“His best novel yet. …What Smith is saying here is that the literate, liberal culture … is all but dead, replaced by loud, brash surfaces, primitive emotional needs and an almost demonic suburban sprawl. … Girl Crazy is a frank and funny novel. The depiction of an emotionally stunted man’s undignified lust for an even more immature young woman is disturbing and almost note-perfect. A lot of people won’t like the novel’s message, but they’d better learn to deal with it. The future is here and some might find it sexy, but it sure ain’t pretty.”
Tightly plotted and fast paced, Girl Crazy is a cinematic ride through one man’s obsession with a younger woman.
Justin, a dissatisfied community college teacher, meets Jenna and is attracted at once to her mixture of toughness, vulnerability and ripe sexuality. Jenna is unlike anyone Justin has ever known – through her he discovers a world of drugs and sex, casual violence and intimidation that at first frightens and then thrills him. Justin falls deeper into Jenna’s thrall, particularly as her erratic behaviour keeps him guessing. When Jenna ends the relationship abruptly, Justin finds he isn’t willing to let go of this new life, or of Jenna, without a fight.
“Vladimir Nabokov meets Elmore Leonard in Russell Smith’s hot, steamy, ruthlessly lucid prose.”
“This is a chatty, funny, sex-loving novel. Russell Smith’s Girl Crazy, written in his trademark elegant prose, is clearly the work of a man who loves women and loves to write.”
“Smith excels at presenting the sexual fixations of the male psyche, slicing them apart and exposing the emotional impotence beneath…a story of scathing insight.”
–Quill & Quire
“Daring and well executed. … Most will likely fixate on the sex in Girl Crazy, and why not? Smith writes it well; nary a cringe-worthy adjective, and raw enough to be real. But Girl Crazy is more about class than it is about sex. … Girl Crazy is a hot floor show for those of us desperate for the present to finally get its time in the Canadian literary spotlight.”
–Globe and Mail
“Girl Crazy rips a mile a minute. Smith has pulled off the sort of author-reader telepathy that lesser writers can only dream about. The book is ridiculously visceral. … Smith has a good ear for dialogue and a finely honed sense of just how much detail to put in. And he writes a mean love scene. … For all its graphicness, the most compelling thing about Girl Crazy is its honesty. Despite its raunch and raw emotion, the story’s reality check stays firmly engaged. … You’ll probably have a hard time putting down Girl Crazy. It powers on to a conclusion that’s both satisfying and oddly disquieting.”
–The Montreal Gazette
“A darkly comic study of fractured masculinity. … The nicely ambiguous conclusion can be seen as either the recognition of a kind of atavistic male impulse, or a cautionary tale about the perils of pursuing desire to its most dangerous extreme.”
“In lieu of a book review, let me make a prediction: Russell Smith’s new novel, Girl Crazy, will be published, immediately banned (after mass protests, outraged parents picketing Indigo locations coast to coast), but eventually snuck into classrooms, awakening an inflammatory response in the young men of the near future…a red-blooded path to literary immortality.”
HarperCollins Canada, April 2010
Film option: House of Films and New Real Films