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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

Average Customer Ratings
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Beautiful

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

2 people found this helpful

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Just Wonderful

A young woman on the verge of making a terrible choice. She's lost her job, her best friend, her brother. Her relationships are in shambles and her cat is dead. More importantly, she is just deeply, seemingly irretrievably, sad. She can't imagine a day that is better with her in it. Living has become nothing but a chore. So she ends it. Overdose. Antidepressants. The world goes black. And then Nora wakes up. Not in heaven or hell, but in a library. The Midnight Library, which is the place people go when they find themselves hanging precariously between life and death and not entirely sure about which way to go. The library is immense. Perhaps endless. And it is filled with nothing but books, shelves and, curiously, Nora's school librarian, Mrs. Elm. Infinite options, yes, but maybe not an infinite amount of time in which to choose. Infinite possibility, sure, but only one shot at each of them. When Nora loses hope, the library starts to collapse. When she finds herself excited again about living, things calm down. Ultimately, Haig gives Nora a straightforward path from suicide to closure, from regret to acceptance. He gives her a tree, and though there are many branches, it is still just a tree. The story, then, forms solely around the lives she passes briefly through, the choices and their consequences. Nora lives a hundred lives. A thousand. Enough of a theoretical portion of an infinity that she feels as though she has seen them all by the time we're closing on the final pages. The only question left hanging over all of it is which one she'll finally choose. Nora, doesn't really want anything. Or maybe she does, but the arc of the plot hinges on her trying to figure out what exactly it is. And a character who doesn't actively want something — even when it is something so basic as to keep on living — wasn't a hard character to identify with for me.

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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.

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A Heartwarming Story

This was my first audio book, and it was such a joy to listen to. The story is of a woman lost in her life, who is given a chance to see all the ways it could have turned out instead. As she ‘slides’ from life to life, we are given glimpses of many worlds, many lives, many people.. and how one person changes people, no matter how they live. A truly unique story that was beautifully narrated.

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It made me cry for no reason

I did not expect to feel the emotions I did when I finished the book. I kind of knew where it was headed yet the ending was powerful. Beautifully narrated. loved it.

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Good read and interesting story..

Very innovative and interesting storyline that reflects on the various lives one could have lived had they made different choices at different points in their life. Often times what we think we wanted and couldn’t have is proved to be not worthy to have, once we have it. We can have everything and feel nothing. Its the small things that matter and make life beautiful. Never underestimate the big importance of small things. You don’t have to understand life you just have to live it.

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Life choices

What we do in our lives small or big everything matters .... we may not notice it but it does .... This books gives a very very simple description in a very unique way of how we should live in this life rather than thinking and regretting over many other life’s we could have...

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my first audible story

narrated amazingly . great story written . must read it and listen .best workout time spent

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गागर में सागर भर दिया है।

जीवन जीने का मंत्र दिया‌ गया है। This will be a life long goto book in times of despair, when you just need those warm word from somebody.

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If there was one book, it’s this one

If there was one book you were looking for to end the year or to start a new one, it’s this one. If you are not particularly into this genre but your book challenge wants you to step out of your comfort zone and read something new. Give this a try. Or if there is no reason at all and you’ve got time to spare...get this one because it is one book that we need to remind ourselves what life is amidst other things. Coming back to the review of this book...it is great. My new favourite. The audiobook is narrated beautifully and Carey’s voice is so calming that you might end up listening to her for hours. The writing is easy and the story has a good flow. And the best part is that you will relate to it at some level and you’ll love it for sure. Give it a try!

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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.

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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 .

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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

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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

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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.

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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,

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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.)

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  • Rana K.
  • 21-09-20

Exquisite

Everybody needs to read this book. It provides such a different perspective of life and death, and everything in between. Also Carey Mulligan is phenomenal in her narration, making me always wanting more. Hats off to both incredible talents.

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  • Hurra Huse
  • 09-09-20

It is as good as they say

This book will stay with me, and I will listen to it again, for comfort. It is so imaginative, so good at describing life as the mess that it can sometimes be. There is so much hope in this book, I wish all those who feel or has at sometime felt hopeless or helpless would get the chance to read it. So that would mean most of us I guess. The narration is brilliant, and the tone of voice fits the main character perfectly.

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  • Thanh
  • 29-08-20

Spectacular! Life changing story

I cannot rave enough about this book. Beautiful, engaging storytelling by Matt, and Carey Mulligan knocked the performance out of the park. It’s a really touching story that makes you think and gives you a new perspective on life. I cried so much at the end. Would 10/10 recommend this book to anyone who’s struggling with mental health issues and suicidal ideation, or anyone in general for that matter. If I could give this book 6 stars I would. Do yourself a favour and listen to it, you’ll thank me later.

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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.

122 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.

52 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.

47 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!

43 people found this helpful

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  • t
  • 10-10-20

This should carry a trigger warning

I know the author writes from his own experience of depression, that does not exonerate him from being irresponsible towards wellbeing of others. This book is at best, patronising, at worst downright dangerous. Inits early pages it is a validation of suicidal thoughts. In its conclusion it sums up every platitude a depressed person might be unfortunate enough to hear. You’ve got it better than you realise. Just think how worse it could be then you’ll find some gratitude, stop thinking about yourself and take time to think of others, stop navel gazing, stop being so selfish, there are others who need you to be stronger... it’s all there, every vile cruel ignorant attack. And in real life, there is no midnight library, no second chance. And life is not always kind, or fair, and it doesn’t just work out ok in the end. Sometimes it goes horrifically wrong. Surviving life, is as much as some people manage. Some do not. I found this book arrogant, and ultimately sickeningly callous towards those who might come to it from a place of trust in the author, or indeed oblivious of what they would find. It is perhaps some kind of personal catharsis. Whatever it is, a trigger warning front and centre is the only responsible way to publish. And that goes for audible as well as print publishers.

38 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!

20 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.

18 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.

18 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.

16 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.

14 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.

2 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.

2 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.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person 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.

1 person 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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Blossominoz
  • 19-01-21

A philosophical conundrum

What would it be like to choose the life you live? Is it a case of " be careful what you wish for?" Nora's choices give her a realisation of what is precious to her and how our actions have consequences. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

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  • Buster07
  • 19-01-21

A great story to get lost in

I loved this audio book. The theme was interesting and thought provoking. It was one of those stories that I didn't want to end.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-01-21

Loved this book!

Excellent Narration, easy to listen to. Really enjoyed the story, slightly predictable but still thoroughly enjoyable. Would recommend!

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  • Jane Mahood
  • 06-01-21

The Midnight Library - Inspired

Simply Loved this book! Wonderfully written, beautifully narrated. The story will resonate with many people who are perhaps unfulfilled or have suffered from depression. It’s a positive and encouraging read.