame - I had been looking forward to it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars With regret it's a "NO" from me, 8 Aug 2014
By 
I love Caitlin Moran's articles in The Times and adored "How to be a Woman", but this was a bitter disappointment. It appears to be "How to be a Woman" in "novel" form: young girl in Wolverhampton within a large family with parents on the dole. Then she becomes a music journalist. Really? Couldn't she be more inventive and have the heroine brought up in Bradford? An only child? And becoming a footballer? Or Whatever. Like other reviewers, I believe this is a clear re-hash of Moran's autobiography. Very disappointing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Like the book, this review will most likely feel familiar, 1 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Five stars to How to be a woman, same or thereabouts to Moranthology, and I LOVED Raised by wolves on the tellybox. But reading the same story again just felt dull, and a bit sad.

There is far too much evidence for me to think of Moran as a one trick pony. I'd just recommend any fellow fans to avoid this.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bitterly Disappointing, 21 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having read 'How to be a Woman' and publicly cried with laughter reading it on my daily commute, I pre-ordered 'How to build a girl' anticipating another great read from Caitlin Moran. However, I was bitterly disappointed. Whilst Moran states that this book is entirely fiction and the main character of Johanna is not based on herself, the similarities with descriptions of her own childhood are uncanny. The character essentially has exactly the same upbringing and early career as Moran and you can't help but think all the scenes are based on anecdotes from Moran's own wild lifestyle in the 90s music scene. This book seems lazy. There is nothing new here besides the over the top, unnecessarily descriptive accounts of a teenage girl's sex life which leave you feeling slightly uncomfortable and I'm not usually one to be prudish at all.

It seems to me that Moran lazily rushed out a book based on her own life which she has already written about rather than use her imagination to come up with a new story and littered it with vulgar scenes in order to be 'controversial' and 'shocking'. Perhaps she should stick to non-fiction. I can relate to that and it and has had me in tears both with laughter and anguish.

I cannot recommend this book but I strongly recommend you buy How to be a Woman instead as that is a book that truly touches the heart and changes how you feel about being a woman.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Covers old ground - avoid, 9 July 2014
This review is from: How to Build a Girl (Hardcover)
I'm a fan of Caitlin and wanted to like this, bug it was a big disappointment. It covers the exactly same ground as the autobiographical 'How to be a woman' and Caitlin's sitcom 'Raised by wolves', ie being an overweight, unpopular teenage girl raised in a large, poor family in the Midlands. Caitlin only seems capable of writing about herself - which works well for her column, but not for what is supposedly a work of fiction.

This book really doesn't have much in the way of a plot, and I suspect it would never have been published if written by a lesser-known author. At times, the writing felt forced. I read that Caitlin really struggled to write this book, needing lots of encouragement and intervention from her publishers, and I suspect it's because she's already written extensively about the subject matter and had nothing new to say. How much can you milk the experience of being being poor/living in a big family before people get bored? Well, I'm bored. And this book came across as a cynical money-making effort rather than a work of true creativity.

If you haven't already read it, I recommend the excellent 'How to be a woman' instead. If you have already read it, don't bother with this 'new' book, which is truly nothing new.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How not to write a book., 27 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Johanna Morrigan/Dolly Wylde is such a grotesque caricature that my eyes almost bled reading this. And as for the storyline, it would have been more realistic if the teenage hero ended the book by saying "and then, reader, I woke up and realised it was all a dream." Just to add to the astounding numbers of clichés therein. I do like Caitlin Moran's newspaper articles, but this just read like some very poorly tacked together drunken fumblings.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overall a good read, some crossover with Moranthology, 14 July 2014
By 
Mamma Po (Isle of Wight, UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A typically funny read from Caitlin Moran, although I could have done without the frequent references to the subject's frantic teenage masturbation...especially when conducted rather disturbingly next to her younger sleeping brother.

I was also disappointed to find a duplicated passage (literally word for word) from Moranthology - the description of her job interview with a newspaper and joke about the line from the film Annie. I haven't finished the book yet so am hoping there won't be any more repetition.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too self-absorbed and thereby not interesting to read, 19 July 2014
By 
Dottie (S.East England) - See all my reviews
Not worth reading, total waste of time. Was recommended on twitter by Nigella Lawson, who claimed it was so brilliant she read it one sitting, because it was too good to put down. Then Caitlin and Nigella verbally bum licked, said how each were so wonderful and promoted each other's work. Having read the book I can confirm that Nigella's book recommendations are totally over the top for her friends and for other writers who may comment on her books. So her book recommendations can't be trusted, as she is always reminding fellow authors about the importance of royalties. A book for fellow self-absorbed folk, maybe fellow journalists as they can relate to being so self-absorbed? It's a shame, I was really looking forward to a good read, but this was anything but. Fortunately I picked it up in the local library, so at least I didn't waste my money, as well as my time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 215 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews