Eileen is a sick, disturbing individual. I found her to be interesting at first, but eventually she became monotonous. She would very often mention her “lacking appearance”, calling herself plain and thin. There are also many moments where she laments having small breasts. I don’t think there’s one chapter of the book where she doesn’t mention one of these things.
I am trying to read as much of the Manbooker Prize longlist as I can, which is why I picked up this book. Eileen is supposed to be a thriller novel, but nothing about it thrilled or excited me. It just made me gag a couple of times because Eileen is gross as hell. While reading, I kept wondering where we were going and what the point was, and when I reached the “climax”, it didn’t feel like the climax at all. Also, I want to briefly mention the character, Rebecca. She felt really slapped together and there were many moments that I thought were OOC for her.
Overall, I thought Eileen was flat (no pun intended) and underwhelming. The only good thing I can say about this book, is that I liked the writing style. The content just wasn’t there.
So should you read this book? I wouldn’t recommend it and I am honestly puzzled as to why it was chosen for the Manbooker longlist. Like, what are the criteria? LOL
Have you read Eileen? If so, what did you think. I’m curious if anyone has similar feelings.
So here we are. My name was Eileen Dunlop. Now you know me. I was twenty-four years old then, and had a job that paid fifty-seven dollars a week as a kind of secretary at a private juvenile correctional facility for teenage boys. I think of it now as what it really was for all intents and purposes—a prison for boys. I will call it Moorehead. Delvin Moorehead was a terrible landlord I had years later, and so to use his name for such a place feels appropriate. In a week, I would run away from home and never go back.
This is the story of how I disappeared.