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Publisher's Summary

Costa First Novel Book Award winner 2017 - The Sunday Times best seller - AudioFile Magazine Earphones Award Winner

Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon.

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive - but not how to live.

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.

One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted - while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she's avoided all her life.

Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than...fine?

This audiobook contains an exclusive interview with author Gail Honeyman and narrator Cathleen McCarron.

©2017 Gail Honeyman; Extract of The Lonely City (2016) by Olivia Laing reproduced by permission from Canongate Books Ltd. (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"A truly original literary creation: funny, touching and unpredictable. Her journey out of the shadows is expertly woven and absolutely gripping." (Jojo Moyes)
"Deft, compassionate and moving." (Paula McLain)
"I adored it. Skilled, perceptive, Eleanor's world will feel familiar to you from the very first page. An outstanding debut!" (Joanna Cannon)

What listeners say about Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Average Customer Ratings
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good and Abrupt , rolled in together

The book started out as a good, almost funny read. A socially awkward woman living a lonely life. I expected the story to be a hilarious one where she comes out as a beautiful swan at the end of it. It is very different though. she started her swan makeover very early, and the transition was smooth and believable. but what really makes the base of the story is the person inside her. why are people the way they are and what role do parents play is articulated very well here. the story unravelled slowly like an onion with layers, but it was all predictable (or maybe the author wanted it to be). however for me, the book ended very abruptly. I wanted more to know about her life. that also shows that I was so into the story that I didn't want it to end. Also, once you switch on audible and keep the phone aside, you can't judge how far you are in the book, and if it suddenly ends, leaves you feeling empty. The performance by the narrator was very good, I would like to hear her more. It wasn't your typical happy go lucky kind of book, but it wasn't bad either.

2 people found this helpful

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Definitely one of my top favourite books ever!

Loved loved loved every bit of the book.
Eleanor....my god...I wanted to give her a hug so many times. She made me cry, cringe, she made me anxious and sad but overall she left me with a wonderful warm feeling throughout and I did not want this book to finish!

Highly recommended!!!!

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  • nk
  • 22-05-21

an ok listen for lazy days

the book is too long for its story. the characters are sweet but just dragged.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Dragging, boring, depressing but good :)

I will be honest. I was just clueless the first couple of chapters. In fact I googled the book to find out what all the fuss was about. I also had to put the audio on super fast mode because some parts were just so dragging and depressing; I could neither let go nor sit through that I found myself playing candy Crush while listening to the book just to find out how it ended. it was physically exhausting. But the end made all this worth it. I believe in a way that's the protagonists life in a nutshell as well. I will not have this as my top favorite books.It's not for light readers like me. People like me read to escape into a fantasy from the grim realities of life. this book however plunges you further into darkness. Be patient to know why Eleanor's story doesn't necessarily have to be yours though you will freak out initially with the similarities second guessing if you are fine! I was just amazed thinking could there be so many lonely people Or people seeking answers really out there who cherish this book to make it a best seller. Though not a super fan I am glad I came across this one. I found the beginnings of a new approach to life myself.

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Sensitive and uplifting

Certainly enjoyable. I related a lot with eleanor and felt a deep sense of sadness in the initial parts of the book. I related with her loneliness and also her ways of coping with them. I realized I have been her in part at some occasions and felt sad remembering those moments. I love how the reader gets untethered access to E's mind, what she thinks when she sees something, how she's formed a bond with certain things to give her a sense of security (Tesco's!), how she has learnt to stay out of people's way to keep herself safe - it is entertaining and revealing to witness it. It's also beautiful to see her change, her acceptance of her own darkness, and her willingness to let light inside her life. It is an uplifting story. A bit too long and has some logical flaws at some points, but easily forgiven for the spirit the book captures.

Full marks for quality of audio and the narrator.

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shouldn't have been made an audio book

guessed the suspense earlier due to sound of mummy..could have given plain voice to mum too.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great!

Satire and Morbid comedy at its absolute finest! Loved this book and the way it was narrated!!!!

