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  • Exciting Times

  • Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2021
  • By: Naoise Dolan
  • Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
  • Length: 6 hrs and 55 mins
  • 3.7 out of 5 stars (536 ratings)
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Exciting Times cover art

Exciting Times

By: Naoise Dolan
Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
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Summary

Ava, newly arrived in Hong Kong from Dublin, spends her days teaching English to rich children.

Julian is a banker. A banker who likes to spend money on Ava, to have sex and discuss fluctuating currencies with her. But when she asks whether he loves her, he cannot say more than 'I like you a great deal'.

Enter Edith, a lawyer. Refreshingly enthusiastic and unapologetically earnest, Edith takes Ava to the theatre when Julian leaves Hong Kong for work. Quickly, she becomes something Ava looks forward to.

And then Julian writes to tell Ava he is coming back to Hong Kong....

©2019 Naoise Dolan (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

What listeners say about Exciting Times

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

a rather unexciting time reading this

Love the narrator, great at her work.
Overall the book is very pretentious and very repetitive with very unlikeable and somewhat unrealistic character behaviour. I'll give credit for the easy readability of the writing and yes it is very Sally Rooney esque but it also goes too hard at it as everything must be explained via long simile or metaphor like when I try to reach a word count in an essay.

It takes place in Hong Kong and thats about it when it comes to the setting because you'll actually spent 90% reading this in an apartment and it could be situated in any generic city with class disparities which is a shame because Hong Kong is a pretty incredible place.

And Yes Nolan we get it, you went to Oxford.

If you like Sally's Normal People you'll appreciate the writing style and that is as far as I'd go.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

very original and well written

I loved the frank and honest voice of the narrator and protagonist. Haven't read anything like this before. Would definitely recommend.

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

Naoise Dolan is a wonder!

This is an astounding debut; blisteringly funny & deeply moving! A sequel please!

Comhghairdeas!

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

Easy to listen to, didn’t change my life

Had wanted to read this ever since it came out! I finished in a week or so. The storyline was kind of dull to be honest, and after a while I found myself not particularly liking the main character, and just wishing away listening. I feel as though I potentially would have enjoyed this book more if I was actually reading it - not because the narration wasn’t good because it was! - more that it was quite hard to follow the narrative structure. A lot of cliches and clunky insertions of political debate which don’t fully follow up with the initial point made. I don’t know, I wouldn’t say I enjoyed the book but it was O.K, but I wouldn’t really recommend to any of my friends or family.

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

As sharp as a paper cut.

My only disappointment was that Naoise Dolan hasn’t written another book yet. I have stolen some of her lines and will definitely drop them into my conversations to make me sound more entertaining than I actually am.

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

Couldn’t warm to the main characters

Maybe it was the voice of the narrator, but I really disliked two of the main characters in this book. Edith was ok, but I found Ava annoying & self pitying and Julien vacuous and one dimensional - though re Julien that was probably intentional.
I found it hard to be invested in any of them and in fact Ava just left me bored. Not my favorite listen

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

Brilliant

From the blurb I was worried this book would be a bit fluffy and simple (trying to avoid the phrase chick-lit but you know what I’m getting at).

It isn’t at all! It is so clever, analytical, reflective, the characterisation so real, I absolutely loved it. It is a very thoughtful book with many lines to go over again and contemplate. The performance is also beautiful. Highly highly recommend, loved it.

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

Well worth a read.

Really enjoyed this. Unsentimental, honest account of a young girl trying to figure her shit out, away from the pressures of home and family.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

grand

wit and intellect, what a pleaseure to know we have another new star, no pressure,

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully written and narrated.

The book is written as a stream of consciousness that flows effortlessly from one page to the next. It’s stimulating, intriguing and funny. Highly recommended.

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