From the acclaimed filmmaker, artist, and bestselling author of No One Belongs Here More Than You, a spectacular debut novel that is so heartbreaking, so dirty, so tender, so funny—so Miranda July—that readers will be blown away.

Here is Cheryl, a tightly-wound, vulnerable woman who lives alone, with a perpetual lump in her throat. She is haunted by a baby boy she met when she was six, who sometimes recurs as other people’s babies. Cheryl is also obsessed with Phillip, a philandering board member at the women’s self-defense nonprofit where she works. She believes they’ve been making love for many lifetimes, though they have yet to consummate in this one.

When Cheryl’s bosses ask if their twenty-one-year-old daughter, Clee, can move into her house for a little while, Cheryl’s eccentrically ordered world explodes. And yet it is Clee—the selfish, cruel blond bombshell—who bullies Cheryl into reality and, unexpectedly, provides her the love of a lifetime.

Tender, gripping, slyly hilarious, infused with raging sexual obsession and fierce maternal love, Miranda July’s first novel confirms her as a spectacularly original, iconic, and important voice today, and a writer for all time. The First Bad Man is dazzling, disorienting, and unforgettable.
January 13, 2015  |  288 pages
(Read from Feb 7, 2018 to Feb 13, 2018)
Grade: C+    (switch to numeric scale)
L/E Ratio: 80% Literature, 20% Entertainment
Tags:
Writing Quality:
Low High
Originality:
Low High

Addictiveness:
Low High
Movie Potential:
Low High

Re-readability:
Low High
Sequel Potential:
Low High
Comment:
The internal dialogue of the narrator does not sound like that of an elderly woman. In fact it doesn't sound very human at all. But July's energy and humor are relentless, and somehow the plot stays grounded in reality while the protagonist's mind drifts off into absurdity. Getting past the fetish-focused sections of the book takes some effort and may be too disturbing for some readers. In the end, July's eccentric style is probably best suited for short fiction.  (+1 vote)