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Publisher's Summary

What if you could try out all the lives you could have lived and pick one? Would you choose differently? 

'Between life and death there is a library,' she said. 'And within that library, the shelves go on for ever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices. Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?'

Thirty-four-year-old Nora's life could be better. She's lonely, single and has just lost her job. Her cat dying feels like the last straw. What else is there to live for? Then she finds a library between life and death where she gets to try all the other lives she could have lived. 

The Midnight Library is a gloriously relatable novel about life, death and the in-between. It is about finding hope, playing chess, dumping regrets and picking the right people around you.

©2020 Matt Haig (P)2020 Canongate Books Ltd

What listeners say about The Midnight Library

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Heart rendering and exciting

💢TW: suicide, mental illness💢

"If you aim to be something you are not, you will always fail"

What happens between life and death? Emily Brontë once said that she thought of heaven being a library, filled with stories of people you could've known in a different life. Do we get to choose that life? What would it be like to try?

'The Midnight Library' is a beautiful story of a girl who felt she made all the wrong choices in life. So she decides to take her own life after a really devastating day. What happens next is the wonder that is the story.

The main character Nora came across as a person who didn't have enough support and human kindness in life, pressurized to follow a dream she didn't enjoy and cut off from people she loves the most. A common person. The book was awakening in terms of people I've come across; you never know what they go through and it's never upto us to judge anyone.

The story also made me sad in a different way. Throughout the sentences, I kept thinking; how can I help people like Nora, people who don't have a person to rely on or even talk to? So, today I'm extending an open invitation to everyone to just talk to me. You may not know me or wouldn't even remember my name, but my comments and DMs are all yours. I might not be punctual in replying, but I want to be that person you can rely on.

I'll say it now and I'll definitely say it again; the author is a freaking genius!

5 people found this helpful

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a must read!

This book was lovely and uplifting. was an absolute page turner for sure. The narration was spot on too.

3 people found this helpful

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Beautiful

It has a beautiful storyline and very well narration. You won’t regret buying this book. I bet ya

3 people found this helpful

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The 1answer from a libarary you figure out urself

oh lord! what did Matt Haig write? I mean the story, Nora's emotions and the way he ends the book was outstanding. it's been long since I enjoyed a magical realism book. the most special part about the story is that so many people might have said these things to us but having to live each of them gives you an experience you wouldn't forget for a long time. the narration of the audiobook was so apt and I enjoyed and understood Nora more because of such expressive narration. if you get a chance read the audiobook. even Otherwise this book is important for our lives.

1 person found this helpful

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incredibly amazing😚🤗😘

dont have words to summarize this incedible work by Matt Haig , overall its a must read from my side

1 person found this helpful

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Perfectly Splendid

I have finished this book in just 48 hours what a wholesome book, why haven't i read it sooner. I LOVED IT !!

1 person found this helpful

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Hope , gratitude all that I need to be alive

worth hearing, narrator excellent, story has her own ups and downs some times seems too abstract but bounces back with suprise...

one suggestion...I wish chapters could have titles ...

1 person found this helpful

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  • ar
  • 20-01-21

good

very well written. mental health-a difficult topic to understand and relate to but very much the need of the hour.

1 person found this helpful

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Great plot and story

Great , feel good book of a person struggling with mental health and overcoming it with her new found will to live. The writing at times seems to be more tuned for a young adult and borders on teen fiction.

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Disappointing

Promising concept turned into repetitive philosophical rambling. Stopped caring about the character and left off.

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  • J E Law
  • 25-02-21

Laugh, cry, read this book!

Really enjoyed this book and the concept of exploring the regrets people have in their life. One of those books that stays in your head long after the final chapter. It’s dark, but funny, sad, but joyful. I couldn’t stop listening it’s compelling. Made me laugh and cry all at once.

1 person found this helpful

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  • northernlass
  • 30-01-21

Couldn't stop listening

I loved the idea of the midnight library. It captured me and i was hooked.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Elle
  • 19-01-21

Beautiful read

It was easy to anticipate much of the storyline, but in this case that didn't take anything away from the experience.

Carey Mulligan was flawless except for her Newfoundland pronunciation.

Matt Haig is fast becoming one of my favourite authors in both adult and children's fiction. His style is imaginative yet grounded in a wonderful fashion.

