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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

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    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.

2 people found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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Bit of a disappointment.

The author is a reasonable story-teller in that some parts of the book are worth listening too. But overall, the plot is disappointingly weak. Worst though is that the characters (even the main characters) are just not compelling. If this were turned into a movie it would be like having Ross from 'Friends' playing the main role instead of Chandler. I bought this expecting the plot to be somewhat predictable but also, that the reward for this (and even the point of the book) would be the characters within - the 'human story'. And despite perhaps being a little predictable, I guess I was also expecting the plot to be a little more sophisticated. One where each character's present day life and back story were cleverly interwoven leading to an intriguing and heart-warming crescendo. This just didn't happen.

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interesting from the beginning

great story, gets you hooked in from the very beginning. Narrator had a bit of a lisp but you get past it pretty quickly

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Beautiful, funny and painfully real

I listened in 3 sessions straight. Clearly written by someone who knows this subject and has thought deeply about depression, friendship and riding the storms of life. It was my first book by Mark Watson but it won't be my last!

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Just wonderful.

A really wonderful, engaging read. Full of heart and expertly crafted. I absolutely loved it.

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Brilliant

Just one of the best books I’ve read. I raced the end desperate to hear what happened, but being moved along the way!

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#bekind

A clever little tale. Well written and performed by the author. Enjoyed this one a lot

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Touching

Loved this book, cried at the end, written beautifully I got hooked in all way

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not for me

I just got bored with this book, I skipped a few chapters and still followed the story, just not my cup of tea.