How to Build a Girl Hardcover – 3 Jul 2014
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"spirited coming of age novel romps from strength to strength…I’m a Moran fan" (Lionel Shriver The Times)
"rude, big-hearted, wise-cracking novel" (Christina Patterson The Sunday Times)
"a Portnoy's Complaint for girls… when I see this book described as "laugh-out-loud funny" I feel affronted; it could make you laugh out loud with one hand tied behind its back, while wanking itself off to fantasies of Satan. Laughing out loud is just the start" (Zoe Williams The Guardian)
"an entertaining read, with Moran in fine voice – hilarious, wild, imaginative and highly valuable…Moran is in danger of becoming to female masturbation what Keats was to Nightingales…" (Barbara Ellen The Observer)
"Moran also writes brilliantly about music, and especially about what music can do. She carries Johanna through this novel with incredible verve, extravagant candour, and a lot of heart. Johanna is … a wonderful heroine. A heroine who cares, who bravely sallies forth and makes things happen, who gives of herself, who is refreshingly unashamed. She’s so confident, it’s glorious" (The Independent on Sunday)
The number 1 Sunday Times bestseller, the debut grown-up novel from Caitlin Moran, bestselling author of How To Be A Woman…See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
It's almost as if she went through all the discarded notes/entries for HTBAW and used them here. Lazy, unconvincing and - at times - a bit sexist.
Couldn't she have at least have changed the story location from Wolverhampton? I'm amazed the editor didn't demand this.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Cover was damaged and the spine was coming loose, but the pages weren't damaged so still fine to read.Published 1 month ago by Billie
I had this book recommended to me but I was a bit wary after reading the reviews. Needless to say I thoroughly enjoyed it and glad I bought it! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Samantha
I can completely see why this book is a bestseller, it is wonderful. It follows Johanna Morrigan as she comes of age in the early nineties and invents and then reinvents herself. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sarah Tipper
I am a fan of Caitlyn and this didn't disappoint. Witty, honest and relatable, I found this a great read.Published 1 month ago by Miss H L Moore
Really funny book. I can relate to her and some of the issues she writes about in the book as a young girl growing up in northern England! Easy to read and couldn't put it down.Published 1 month ago by alyson oliver
Caitlin is an excellent writer. Really amusing account of her early years.Published 2 months ago by Paul R