I would recommend this book to anyone.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Grace
  • 17-01-21

Loved it

Interesting, imaginative, meaningful and gently intriguing.
Carey Mulligan's narration is exquisite, brilliant,
Audible needs more talented narrators like Carey Mulligan, it makes all the difference.
Highly recommended .

1 person found this helpful

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  • fiona
  • 01-01-21

Beautiful read

I am sorry I waited so long to read it, loved it !! Would highly recommend

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-12-20

easy listening

maybe it was the expectation created around the book, but I didn't think it was brillient. It was entertaining, so happy to give it a 4. The narration was extremely good

1 person found this helpful

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  • Barry McWilliams
  • 12-12-20

Loved the story, lukewarm about the ending.

The book felt exciting & compelling, but the ending felt a bit pat. It was the „nice, expected“ ending. I guess I wanted something more surprising.

I enjoyed the time I spent listening to it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-10-20

An interesting and meaningful book

Thoroughly enjoyed every second, couldn’t put the book down- highly recommended, Althpughly NOT for children,

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-10-20

One of the best books I've ever read.

This book is absolutely wonderful. It shook me awake. It made me cry. It reminded me why I'm happy to be alive. (And Carey Mulligan's narration is PERFECT.)

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-06-21

Beautiful

Imagine you are done with this existence and the moment before checking out you get to have a glimpse at the infinite possible parallel lives you are living in the quantum universe... every little detail can create a different outcome. This makes for an interesting story, and for an even more interesting pondering of your influence on the lives of others.

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  • Joan
  • 04-09-20

Fantasy may be hard to take if you’re depressed

Please scroll through all of the many reviews on here as there are mixed feelings about this one.
Carey Mulligan is a superb narrator and really enhanced the book.
It seemed more like a young adult read, simplistic and aimed at a young teenage audience perhaps?
If you are positive and value life then you may enjoy the premise of this story and get hope and strength from its message.
If you are struggling and finding life incredibly challenging you may be brought down by the simplistic fantasy and feel bad about yourself because life is not easy.
Matt Haig has his own mental health struggles and I get why he wrote this book, but it won’t be for everyone.
I know this will be made into a film, it is ripe for a Christmas blockbuster.
Most reviewers absolutely love this story, some find it too sickly sweet or are bored with the daft fantasy. Some people will despair that their lives don’t match up.
I am a mixture of all of the above!! Glad I heard it but wouldn’t want to listen again and not happy about the way it was written but realise that it will make a lot of people happy.

340 people found this helpful

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  • Chris Cunningham
  • 15-08-20

A touching look at depression and regret.

Matt Haig writes beautifully - I didn’t realise how touched I would be by this book. Throughout I found myself considering my own choices - not my past regrets, but the decisions I can make from this point forwards. Carey’s narration is outstanding - a well suited pick.

85 people found this helpful

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  • Michelle Shepherd
  • 14-08-20

Delightful and exciting

Purchased this the day it was released and have just finished it. I loved it. Carey Mulligan narrates with great empathy and keeps you enthralled. Who hasnt wondered how their lives would have turned out if they'd made other decisions. This book allows the main character, Nora to see how her life would have turned out if she had said yes, or chose a different path. Worth a listen.

77 people found this helpful

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  • Vee
  • 16-08-20

Beautiful story, well read

Such a great idea, well executed and a really wonderful story that flows well and kept me hooked. Matt Haig writes with humour and sadness in equal measure and his core beliefs shine through in this lovely tale. The importance of kindness, love, caring about the planet and not comparing yourself to others. It is read beautifully by Carey. I needed this story, thank you!

64 people found this helpful

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  • rosie123
  • 02-09-20

Overly sentimental and became tedious.

Basically, the story went on far too long. Each life was unnecessarily detailed and often trite. The basic idea was excellent and with heavy editing would have been far more enjoyable. Sadly, the ending was entirely predictable and disappointing, although with tighter and less cloyingly sentimental writing, would have been better.

49 people found this helpful

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  • Miss Natasha GM Williams
  • 15-08-20

Brilliant and interesting.

Interesting look at depression and the regrets we all have. The story takes you on a brilliant journey of Nora’s self discovery through many life times. I found it uplifting and powerful, as someone who struggles with her own mental health the ending was empowering.

41 people found this helpful

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  • The Curator
  • 29-09-20

An excellent but difficult read if you aren’t perfect.

