Critics Take on THE GIRLS

the-girlsConsumer media attention began months ago for Emma Cline’s debut The Girls (PRH/Random House; RH Audio; BOT; OverDrive Sample),

when Random House bought it in a three-book deal with the 25-year-old for a rumored $2 million. Film rights were also purchased by producer Scott Rudin.

Due for release on June 14, eager reviewers have jumped on it a full two weeks in advance of publication (now that consumers can pre-order titles, reviewers seem less bound by publication dates).

The NYT Sunday Review posted theirs on Monday. Reviewer Dylan Landis, herself the author of a debut novel that was well-reviewed in the NYT BR, likes Cline’s book, a lot, calling it “a seductive and arresting coming-of-age story hinged on Charles Manson, told in sen­tences at times so finely wrought they could almost be worn as jewelry.”

Even the New Yorker‘s esteemed critic James Wood takes it on, beginning his review by piling on praise, averring that he doesn’t “mean this as the critic’s dutiful mustering of plaudits before the grim march of negatives,” but still, even with that, by the end he is not fully impressed, saying “Despite these many qualities, The Girls never entirely succeeds in justifying itself.”

The Washington Post‘s critic Ron Charles acknowledges that “The hubbub around The Girls threatens to trample what’s so deeply affecting about it,” and seeks to cuts through the buzz to say the book really is as good as its hype, noting “The most remarkable quality of this novel is Cline’s ability to articulate the anxieties of adolescence in language that’s gorgeously poetic without mangling the authenticity of a teenager’s consciousness.” and ending, “debut novels like this are rare, indeed.”

One Response to “Critics Take on THE GIRLS”

  1. stephen schmidt Says:

    Just a quick note to say that Dylan Landis is a woman. You may want to fix that “himself” that you have in this post.