Oh My God What a Complete Aisling by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen – Book Review

Blurb from Goodreads

Aisling is twenty-eight and she’s a complete … Aisling. She lives at home in Ballygobbard (or Ballygobackwards, as some gas tickets call it) with her parents and commutes to her good job at PensionsPlus in Dublin

Aisling goes out every Saturday night with her best friend Majella, who is a bit of a hames (she’s lost two phones already this year – Aisling has never lost a phone).
Aisling spends two nights a week at her boyfriend John’s. He’s from down home and was kiss number seventeen at her twenty-first.

But Aisling wants more. She wants the ring on her finger. She wants the hen with the willy straws. She wants out of her parents’ house, although she’d miss Mammy turning on the electric blanket like clockwork and Daddy taking her car ‘out for a spin’ and bringing it back full of petrol.

When a week in Tenerife with John doesn’t end with the expected engagement, Aisling calls a halt to things and soon she has surprised herself and everyone else by agreeing to move into a three-bed in Portobello with stylish Sadhbh from HR and her friend, the mysterious Elaine.

Newly single and relocated to the big city, life is about to change utterly for this wonderful, strong, surprising and funny girl, who just happens to be a complete Aisling.

Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen, the creators of the much-loved Aisling character and the popular Facebook page ‘Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling’, bring Aisling to life in their novel about the quintessential country girl in the big smoke.

My Review

Do you ever feel like you’re a stranger in your own country?

The Aisling series of books are phenomenally successful here in Ireland; so much so that book three has recently been published and I believe a further two books are planned. And I am baffled as to why. Totally and utterly baffled.

Because this book??? Oh my god what a complete waste of my time…

It is a book with too many lame duck attempts at wit and frivolity as it attempted to cram at least half a dozen modern Irish cultural references on to each page!!!

Clearly this is a book with no understanding of the old ‘less is more‘ adage.

The plot was entirely weak.

As for character development??? Lol what even is that. It is utterly non-existent in this mess. Nothing but caricature after caricature instead of three-dimensional creations that a reader could really get invested in.

At the risk of sounding like a complete and utter book snob to me this is a book designed for a specific market; that of mass market popularity focusing primarily on non- or infrequent readers with its seemingly endlessly repetitive quips and painfully basic prose. The perfect example of disposable holiday fiction that one reads by the pool while getting all the more inebriated on tasty cocktails.

I just have to lament the utterly prosaic writing style. There is an absolute dearth of lyricism in this book. Every word felt perfunctory with no thought given to creating a narrative that would capture the reader beyond the claptrap idiocies of the titular Aisling.

I also am unsure as to how this book would fare with an international audience as so many of the quips and in-jokes are to do with very local, and borderline parochial, modern-day Irish cultural humour. Hands up if you’ve no Irish connection in your life and you can tell me who either Paul Galvin or Mary Kennedy are. Or maybe understand when things such as Coppers or Nationwide are mentioned.

Puerile and utterly forgetful fiction that I just cannot recommend.

one star

P.S. Thanks to Santa for giving me this as a Christmas present. Even though I pretty much hated it I love getting books as gifts 💗

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4 thoughts on “Oh My God What a Complete Aisling by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen – Book Review

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