Disclaimer I only got to Chapter 15 but I couldn’t go on. The book is very well written and a fascinating concept but it just bit too close to the bone for me. The idea that one can change lives and get rid of regrets just had me overthinking my own life and what I would change. This alone made suicide sound quite a good idea (in theory! I’m not about to try it) and in the end it just made me too uncomfortable to continue.

39 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs R G
  • 18-08-20

wonderful

I listened on audible and the narrator was excellent! A lovely tale to make you think about your regrets. Very early on I knew where this book would go but that possibly comes from being a huge Matt Haig fan. It didn’t detract from the story at all and I loved the journey of the protagonist. I feel he really poured himself into this book because it’s beautiful and so delicate in its construction.

Choose this, everyone can and should enjoy it. I’ve recommended it already!

39 people found this helpful

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  • janey
  • 18-08-20

worth listening to for the narration alone

I took a chance on this book and loved the narration. interesting story, no real surprises or depth and a bit cheesy at the end, however, i thoroughly enjoyed this book and I don't think you will regret listening to it.

30 people found this helpful

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  • Kat S
  • 15-08-20

Finished Too Quickly

I really enjoyed this book, so much so I couldn't stop listening to it and I finished it too soon. Cary Mulligan's narration was excellent and perfect for Norma's voice and the concept of the book was brilliant.

30 people found this helpful

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  • Justine
  • 20-08-20

Didn’t want it to end!

I loved this, Matt Haig at his absolute best. Makes you think (as usual) and full of his trademark honesty and ultimate hope. Fantastic narration too.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Unbiased Review
  • 19-12-20

Bored

What could have been a good story became dull and tedious by the amount of prattling on and lack of depth. I guessed the end well before reaching it and I didn’t enjoy the journey getting there.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anne
  • 09-09-20

Loved it

An idea we've all thought about, beautifully manifested through a simple story, with an endearing protagonist and science and philosophy woven gently through. Carey Mulligan's narration is brilliant.

4 people found this helpful

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  • KJ
  • 17-12-20

Fell flat

Not sure what the fuss is about. Average, slightly long-winded story. I was eager for it to end.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • S. Parker
  • 12-12-20

My favourite book of 2020

Having experienced depression this book has served both as a masterpiece of fiction but also self help. It is exquisitely written too. No other book of 2020 has come close to it for me. I listened over two days whereas usually an audiobook might take weeks. I just couldn’t stop listening.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-09-20

Novel concept

Loved the Midnight Library.....
A timely reminder of the importance of appreciating exactly where we are, right now, today.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kris
  • 14-05-21

Tacky

I don’t usually say much on this site, but I have to be honest - I spent as much time cringe-laughing as I did listening to this book.
The premise of the story is sound enough. Unfortunately, the plot is so underdeveloped that it reads as though a junior high school student wrote it (one who wasn’t likely to pursue writing at that) and the end result was something of a hybrid between a hallmark sympathy / graduation card and a tediously-long dinner time sermon from your recently-woke second cousin about how he found inspiration and now needs to mansplain it to you.

Half chapters of repetitive platitudes are flogged like a dead horse and things that are perfectly clear to most readers are elaborated on (again, mansplained) to the extent that you wonder if this isn’t in fact a transcript intended simply so that the author can hear himself writing. We get it. You’ve found a simple kind of spirituality and now want to explain it to us as if we’ve never had an existential or philosophical thought in our lives. Such spiritual insights are delivered in a strange mashup, where inspiration and creative prose somehow gets stuck in a rusty old engine and we listen to the equivalent of a reading of a car manual until the existential moment is over.

The narrator does her best, but it is very difficult to make something of this. I am pretty sure I was giggling too much to pay attention to the extremely long-winded and completely overdone conclusion of the story, but if you’re looking for an ending that your English teacher would have lynched you for, look no further.

I love this podcast called ‘My Dad Wrote a P*rno’. This reads like that but there is, apparently no intention to be funny.

Good luck!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Enrique V.
  • 13-05-21

Slow burn, boring boring stuff

wish I never started this...
listened to it in 1.4x speed so that it would feel like a "normal speed" audiobook, still couldn't go through the whole thing, gave up 3/4 through.

Story about a girl with a boring life, going into alternate boring lives through a magic library. Don't waste your time

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sandy Atkins
  • 07-05-21

Unexpected brilliance

Loved this book
Great take on the way we humans think and function.
Excellently executed.

1 person found this helpful

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