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A funny and heart warming tale of a deeply traumatised woman.

An amazing book which highlights the horrors of childhood trauma and abuse yet being funny and heartwarming. You fall in love with the protagonist and the characters around her. The build up to the end is just brilliant.

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loved it loved it loved it

Although it started little slow.....I grew on to looking fwd for my time with Eleanor. The best moment in the book for me when she said Good Bye to Mummie !

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Absolutely Brilliant!

I couldn’t tell when I began and when it ended. Cathleen’s narrative genius with the absolute magic of Gail’s words were a treat.

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  • Laura
  • 27-03-18

I’ll miss Eleanor

This book is one of the books that you’ll carry with you for a long time. It’s funny, dark, sad and heartwarming. The characters are incredible and the voiceover is perfect. I’m now waiting not so patiently for Gail to write her next book!

8 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-03-18

Amazing story

Would you listen to Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine again? Why?

Loved it. Well written, the character creation is amazing. Really well read and an inspiring story. Highly recommend.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Debbie Todd
  • 24-02-18

Most enjoyable

I loved this story about Eleanors triumph over adversity. Very poignant and funny at the same time.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Dymps
  • 22-02-18

A must read!!!

Excellent- the pace of the story unfolding, the plot, the humour, the treatment of serious issues, the character development, the narration!!! One of the best, if not the best book I’ve read in a while!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 24-01-18

A new favorite!

Any additional comments?

I loved this book with my whole heart. Maybe because in many ways I identifield with Eleanor Oliphant. I understood her and empathized with her. Yes, she made me cringe a little from time to time, but she was an extraordinary well-written character with an amazing journey of self-actualization. This was a triumphant debut by Gail Honeyman and I can't wait to see what she writes next.

3 people found this helpful

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  • SheenaB
  • 09-09-17

Funny and tragic

What made the experience of listening to Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine the most enjoyable?

The narrator skilfully carries the story without over characterisation. The story is carried with a lightness and humour that is so hard to deliver when that story is filled with human pain and suffering.

What does Cathleen McCarron bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Maybe the warmth of the characters. The slight accent emphasised the context.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Both! Lots of laughs, lots of warmth and compassion.

Any additional comments?

Loved this story. A rare find.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Aliza Yael Raz Melzer
  • 26-08-17

Candid, shocking, mesmerizing.

Beautifully written and beautifully narrated. A story that refuses to go away, unfolding carefully and gently, optimistic despite the horror.


3 people found this helpful

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  • Anja Hennie Halmøy Fredriksen
  • 08-08-17

Good read!

I liked the story and I liked the performance of the reader very much! I would recommend it for summer reading :-)

2 people found this helpful

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  • Rachel Maritz
  • 20-06-19

Praises not exagerated

So much has been said about this book and it has been praised by so many. None of the praises have been exaggerated. The book exceeded all my expectations. It is both refreshingly light and at the same time deeply moving. The author’s timing of events and thoughts are absolutely perfect. She created beautiful characters that the reader falls in live with. The journey with Eleanor seems to be over too soon.
Also: The narrator was the best ever!! Beautiful voice and wonderful articulation.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mary Jose
  • 02-03-18

loved it

loved it. quirky, funny and deeply moving. flawed but real characters that as a reader i loved.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Katherine
  • 12-07-17

Amazing. Touching. Complete

I loved this book- it's really out of my normal genre (crime drama) this is a wonderful, complete story of a woman on her journey of recovering from childhood trauma.
The characters are excellent, voices brilliant. I could not put this down. You'll be so pleased you listened to this.

50 people found this helpful

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  • Caroline Mitchell
  • 10-07-17

Puts Bridget Jones in the shade

What made the experience of listening to Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine the most enjoyable?

