“THE LESSER BOHEMIANS,”
BY EIMEAR MCBRIDE
PUBLICATION: CROWN PUBLISHING;
SEPTEMBER 20, 2016
Synopsis: One night an eighteen-year-old Irish girl, recently arrived in London to attend drama school, meets an older man – a well-regarded actor in his own right. While she is naive and thrilled by life in the big city, he is haunted by more than a few demons, and the clamorous relationship that ensues risks undoing them both.
A captivating story of passion and innocence, joy and discovery set against the vibrant atmosphere of 1990s London over the course of a single year, THE LESSER BOHEMIANS glows with the eddies and anxieties of growing up, and the transformative intensity of a powerful new love.
Review: I really wanted to like “The Lesser Bohemians” and I gave it a good try, but this book just wasn’t for me. Eily is a young woman starting drama school and falls into an affair with a professor, Stephen, who is twice her age. In the process of classes and actually participating in her education is a mix of drinking, smoking, and lots of sex. Set in the 1990’s, I wasn’t expecting this novel to read as it did, but basically, it’s an epic. It’s classified as a novel under literary fiction, coming of age, etc. But it’s a long, tiring poem describing about a year of Eily’s life.
I do not have any issues with poetry although epics are not my favorite, think “Beowulf,” but it’s just not what I was expecting. I think I re-read the first 5-6 pages 2-3 times not knowing what the hell was going on and what this was classified as a literary fiction novel, then finally just stuck with it and pushed forward. When I was an undergrad and during grad school, I was one of those book geeks that loved classes that assigned a lot of novels, regardless of the genre, but every once in a while I would get one that was like watching paint dry. This is what this reminded me of. It was like a horrible, cruel assignment that I had to finish because I had a paper due on it the next day. I hate to be hateful or critical, but I just didn’t like it. However, I always find something positive, and I can say that a great deal of the writing was beautiful. If McBride was writing a series of poems, they would probably take your breath away. But this continuation of getting drunk, getting laid, and being hungover just didn’t do it for me. I didn’t see the romance in this one. If you are into epics and can appreciate the over-used topic of an old professor getting naked with a young student,then you may like it. But, it just wasn’t for me.
*Disclaimer: I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.