How to Build a Girl

How to Build a Girl

3.68 (21,832 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

What do you do in your teenage years when you realise what your parents taught you wasn't enough? You must go out and find books and poetry and pop songs and bad heroes - and build yourself.

It's 1990. Johanna Morrigan, 14, has shamed herself so badly on local TV that she decides that there's no point in being Johanna anymore and reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde - fast-talking, hard-drinking Gothic hero and full-time Lady Sex Adventurer! She will save her poverty stricken Bohemian family by becoming a writer - like Jo in Little Women, or the Brontes - but without the dying young bit.

By 16, she's smoking cigarettes, getting drunk and working for a music paper. She's writing pornographic letters to rock-stars, having all the kinds of sex with all the kinds of men, and eviscerating bands in reviews of 600 words or less.

But what happens when Johanna realises she's built Dolly with a fatal flaw? Is a box full of records, a wall full of posters and a head full of paperbacks, enough to build a girl after all?

Imagine The Bell Jar written by Rizzo from Grease, with a soundtrack by My Bloody Valentine and Happy Mondays. As beautiful as it is funny, How To Build a Girl is a brilliant coming-of-age novel in DMs and ripped tights, that captures perfectly the terror and joy of trying to discover exactly who it is you are going to be.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 134 x 214 x 24mm | 359.99g
  • Ebury Press
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0091949025
  • 9780091949020
  • 20,519

Review quote

"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 *
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About Caitlin Moran

Caitlin Moran is the eldest of eight children,home-educated on a council estate in Wolverhampton, believing that if she werevery good and worked very hard, she might one day evolve into Bill Murray.

She published a children's novel, The Chronicles of Narmo, at the age of16, and became a columnist at The Timesat 18. She has gone on to be named Columnist of the Year six times. At onepoint, she was also Interviewer andCritic of the Year - which is good going for someone who still regularlymistypes `the' as `hte'. Hermulti-award-winning bestseller How to Bea Woman has been published in 28 countries, and won the British Book Awards'Book of the Year 2011. Her two volumes of collected journalism, Moranthology and Moranifesto, were SundayTimes bestsellers, and her novel, Howto Build a Girl, debuted at Number One, and is currently being adapted as amovie. She co-wrote two series of the Rose d'Or-winning Channel 4 sitcom Raised by Wolves with her sister,Caroline.

Caitlin lives on Twitter with her husband and twochildren, where she spends her time tweeting either about civil rights issues, or that picture of Bruce Springsteen when he was 23, and has histop off. She would like to be remembered as `a very sexual humanitarian'.
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Review Text

"spirited coming of age novel romps from strength to strength...I'm a Moran fan" Lionel Shriver The Times
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Rating details

21,832 ratings
3.68 out of 5 stars
5 23% (4,925)
4 38% (8,325)
3 28% (6,043)
2 9% (1,878)
1 3% (661)
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