Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £11.99

Buy Now for £11.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

One man’s last journey. One hundred and fifty-eight chances to save his life. The unforgettable new book from award-winning writer and comedian Mark Watson! 

Chiltern boards the 23:50 sleeper train from London to Edinburgh with two pork pies, six beers and a packet of chocolate digestives. At 23:55 he sends a message to all 158 people in his contacts, telling them that he plans to end his life in the morning. He then switches his phone to flight mode. He’s said goodbye. To him, it’s the end of his story - and time to crack open the biscuits. But across the world, 158 phones are lighting up with a notification. Phones belonging to his mum. His sister. His ex-best friend. The woman who broke his heart. People he’s lost touch with. People he barely knows. And for them, the message is only the beginning of the journey. 

Funny and wise, tender and deeply moving, Contacts is a beautiful story about the weight of loneliness, the importance of kindness - and how it’s never too late to reach out.

©2020 Mark Watson (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"This is such a great book, funny and serious and daring and humane. I prefer Mark Watson to Leo Tolstoy - both as a novelist and a stand-up comedian." (Richard Curtis)

"Mark Watson is one of my favourite writers and Contacts is by far his best book yet." (Adam Kay)

What listeners say about Contacts

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    160
  • 4 Stars
    71
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    5
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    149
  • 4 Stars
    44
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    143
  • 4 Stars
    64
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    5

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Spoiled by the narrator

This is a good book that could have been a great book but was spoiled by the author, who either for financial or egotistical reasons decided to narrate himself. unfortunately he does poorly. I liked the book enough that I would have tried more of his books but not if he is narrating them.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A lovely book

This is a great book. I hope it helps a few people who read it. It did help me. I won’t elaborate too much as I am not sure how to make this anonymous.

But let’s just say thanks Mark.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good concept

I love Mark Watson, so I might be a bit biased here.

I loved him narrating. He has a gentle quality of speaking and a dark, wry sense of humour. It did sound like his stand up and his normal talking but I liked that. I felt the story leant itself to this tone.

The whole concept was a good one. What would people do if they got a message saying someone was going to kill themselves. And would they or would they not be too late to do anything at all. The story unfolds and people feel they should/could have done more. I guess everyone feels that but they don't do anything until a crisis actually happens.

I would have preferred a different ending, but I cannot say why without a spoiler.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Really enjoyable book

I’m a big fan of Mark Watson and this first of his books that I’ve listened to didn’t disappoint. It kept me hooked all the way through. One small thing I thought might have made me enjoy it more was a professional narrator, such as is used in the Wolf Hall series; sometimes when he was doing accents and they slipped a bit, I felt myself just imagining Mark in a sound booth. 😄. Excellent book though and I’ll read more of his work.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Serious subject spoilt by cliches.


The start up this was quite powerful and the subject matter is delicate but gently handled,:

However as the book continues its cliche after cliche and personally for me it just does not deliver what could have herb a very good story.

Narration was good and took me further than I thought.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Impactful

An intriguing premise and thought-provoking insights into each of the characters thoughts and reactions.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

confused at the end.

excellent premise enthusiastically narrated. The ending all felt a little rushed and lacked the meticulous build of all other characters and situations.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Modern life connects us...

... but also disconnects us. This was gripping and unexpected. Also, I arrived at this book having seen the author tweet asking people to let him know if they had ever enjoyed anything he had ever done. Someone tweeted this book. I'm sure he's not reading this, but Mark, this is yet another thing you've done which I found compelling.
Totally recommended.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Heartbreaking story, beautifully told

I wasn't sure what to expect, but from chapter one I was hooked. Told from the perspectives of everyone affected by the decision of James, the protagonist, Mark Watson handles the subject matter with care, delicacy and humour. It had me both chuckling and sobbing. Mr Watson has gained a firm new fan.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Boring

Yawwwwwwwwwwwn. Unlikeable characters. Unfinished side stories. Unexplained weird ending which seemed more like lazy writing than anything else.

1 person found this helpful