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Publisher's Summary

Now a major TV series.

Winner of the Costa Novel Award.

Winner of the an Post Irish Book Awards Novel of the Year.

Winner of Novel of the Year and Book of the Year at the British Book Awards.

Winner of the Specsavers National Book Awards International Author of the Year.

Nominated for the Man Booker Prize.

Nominated for the Women's Prize for Fiction.

Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in the west of Ireland, but the similarities end there. In school, Connell is popular and well-liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation - awkward but electrifying - something life-changing begins. Normal People is a story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that first conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people who try to stay apart but find they can't.

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

Critic Reviews

"The literary phenomenon of the decade." (Guardian)

"The most enjoyable novel of the year." (Daily Telegraph)

"Quite astonishing." (Independent)

What listeners say about Normal People

Average Customer Ratings
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I suffered through this

This is, to put it kindly, a better written reversed Twilight. Rich self-loathing awkward girl, well-adjusted but not deep down boy of the "wrong" sort. Insipid on again and off again relationship. Something something masochism. Marianne's character was really hard to get behind and Connell is only slightly better. The author also goes into painstaking detail about exactly how Connell sighs or grunts or gets up or walks or shoves his hands in his pockets and other mundane things other characters do. It's so pointless. Great job by the reader though, it's the only reason I finished the book.

1 person found this helpful

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Time like a concertina

Fabulous attention to the small details of daily life and how they express the inner life if the characters. One is always trying to read into what each action means. Time condensed into concentrated detail or the long view with a sudden jump in time and a significant detail casually unfolding. I like this narrator so much that I had to listen to Normal People immediately after Conversations with Friends.

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What a performance!

The story is good- interesting characters and structure, with some deep personal insights. It seemed a little too long at times, but it kept me interested nonetheless. As for the reading- I'd give Aoife McMahon ten stars if I could. What a superb job she has done, bringing alive all the characters, each with an individual voice, and an effortless emoting! Simply phenomenal!

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Complex relationship captured well

Normal People is a love story where the characters go in circles of misunderstandings. It is as complex as any relationship could be. The author emphasizes on the thoughts and background that leads to choices that the characters make. I liked the character building in the story - even side characters have enough depth to them. But I did feel that for some parts, the intent of actions was missing. Some things like Marriane's family behaviour were assumed and there didn't seem to be a legible background to it. All in all an ok read and a good Audible experience.

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4 Star

Epitome of humans
Arbitrary, dysfunctional, ambiguous, capricious yet so riveting, enthralling and vigorous at some time.
This prose epitomizes the normalcy of humans, dismantles their intricacies and develops this potent form of gratitude.The characters Connell and Marian are dynamically woven with each other, sometimes so conspicuously in love but riddled by societal conditions.
The vivid imagaries and metaphors establish a sense of coherence and elevate their personalities.

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A bit like Hum Tum, the Bollywood film.

The writing is new age and relatable but I felt like I've heard this before. Didn't live up to the hype for me.

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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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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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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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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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  • Lynne
  • 20-12-18

Simply sublime

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

2 people found this helpful

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  • Donncha
  • 05-05-20

Tashte.

This book is tashte.
A review requires 15 words to be accepted. Cat. Dog. Mouse.

1 person found this helpful

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  • E. D. Saxon
  • 14-02-20

What is normal, anyway?

I really enjoyed this book. As a Trinity graduate I felt connected to one of the stories main locations, like I was spying on the affairs of people in a place I knew so well. Yet their narratives brought out the sense that we all feel a part of that unfamiliar and foreign, like freaks. In the end that push and pull of normal and abnormal becomes routine experience, even in new contexts. Looking forward to reading more from Rooney.

1 person found this helpful

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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!

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Andrea
  • 06-09-19

Utterly Tedious. Vapid Bonkfest.

I don't know what I expected but I had the impression that this would be a good read. It wasn't. I cannot finish it.

The narrator's depiction of Connell is unbearably monotone, lacking in ANY character or modulation.

This book does nothing to dispel the stereotype of millennials being a self-absorbed, vapid generation.

And whilst I appreciate that sex is a big deal when you're young, I don't think the multiple sex scenes per chapter add anything to the story.

That said, I've no idea what the 'story' is either... Dull. Dull. DULL! Return Title (thank you, Audible, for that option, this was not worth a credit)

61 people found this helpful

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  • Rix Pyke
  • 31-08-19

Bleak and disheartening

Horrifically negative depiction of what ‘normal’ is. Bleak portrayal of humanity. Weak and unbelievable characters

33 people found this helpful

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  • JJ
  • 13-08-19

Boring

I found this very boring and couldn’t finish it . Obviously not for me but maybe for a younger audience . Narration ok but found the male voices very wooden.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-04-19

Nothing happens. Should have been a short story

Tedious book and struggling to understand why it was written or published. Says nothing interesting

14 people found this helpful

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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.

53 people found this 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.

42 people found this helpful

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  • sean O'halloran
  • 27-06-19

Maybe I missed the point

I wondered at the end - was it worth so many hours listening?
I found the voice of Connell particularly irritating and thought the character name choices a little odd. Coming from an Irish family I was surprised at names like Eric, Helen, Lorraine and Denise. I found it hard to remember who they were.

7 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs Hilary Letch
  • 19-06-19

Disappointing

This started out so well and I was really engaged with the characters.
Sadly, half way through, it all went to 'pot'
The story lost it's way and became full and confusing
The first time ever that I have skipped to the last chapter, just in case the end was thrilling but it wasn't
Well narrated but I bet even Sally Rooney was glad when it was over.

7 people found this helpful

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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.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Prof
  • 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

14 people found this helpful

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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

71 people found this helpful

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  • 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.

37 people found this 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.

35 people found this helpful

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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.

23 people found this helpful

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  • 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

17 people found this helpful

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  • bella
  • 22-02-20

Painful

This is a story of insipid characters with zero self awareness. The writers style constantly states the obvious, coupled with a very slow story line where the same plot repeats over and over. I only finished it as I kept expecting something interesting to happen; unfortunately not.

15 people found this helpful

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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.

15 people found this 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.

13 people found this helpful

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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

10 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-03-20

Not great

Could've been a good story but it got itself lost all the way through and i ended up disappointed. cant say I liked the ending either. Glad it was free!

9 people found this helpful