Firstly may I say that I don't often read feel good type novels. Stephen King is more my forte. But every now and again I'll see a book cover that catches my eye, or wonder if the latest 'big book' really is worth all the hype. I actually listened to this novel via audio book, and from the moment I heard the narrator's gorgeous Scottish accent, I was completely drawn in.
This is no Bridget Jones. Eleanor puts her in the shade. She's a totally unique character, a one of a kind who you can't help but feel empathy for. We've all felt alone at some point in our lives, haven't we? The subject matter has been written so beautifully, you can't fail to be moved. I was also pleasantly surprised by the numbers of twists and turns this book took. I loved the relationship between Eleanor and her mother, which took me completely by surprise. As for her interaction with the rest of the characters... I won't spoil the story but suffice to say I smiled so many times at the touching and heartfelt moments portrayed in this book. It made me laugh, it almost made me cry, no mean feat for this cynical ex copper, believe me.
This is one of my favourite books of the year. Prepare to be moved.

37 people found this helpful

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  • Kaggy
  • 30-06-17

Viva Eleanor!

This is a great debut novel from a mature author and which goes to prove that it is never too late to start your writing career. Eleanor is a character we could all probably recognise. She is the office misfit who shows no interest in joining in with the general gossip and chitchat and whose appearance is functional rather than attractive. Like many similar people she has disappeared into the background and is only noticed when she retaliates after being mocked. Despite her isolation Eleanor is no shrinking violet and we quickly learn from her excessive weekend drinking habits that there is something seriously wrong in her life.
This is the story of Eleanor’s reawakening and from it we learn the importance of human interaction which is the food and drink of everybody’s soul. The development of Eleanor’s relationship with the office nice guy /slob is a joyous awakening to the possibility of a better life. This is a splendid story filled with laughter and love but also the damage that one evil person can wreak on innocent people.
At times it is a difficult listen and the excellent narrator delivers some very hard emotional punches but it all adds up into a tale of hope and a lesson to make us value our friends, colleagues and the whole darned world (including the cats).

168 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ann D
  • 30-07-17

Wonderful book, superb narration!

This is one of the best books I have read/listened to. It is beautifully written, with a light touch (no underestimating the reader here) exploring many difficult issues for a women with a traumatic childhood history. In addition to understandable psychological problems, the main protagonist also has mild aspergers syndrome. All of the characters are extremely well drawn, and I loved many of them. Despite the subject matter, it is not always intense (though at appropriate times, it is). There are warm and lovely moments, laugh out loud moments and moments that may move you to tears. Not a single word is wasted here.

In addition, the narration for the audiobook may be the best I have heard. I have several favourite narrators who are always engaging and faultless. McCarron brings something more though. Her ability with accents and in varying voices is at such a high standard as to be remarkable. I keenly look forward to more by this author and I will probably try audiobooks that I might not otherwise when narrated by McCarron.

Highly recommended.

143 people found this helpful

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  • jenny wren
  • 27-06-17

Deliciously original quirky story about loneliness

Loved this book! Beautifully written story dealing with loneliness and the effects of tragedy in childhood. Optimistic, sensitive, emotionally congruent - and with literary depth. The reader makes the book sing.

50 people found this helpful

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  • Graham. Cox
  • 06-07-17

A wonderful book the best I have read for ages

Would you listen to Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine again? Why?

I would certainly listen to the book again. The book is so heart warming, it has everything from loads of humour to the depths of pathos. Well measured and flows like silk.

What about Cathleen McCarron’s performance did you like?

This narrator is brilliant, she moves from character to character effortlessly. Its hard to believe that it is the same narrator speaking as she moves effortlessly through the various accents. If I could give this narrator 10 stars I would.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Eleanor's inability to fathom social nuances creates some wonderful humour, at the same time you feel you want to help her find her way.

Any additional comments?

This is not just a woman's book. My wife's friend loved the book and I downloaded it and thoroughly enjoyed it. My wife listened later on my ipod and felt the same way. This is a must buy.

