Factory Girls (Paperback)
  • Factory Girls (Paperback)
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Factory Girls (Paperback)

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£9.99
Paperback 304 Pages
Published: 11/05/2023
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Waterstones Says

Riotous and provocative, Gallen’s gloriously brash and witty portrait of 90s Northern Ireland follows Maeve – a small town girl with big dreams - and her two friends, as what was supposed to be their last summer at home is overtaken by events beyond their control.

Winner of the Comedy Women in Print Prize 2022/23

It's the summer of 1994, and all Maeve Murray wants is some money and good exam results so she can escape her shitty wee town in Northern Ireland.

Over the holidays, Maeve bags herself a job at the local shirt factory with her best friends Caroline and Aoife. It's set to be the summer of their lives, but first she's got to survive a tit-for-tat paramilitary campaign as brutal as her relationship with her mam, iron 800 shirts a day to keep her job and dodge the attentions of Handy Andy Strawbridge, her slimy English boss. And when she starts to notice things aren't adding up at the factory, it seems like revealing the truth may just be her one-way ticket out of town.

Publisher: John Murray Press
ISBN: 9781529386288
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 220 g
Dimensions: 196 x 128 x 28 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Highly entertaining . . . crackles with good one-liners . . . yet this earthy comedy also has telling things to say about violence and division - Martin Chilton, Independent, Books of the Month

A cracking follow-up - at times savagely funny, but with a loamy undertow of complex feeling . . . Fans of the contemporary Irish authors Lisa McInerney and Louise Kennedy should enjoy it too. - Patricia Nicol, Sunday Times, best popular fiction books of 2022

This brash and lively novel is a black comedy of great skill and wit . . . Raucous, in your face, sexually frank and (often hilariously) politically incorrect . . . it's intoxicating, defiant, bitter laughter in the dark, knowing comedy at its blackest pitch - Irish Examiner

Full of the stuff that we're starting to expect of Michelle Gallen; wild, hilariously angry characters, and language that is vital, bang-on, and seriously funny - Roddy Doyle

A wee novel with an enormous, furious heart . . . Honest, hilarious and such a recognisable portrait of 90s Northern Ireland, Factory Girls is an essential read - Jan Carson

Majella O'Neill was no flash-in-the-pan - Factory Girls is a powerful second novel. It has all of Gallen's flair for character, her ear for dialogue and her unparalleled sense of comic timing. And this novel cuts deeper, throbs with pent-up fury, a palpable sense of real and urgent despair. Viciously funny - Lucy Caldwell

Brilliantly observed and full of heart, Factory Girls will be up there on my list of best books for this year - Sheila O'Flanagan

A gorgeous, gritty and hilarious love letter to working class Northern Ireland in the 1990s. Gallen's protagonist, Maeve Murray . . . is a compelling creation who crackles brilliantly from the first pages - Maeve Galvin

A riot of a read. A masterclass in voice, the North and the 90s - Sue Divin

One of the most moving and hilarious novels I have ever read . . . Factory Girls is one of the best books ever written about the Troubles, and one of the best books I've read in a very long time - Silas House

Provocative in more ways than one! - Melatu-Uche Okorie

A much-awaited second triumph of dark humour - fabulous, dirty dancing words, that lift the soul. Gallen knows how to move us and make us roar at the same time. Jumping out with hysteria, Maeve is the hilarious queen of truth we all want to be - Helen Lederer

Some writers make you think; some writers make you laugh till you cry. Michelle Gallen belongs to that rare, rare group of writers who make you think even as the tears are tripping you. Factory Girls is a seriously funny novel - that manages at the same time to be deadly serious - about work, about friendship, about Northern Ireland in the months leading up to the 1994 ceasefire, and about being a teenager, any time, anywhere - Glenn Patterson

The perfect pick for those missing their dose of Derry Girls - Irish Examiner

Gallen writes with such verve and vivacity, her pacing pitch perfect and her dialogue sharp, true and laugh out loud funny. . . In Maeve, the factory and the town, we feel the heat of the 90s in Northern Ireland, the strength and weakness of teenage friendships against a simmering backdrop of turmoil and change - everything moving forward despite the hold the past has on the place. Gallen's evocation of community and place is extraordinary, a masterclass in dark humour. - Olivia Fitzsimons, author of The Quiet Whispers Never Stop

Michelle Gallen's Factory Girls pulses with dark, irreverent humor. Set in a place where dreams are laughable at best, dangerous at worst, it's a big F you to the only world these characters know. And yet, there's vulnerability here. Hope, too. I loved it. - Mary Beth Keane, NYT bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes

Impossible to put down, and packed with more humour and poignancy than a Catholic funeral, Factory Girls is a bold and brilliant snapshot of working-class lives during the North's most tumultuous period - Sunday Business Post

Gallen manages to take a dark and violent period in history and turn it into one of the most moving and hilarious novels I have ever read. The rich cast of characters will break your heart and make you laugh out loud, sometimes within the same paragraph. I found it difficult to put this book down; while reading it the rest of the world fell away and I was transported to Northern Ireland via an unforgettable voice and a steadily boiling story of friendship, grief, and determination. Factory Girls is one of the best books ever written about The Troubles, and one of the best books I've read in a very long time - Silas House, author of Southernmost and Lark Ascending

Original and compelling . . . Gallen's comic, insightful novel . . . shares brilliantly the tangled stories of young women in a struggling provincial town. . . . Factory Girls brings a hidden generation of young women to the literary stage, and does so in a flurry of 'thons' and 'skitters'. - Nicholas Allen, Irish Times

If the cast of Derry Girls worked in a shirtmaking factory . . . There's a lot of laugh-out-loud humour . . . but at its heart it's an emotional read - Belfast Telegraph

Gallen's pen draws blood with the sharpness of her observations, rendering a fresh and acutely more complex portrait of Northern Ireland through Maeve's eyes . . . Brilliantly, wickedly funny and soul-crushingly sad, Gallen has written the Vienetta of books this summer - Fiona Murphy, Irish Independent

Funny, poignant and provocative - Daily Mirror (Ulster)

This novel is a wonder; the heroine is cheeky, the humour dark, the dialect thick, the sorrow palpable. Fans of Kenneth Branagh's Belfast and television's Derry Girls will find much to love - Library Journal, starred review

Darkly comic - Patricia Nicol, Daily Mail

One of the most entertaining, engagingly written summer reads you will lay your hands on - Sunday Life Magazine

Hilariously funny and heartbreakingly sad. Don't read this book in public if you don't like howling with laughter, or weeping, in front of strangers - Penny Wincer, That's Not My Age

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“If you love Derry Girls, you'll love this novel”

The perfect funny, sharp-witted, summer reading. Set in Northern Island in the mid 1990s, the story follows Maeve over what she hopes will be her last summer in her hometown before leaving for uni. Along with a couple... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 1

“Edging Away from Home”

Edging Away from Home

As an American of Irish descent in the 1990’s I was concerned about “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland. Living in Los Angeles, what did I really know? I knew people were fighting each other and... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 1

“Fun, sassy summer reading”

Factory Girls by Michelle Gallen
If you’re looking for that elusive hilarious book set in Northern Ireland with the utter alchemy to spin real life drudgery into gold, this is the book for you. It’s also written by... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 1

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