A sexually charged novel from the author of A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing. One night an eighteen-year-old Irish girl, recently arrived in London to attend drama school, meets an older man – a well-regarded actor. The clamorous relationship that ensues risks undoing them both.
The Lesser Bohemians is every bit as stylistically resourceful as Girl, every bit as urgent and authentic. It is also more well-rounded, better ... As for the content, it is equally harrowing, but the pain is leavened by headiness and hope ... The Lesser Bohemians is a full-on sensory experience—and another superlative achievement.
What is most remarkable is McBride’s sensitivity to moment-to-moment shifts in feeling ... It is notoriously difficult to write about sex, and McBride does it better than almost any other contemporary novelist I’ve read ... the novel becomes a little baggy at this point [the second half] ... The Lesser Bohemians confirms McBride’s status as one of our major novelists.
For better or worse, this new novel is a more predictable beast, and occasionally we fall into a pop-song summary of events that lacks all the intensity and strange specificity that raised her first novel so far above ordinariness ... Balanced against such passages, however, are images that remind us of the fact McBride is one of the most exciting literary talents to emerge in the last few years ... McBride proves expert at capturing the headlong sense of power and powerlessness that a person experiences when falling in love for the first time ... This may not be Eimear McBride’s strongest book, but moments of highly specific, deeply felt experience remind us what she can do.