11 people found this helpful

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  • jo
  • 24-05-17

grows on you

it started off a bit slow but it turned out to be a very lovely book indeed

34 people found this helpful

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  • Donna Mac
  • 18-07-17

Wonderful audiobook

This is a fabulous audiobook which I cannot recommend highly enough. The writing is spot-on. Eleanor is superbly brought to life in the most painstaking and heart wrenching way. Seeing her reborn, almost, is really special. Loved all the other characters too, especially Raymond and his mum. All the small details are what make this book special and bring it to life.
I hope the author has another book out very soon.
The narrator was brilliant too. This is the best book I have listened to on Audible.

44 people found this helpful

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  • Oakover
  • 14-07-17

Brilliant!

Just brilliant. The story is gripping and the narration is excellent. One of those books you just don't want to end. I rationed myself! I'd recommend this to anyone. Good luck Eleanor Oliphant!

31 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-09-19

takes the mick

did not enjoy this story. it's flawed in so many places. she doesn't know about basic modern life yet she watches heaps of tv, she works on a computer in an office yet she doesn't know about computers. I do not like to think this book is readily available to troubled teenagers, with its graphic description of how Eleanor intends to commit suicide, explains how and makes it sound quite easy. also I couldn't picture her at all. she kept popping up in my mind as a dowdy 60 year old but I was then reminded she was younger than me. I like to be able to picture my characters and was unable to do so with this story. lastly there are people with mental illness like Eleanor and this story makes it humorous. I only finished it because I got it with a credit and couldn't return it. very glad i didnt pay for it.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Bec
  • 29-10-17

So much better than completely fine

What a wonderful book and performance. I loved everything about the flawed Eleanor; sad, blunt and completely hilarious. A beautiful account of the power of friendship and healing, and our ability as humans to recover from trauma. Coupled with a sensational narrator I can’t recommend this highly enough.

28 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-09-17

Sweet, dramatic & beautifully read

Loved this book & didn't want it to end. For anyone who has experiences of those who live with ASD, you'll be sure to be entertained.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-06-18

Honestly, buy this book

I feel like this is one of those books that I will think about for the rest of my life. I've never read a book that has made me so passionately grateful for the things I've got in life, and simultaneously want to reach out to everyone I know and make sure they're okay. Eleanor and Raymond have changed me forever. Oh, and the narration is 10/10 as well. I cannot fault this audiobook.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Kerry
  • 18-08-17

Utterly charming

A wonderful and captivating read. Witty, melancholy, and completely uplifting.

I could listen again & again!

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kira Juerges
  • 13-11-18

Just okay (disappointed)

I had heard a lot of good things about this book, but found it a little disappointing.
The idea behind the story is great! Unfortunately it seems to drag on and on, without much happening for the first half of the book.

It is split into three parts. "Good days", "Bad days", and "Better days".
The good days are mostly boring and I had to force myself to continue.
The bad days came as a rather confusing twist that made me feel like a chapter had been missed.
The last part of the book has one huge plot twist that made up for a lot of the rest.

The narrator was okay. I haven't listened to any other books she narrated and I guess this one is not the posterchild for a narrator. The main characters point of view storyline didn't leave much room for the narration to be 'exiting' as such.

All in all - this book is okay...

6 people found this helpful

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  • Zoe Smith
  • 16-04-18

Not what I first thought.

I listened to this book knowing nothing. At first I thought it was a typical 30yr old chick lit story.
But as I got into it I realised it was so much more than that. A powerful and thought provoking story.
A wonderful experience.

5 people found this helpful

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  • K. Chong
  • 31-08-17

Compelling story and performance

If you liked the Rosie Project you'll love this book, which has a troubled female protagonist who you immediately empathise with.

The performance is stunning. Cathleen McCarron's reading is nuanced and subtle and she brings all the characters to life in a very realistic manner.

Easily one of the best audiobooks I've experience.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-09-17

Incredible

Impossible to put down... perfectly narrated... you'll get completely lost in the characters of this book,.. heart swelling, laughing and breaking as it all unfolds... 5 stars!!!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Jean
  • 25-07-17