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Normal People

Written by: Sally Rooney
Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
4 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Specsavers International Author of the Year 2018
Winner of the Costa Best Novel Award 2018

Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019

Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. 

When they both earn places at Trinity College in Dublin, a connection that has grown between them lasts long into the following years. This is an exquisite love story about how a person can change another person's life - a simple yet profound realisation that unfolds beautifully over the course of the novel. It tells us how difficult it is to talk about how we feel and it tells us - blazingly - about cycles of domination, legitimacy and privilege. 

Alternating menace with overwhelming tenderness, Sally Rooney's second novel breathes fiction with new life. A sparkling new novel from the Young Writer of the Year Award-winning author of Coversations with Friends.

©2018 Sally Rooney (P)2018 W. F. Howes Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Poor narration

The narrative is very monotonic. It seems like some robot is reading. Very very bad

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Normal !

As I write this review I no longer recollect the story or highlights of this book.. the premise of the book seemed promising , was top rated on goodreads too but alas. Maybe it is just the normal me that is not able to relate to the story line and characters.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant

One of the best book ever. I loved the narration and loved the story too. Not sure if the story is for everyone but it's worth checking.
This is my first experience with both audible and audiobooks and I love it. Enjoyed every second of it. If you are doubtful of trying audiobooks or this audiobook, don't be, it's brilliant.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So much truth it hurt listening to it, a good hurt

Of all the love stories I have ever read and I have read my fair share, this was the truest.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Tender, brutal and heartbreaking at the same time

One of my favourites this year, no doubt. I started listening to Normal People, having heard really good things about it, but not really knowing much about what it is about. As the story unfolds, you listen to the thoughts of the two primary characters, their insecurities, their attempts at hiding them, the different choices they make and regret. The story was tender, brutal and heartbreaking all at the same time. More so because, at some point in our lives, we’ve all probably had some of these thoughts, like all normal people.

The language was simple, yet beautiful. The narrator has done a splendid job.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Utterly Spellbinding

A powerful love story told so simply that you know Rooney worked hard to achieve that spare prose. The main characters are memorable. We all know this story and every time it unfolds, it hurts and it liberates.

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  • Lynne
  • 20-12-18

Simply sublime

Bear with it. Just when you despair that there’s going to be another misstep, it turns. Entrancing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Janice Windt
  • 11-09-19

Magnificent journey for the reader

Normal People utterly absorbs the reader from the first page. What a privilege to journey with your wonderful characters in this way. Thank-you Sally! Can’t wait for your next book!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anthea
  • 17-06-19

Get comfortable

I enjoyed this book most when I was cosy and comfortable - to better deal with the discomfort and emotional turmoil of the characters. A thought provoking story about what shapes a person, from their economic circumstances to the people they’re surrounded by. I felt quite introspective over the course of the narrative, but most enjoyed the scenes of more physical observation which gave some much needed “real world” context to the lives of the protagonists.
Certainly not your average chick-lit but I think completely appropriate for the same audience. I’d recommend it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-02-19

Beautifully honest and compelling.

What a truly beautifully-honest read. Rooney highlights the intricacies of relationships in such a compelling way.

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  • Wras
  • 18-10-18

It plunges under your skin and invades you.

There is nothing normal about this book; it is more than it should be, deep, turbulent, complex, still and full of subtleties that are furthermore making me think, making me worried for both of the main characters.

A beautiful exploration of human frailty and the mystery of love and dependency, grief and misunderstanding, happiness and acceptance of that good when you feel undeserving of it.

A fantastic read that has left me full of melancholic fillings; absolute magic.

33 of 35 people found this review helpful

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  • AJ
  • 02-10-18

Loved it

I loved the characters (I’m missing them already) the story and the excellent narration. Beautiful.

