Review: The Chronicles of Narmo by Caitlin Moran

Written by a teenage Caitlin Moran, this hilarious story of a large, dysfunctional family growing up in Wolverhampton was obviously heavily influenced by her own childhood and seems to be the basis for the hit sitcom “Raised by Wolves”.

The Narmos are a normal, working class family just trying to make ends meet. With not much cash but huge amounts of enthusiasm and creativity, the children convince their parents to home school them – with some unexpected and often downright bizzare consequences.

I enjoyed reading about the Narmo’s (I see what you did there Caitlin) although I did have some problems with the text. Good things first: it’s a great book when you consider how young the author was when she wrote it. Some parts (the home made bread that lasts 6 months, the school inspectors, the whole of their holiday) are laugh out loud funny. It’s an easy read as it’s quite short and the language is fairly simplistic. However, I did find quite a few negatives. The book is quite obviously written by a (albeit very talented) 15 year old which means that some parts are a bit unclear and the overall story lacks any kind of plot – it’s just a description of a series of events that occur within the family. There’s no real introduction or ending and the lack of structure meant that I did find myself getting a bit bored. I imagine that Caitlin Moran drew heavily on her own family to write the novel and as such I felt like I already knew the story, having watched Raised by Wolves (the sitcom based on her childhood experiences) and having read How to be a Girl (where she frequently peppers the text with anecdotes from her childhood). I thought that the characters needed more fleshing out and as there was quite a few of them I did get a bit lost trying to work out who was who.

In terms of the rest of Caitlin Moran’s work (which I’m a really big fan of) I don’t think The Chronicles of Narmo is anywhere near as good but it’s still a fun read for a younger audience.

Rating: 6.5/10

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