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Holding

Narrated by: Graham Norton
Length: 7 hrs and 26 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,677 ratings)

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Summary

BAFTA award-winning comedian Graham Norton lends his charming Irish lilt to the narration of his skillfully paced debut novel. With an atmospheric setting and characters that you quickly warm to, it's a vividly written slice of life in Duneen.

Graham Norton's masterful debut is an intelligently crafted story of love, secrets and loss.

The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama, and yet its inhabitants are troubled. Sergeant PJ Collins hasn't always been this overweight; mother of two Brid Riordan hasn't always been an alcoholic; and elegant Evelyn Ross hasn't always felt that her life was a total waste.

So when human remains are discovered on an old farm, suspected to be that of Tommy Burke - a former love of both Brid and Evelyn - the village's dark past begins to unravel. As the frustrated PJ struggles to solve a genuine case for the first time in his life, he unearths a community's worth of anger and resentments, secrets and regret.

Darkly comic, touching and at times profoundly sad. Graham Norton employs his acerbic wit to breathe life into a host of loveable characters and explore - with searing honesty - the complexities and contradictions that make us human.

©2016 Graham Norton (P)2016 Hodder & Stoughton
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A classic tale of love and loss

I liked the story which unfolded gradually but carefully so you couldn't quite guess what was coming up. I liked the delicate and emphatic depictions of female emotions from young to old. I liked the down to earth setting and raw reality without pathos. I didn't like Graham Norton reading it himself as it always sounded like he was being funny, flippant and sarcastic like he is on his radio and tv shows. It would have given it far more gravitas to be read by someone expert in audible books. I would still recommend the book to anyone of any age as it covers a wide experience of life. That's why I've given it an overall score of 4 stars.

19 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Beautifully written - and narrated

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I have recommended to many already. And in both physical and audible versions everyone seems as enchanted as I was. Lovely, wonderful, warm and engaging novel - left open for a sequel that I cannot wait to read.

What other book might you compare Holding to, and why?

Richard Galbraith - Cuckoo's Calling. Reminded me of physically challenged characters trying to find their way to a normal life.

What does Graham Norton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He is a wonderful narrator. Hearing him read and bring to life his own charactors was enchanting.

17 people found this helpful

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Very enjoyable!

Any additional comments?

What a surprisingly enjoyable book - it's always interesting to see if well known performers can do more than one thing, but like reading the wonderful Dawn French books, Graham Norton definitely can!

I wasn't sure if him reading his own book would work when he's normally so funny, but this was very enjoyable. I did guess the twist before the end, but it didn't spoil the enjoyment. There was such a wonderful description of the people and scenery, I felt as though I was there. Also such a lovely subtle range of voices. I will definitely look out for his next book.

8 people found this helpful

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A gentle but moving tale

A book narrated by it author is always more enjoyable I find as every nuance of the written word is carried in the spoken voice.
A remarkable twist on an old crime when bones are discovered and the establishment and conventions of a small, remote village in Ireland are turn upside down. Centre to this are the local policeman and the women of Duneen star.
It feels like you have become part of the community and unable to distinguish between fact and fiction, gossip and tall stories. What is more certain is the quality of Norton's storytelling and approach to fiction that although dark is brighten by the humour that also touches our lives.

7 people found this helpful

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Brilliantly written and narrated.....

Really love Graham Norton so this book was an absolute delight. Funny, witty, sad, disturbing and intriguing were just some of the emotions that kept you wanting to listen.

Would certainly want to read or listen to Grahams other books.

6 people found this helpful

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enjoyable listen

Enjoyed this book nice simple story with characters you can't but like. The narrator done a good job you really can't but see them while listening.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Very enjoyable, and well narrated

Where does Holding rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

A very clever story line which kept me guessing until near the end. Graham reads the story well.

What did you like best about this story?

The characters were well written and very plausible

Have you listened to any of Graham Norton’s other performances? How does this one compare?

N/A

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. You can dip in and out of the story quite easily.

5 people found this helpful

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Excellent

Excellent story full of great characters narrated brilliantly by the author

Well done on your first of many!

5 people found this helpful

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More whodunnit-ing

What is it with whodunnits? They’re all at it. Graham Norton’s contribution is ‘The Guard’ meets Miss O’Marple; Brendan Gleeson is a shoo-in for the part of the lead policeman. The Irish setting makes it rather more fun than the usual English village, there’s humour and he, of course, is a great narrator of his own work. Ends with a bit of a whimper but passes the time agreeably enough.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A good read. Very enjoyable.

A good tale which kept me interested and listening! Well read by the author adding to the story. Some lovely bits which had me laughing out loud but also thoughtful and tackled some serious subjects. Really enjoyed it.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kathryn G.
  • 30-11-16

Absolutely charming

What made the experience of listening to Holding the most enjoyable?

Having Graham Norton read his own work made this special. He has a wonderful voice for narration.

What does Graham Norton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His Irish accent - it made the characters really come alive.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sandie
  • 15-04-20

A sweet story

Beautifully narrated by Graham Norton. Such a pleasure to listen to his voice. A sweet simple story. Nice escape for a few hours!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Pineapple
  • 02-03-20

Loved it!

It reminded me so much of life at home in a small town. Graham Norton is brilliant narrating the story and voicing the characters too.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Angela
  • 02-11-18

So brilliant!

Loved the way the story was told (loved Graham's reading of the story) and the charming characters. Such proficient writing. Well done Graham.

1 person found this helpful

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  • lisa
  • 06-08-18

Like sitting next to Graham.

How wonderful was this book! It was like sitting next to Graham and having him tell me a story about his family in Ireland. I really enjoyed the mystery of it, I was guessing different people throughout. And I especially liked feeling like I was there with all the details of the town and the people. Can’t wait for the next book!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Joan
  • 09-07-20

Such a charming mystery

This is such a charming mystery, excellently narrated by the author himself. The book focuses mostly on the characters, who are wonderfully written and all seems to be somehow involved in the mystery itself. I like the way this story was quietly and slowly unfolded as we got to know all the characters which is almost exactly like life in a very small town.

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  • Hannah
  • 13-11-19

Really enjoyed it

I really enjoyed this book. It was a book club choice (not my own personal) I was a bit sceptical but Graham read it exceptionally well. He didn't do silly voices for each character, which I thought was perfect. His accent enhanced the story.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-08-19

very engaging

This was a very nice work, engrossing story beautifully read by the author! Mr. Norton has such a wonderful cadence and tone! His characters are sympathetic and his mysteries believable with just a touch of macabre sentimentality. I look forward to his next book!

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  • naomi
  • 28-11-17

Loved it!

Very enjoyable murder mystery. Characters you can judge and cheer for at the same time. I am definitely buying his next book!

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  • "cdonns"
  • 03-11-17

Holding

Loved it! Graham Norton is great fun to listen to and so is his story.