Book Reviews

Book Review: The First Bad Man A Novel by Miranda July


I picked up this book thinking: ‘yes…a little bit of easy trash reading’ thinking it was going to be about an affair gone wrong. How wrong I was.


Briefly, Cheryl, the narrator and protagonist, is a middle-aged woman who:

  • is in love with a coworker (Phillip);
  • takes in a houseguest who she has some sort of dom/sub relationship with initially, not sexual but then ends up developing into a short lesbian relationship;
  • ends up with said houseguest’s child whose father is…you guessed it…Phillip’s!

If only that conveyed half of the multiple stories and layers of absurdity in this novel!

This book has WAY too much going on with absolutely no rhyme or reason. I have no idea what July was looking to achieve or leave the reader with – it just seems like a dream. Chaotic, jumpy, incomplete and incoherent.

Recommended for: anyone who enjoys a bit of a confusing read!

Rating: 3/5 (it was still an easy read if not a bit strange – my facial expressions on the tube while reading the masturbation chapter must have caused some amusement!)

Favourite quote:Sometimes I looked at her sleeping face, the living flesh of it, and was overwhelmed by how precarious it was to love a living thing.  She could die simply from lack of water.  It hardly seemed safer than falling in love with a plant.”

Thanks for reading – I hope you enjoyed it!

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: The First Bad Man A Novel by Miranda July

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