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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the International Booker Prize 2020

I asked God if he please couldn't take my brother, Matthies, instead of my rabbit. 'Amen.'

Ten-year-old Jas has a unique way of experiencing her universe: the feeling of udder ointment on her skin as protection against harsh winters; the texture of green warts, like capers, on migrating toads; the sound of 'blush words' that aren't in the Bible. But when a tragic accident ruptures the family, her curiosity warps into a vortex of increasingly disturbing fantasies - unlocking a darkness that threatens to derail them all.

A best-selling sensation in the Netherlands, Marieke Lucas Rijneveld's radical debut novel is studded with images of wild, violent beauty: a world of language unlike any other, exquisitely captured in Michele Hutchison's translation.

©2018, 2020 Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, translated by Michele Hutchison (P)2020 Audible, Ltd

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What listeners say about The Discomfort of Evening

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ninell
  • 10-10-20

Not easy to forget. Like a kick in the stomach.

Well written. Reminds us how crude and banal human beings can be. And still feel and get sad and frightened. I will ponder this for a long time to come.

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  • Audible Customer
  • 04-09-20

Funny and Uncomfortable

Narrated through the innocent voice of 10 year old Jos, "The Discomfort of Evening" by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld set on a Dutch farm, explore how a girl and her parents in a very religious community deals with the death of her younger brother on a skiing accident, life on a farm, poverty, poor digestion, and the pleasures of an awakening sexuality. The audiobook is both funny and uncomfortable. A very unusual story.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • A.J.F
  • 19-09-20

Incest alert!

There's no denying the brilliant writing in this novel and the presentation of symbolism using effective and simplistic imagery. Yes it's depressing like everyone says- but it manages to express the inexpressible masterfully. However, the abundance of child related sexual activity and incest is more than a little wearingz- it got so abundant that I almost gave up on the book- take alot of breaks or it'll make you queasy! The abuse and slaughter of the animals is also harrowing- so I don't think I can honestly say I enjoyed this book, but I did appreciate it's writing. The reader does a fantastic job aswell. If you embark on this keep yourself distanced from the subject matter- it really is deeply disturbing.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Waggy From Derby
  • 24-11-20

darker every chapter, cant listen any more

it's a depressing start when a brother dies and the narrator with in the story feels guilt, it's full of religious nonsense. it suicidal to keep on reading

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Triona
  • 03-03-21

What a depressing book.

Really struggled with this book. Its so chillingly sad and one subject matter is worse than the next. I stopped listening with 2 hours left, it was too much doom, gloom, torture and depravity for me.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-09-20

Wonderfully written and narrated

Wonderfully written and narrated by Genevieve Gaunt, extremely glad to see it on the Booker shortlist.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Parissa
  • 28-02-21

Discomfort sums it up

Initially, I found the viewpoint of this little girl surrounded by so much tragedy, endearingly quirky. However, without giving anything away, I very quickly started feeling uncomfortable and “discomfort” quickly became my general feeling about the book. I’ve given up two thirds through the book. The narrator can’t be faulted.

1 person found this helpful

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  • FreebieBean
  • 18-01-21

Not Recommend If You Are Feeling Fragile

This book is so well written and read so sympathetically (Genevieve Gaunt's narration was off the scale!) but it is NOT for the faint hearted.
It covers the implosion of a dysfunctional family following a tragic event, as told by a young girl called 'Jas' and her attempts to make sense and deal with all the awful things that happen to and around her.
It has taken me weeks to get through this book, as I had to keep taking a break from it, but didn't want to abandon it.
It was a terrible story, but totally believable and heart breaking.
It will stay with me for a long while, but I definitely feel the need of something very light to follow this dark tale.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-01-21

Abandoned it :(

Really struggled to finish this one, ended up abandoning it. A first for me, never felt that way about a book in all my life. Performance was good, its well written and from what I did listen to the story was good. I think it might have been the main character, something about her just didn't sit well with me and just didn't enjoy her or listening to her thought process. Found myself doing a few minutes and then turning it off. So it's not bad, it's just personal preference I guess.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Steve m
  • 31-12-20

Dark and flowery

I didn't enjoy this book although it was read well it just seemed a bit disjointed and dealt with the dark subject matters in a way that I I found it difficult to relate to in any way.

1 person found this helpful

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  • emma gregory
  • 23-08-20

Beautifully Narrated

Brilliant story, beautifully narrated. I love the tone that the narrator has in her voice, it really brings it all to life!

1 person found this helpful

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  • tamara
  • 04-02-21

A book imagineered from the depths of curiosity

This book teeters on the edge of a micro cosmos of melancholy and magic. The author has created a black hole of living fantasy by imagineering a metaphysical grief through the eyes of a child. Each idea that turned into a sentence that turned into a story had my heart throb to reclaim the innocence and purity that is the life-death-life cycle. I was captivated by the narrator's authentic display of emotion and nuance in portraying the character's observation and experience. It bewilders me the amount of craft and consideration a book like this must take. Looking forward to the next pages the author releases.

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  • Hector
  • 09-10-20

don't read

This book is so unnecessary. Don't know how it won the international booker prize a

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kristen Lyons
  • 12-09-20

Dull and disturbing

I’m sure it’s a story worth telling but for me not worth reading. Sad yet dull. Disturbing yet boring.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-12-20

Warning Required- incest and rape

Struggled to finish this one. I feel there should have been a warning regarding the subject matter. Incest between young siblings is something I found confronting and may be triggering for some listeners.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sally Cousens
  • 27-11-20

Wow what a story

Beautifully written and incredibly translated to preserve the beauty of the words and images. A sad tale of the damage adults can inflict on imaginative vulnerable children.

1 person found this helpful

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  • David
  • 30-10-20

Toads, poo and other things

Not really my sort of thing but I feel sorry for this young woman brought up on a farm in the Netherlands! I used to think that being sent to boarding school in England in the 1960s was pretty bad but this sad pessimistic view of life mixing constipation with foot and mouth disease makes me feel lucky! I am extremely worried about the author and her bowel habit! A very depressing view of childhood! Discomfort is the right word!

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  • Wendy
  • 21-04-21

Why did this author win a prize!

This is the most depressing book I have ever listened to. It is sordid, sad, boring , and a complete waste of time. I am sure that there are other books worthy of such a prestigious prize. I very rarely comment on a book but I feel the need to deter others from wasting their money!