28 of 31 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jo C.
  • 28-05-19

struggled to finish

I was looking forward to reading this but when I got to the end I questioned what was the story really about? unrequited love? power? whatever the message was, I feel it could have been covered in a quarter of the time

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 27-03-19

Tedious

This book reminded me of Rupi Kaur or John Green. I found it a tedious, predictable read about two characters that have a co-dependent relationship, continuously destroying their chances of being together. They share a ‘woe is me’ attitude and are waiting to be saved. I found the lack of character development to be frustrating. Rooney’s writing, however, was nuanced. She conveys complex emotions with simple words, making the characters and their emotions attainable, even if the characters are otherwise flat.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-02-19

Wonderful

Beautifully observed, I found the characters believable and compelling. The use of language is wonderful, thoughtful, vivid description, not a word wasted. The narration is excellent throughout. This novel held my attention right to the end.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Prof
  • lancs
  • 28-01-19

Beautiful novel

Exquisitely written, beautifully narrated. Came to this on a friends recommendation and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience- thanks to Audible for making my commute such a pleasure. This is a modern, honest, insightful, mature exploration of love, dependence and the ability to grow and help others grow. It’s not wrapped up with a bow. But it’s a great novel. And that narration is close to perfection. Highly recommended

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Beth Howard
  • 24-01-19

Subtly Spellbinding

A beautifully written account of the complexity of human connection.
Quiet and powerful, it perfectly tells the tale of boy meets girl, love, happiness, sadness. I fell equally as in love with Marianne as with Connel. Helped by the wonderful narration, I found myself at numerous points with goosebumps, wanting to shout at them both, feeling sad for their losses and also frustrated at their misunderstandings.
Sallys portrayal of trying to navigate the world as a young person is spot on, I only wish there was more!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • amanda s.
  • 28-11-18

just perfect

really truly loved it
I miss the characters
the sort of book you can't put down but really don't want to finish

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tim
  • London, UK
  • 19-09-18

Recommend ed

pride and prejudice for millennials. great story, very well read. very engaging and human what's not to like

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-10-18

Good

Good story but a very disappointing ending, thought at first my phone battery had just died, but no that was the end.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-02-19

Two complex people - will they, won’t they?

I loved this book so much however I understand why a lot of readers didn’t like the ending.

In its core it’s a romance. But it’s not a happy one. It’s flawed, raw, complicated and Is frustrating at times.


Be warned: it doesn’t tie up into a nicely wrapped package with a neat little bow. Just like life, it continues on.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-10-18

Right with them

Rooney articulates big issues so succinctly and intimately. I felt like I was in the room with them. living the story right with them.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Tanya Ralph
  • 16-05-19

Not worth the download

I persevered with this book as I figured I had to find the point of it eventually... I never did! By the time I realised I never would I was past the point of no return... even the ending just faded off... not one I would recommend

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • MrsMcD
  • 13-05-19

Tedious

I had high hopes for this book. The characters were interesting but the storyline just drivelled along. I failed to see the message of the book, couldn’t wait to finish it and put me out of my misery.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Penni
  • 18-02-19

Best

This is one of the best audiobooks I’ve listened to. A flawless performance of a compelling narrative of growing up, of social anxiety, of misreading cues, of the consequences of feelings, thoughts and actions. Warm, funny, painfully relatable.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lauren Drescher
  • 11-02-19

Disappointing novel of dysfunction

Well written but another dystopian story of dysfunctional characters . The ending left this reader with a sense of incomplete resolution

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amanda
  • 21-11-18

Great book hated the end

Great book, great story and awesomely narrated. But the end was bad. It just seemed to end without any conclusion to anything

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 31-05-19

too much like real life

I read to escape the banality of life so when a book just reflects back at me my bad decisions in relation to lovers and friends I feel cheated. I think this story went around in circles with lovers hurting each other, separating, returning and making the same mistakes. Over and over. I can read the story of my life in that and I would rather not be reminded of that.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 22-05-19

Hard work

I found this book jumped random months and was hard to keep track of where they were. Sometimes it took me time to work out who’s point of view was being told. The ending sucked and I was left disappointed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Kunde
  • 18-05-19

My first Sally Rooney, definitely getting more

I loved this book. What a beautiful, understated, effortless writer.

The narrator’s voices were a bit distracting at times, especially performing the male voices. But not so much that I didn’t still love the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful