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Summary

Now a major TV series.

Winner of the Costa Novel Award.

Winner of the an Post Irish Book Awards Novel of the Year.

Winner of Novel of the Year and Book of the Year at the British Book Awards.

Winner of the Specsavers National Book Awards International Author of the Year.

Nominated for the Man Booker Prize.

Nominated for the Women's Prize for Fiction.

Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in the west of Ireland, but the similarities end there. In school, Connell is popular and well-liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation - awkward but electrifying - something life-changing begins. Normal People is a story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that first conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people who try to stay apart but find they can't.

©2018 Sally Rooney (P)2018 W. F. Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"The literary phenomenon of the decade." (Guardian)

"The most enjoyable novel of the year." (Daily Telegraph)

"Quite astonishing." (Independent)

What listeners say about Normal People

Average customer ratings
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    1 out of 5 stars
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Utterly Tedious. Vapid Bonkfest.

I don't know what I expected but I had the impression that this would be a good read. It wasn't. I cannot finish it.

The narrator's depiction of Connell is unbearably monotone, lacking in ANY character or modulation.

This book does nothing to dispel the stereotype of millennials being a self-absorbed, vapid generation.

And whilst I appreciate that sex is a big deal when you're young, I don't think the multiple sex scenes per chapter add anything to the story.

That said, I've no idea what the 'story' is either... Dull. Dull. DULL! Return Title (thank you, Audible, for that option, this was not worth a credit)

61 people found this helpful

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Bleak and disheartening

Horrifically negative depiction of what ‘normal’ is. Bleak portrayal of humanity. Weak and unbelievable characters

33 people found this helpful

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  • JJ
  • 13-08-19

Boring

I found this very boring and couldn’t finish it . Obviously not for me but maybe for a younger audience . Narration ok but found the male voices very wooden.

21 people found this helpful

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Nothing happens. Should have been a short story

Tedious book and struggling to understand why it was written or published. Says nothing interesting

14 people found this helpful

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It plunges under your skin and invades you.

There is nothing normal about this book; it is more than it should be, deep, turbulent, complex, still and full of subtleties that are furthermore making me think, making me worried for both of the main characters.

A beautiful exploration of human frailty and the mystery of love and dependency, grief and misunderstanding, happiness and acceptance of that good when you feel undeserving of it.

A fantastic read that has left me full of melancholic fillings; absolute magic.

53 people found this helpful

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  • AJ
  • 02-10-18

Loved it

I loved the characters (I’m missing them already) the story and the excellent narration. Beautiful.

42 people found this helpful

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Maybe I missed the point

I wondered at the end - was it worth so many hours listening?
I found the voice of Connell particularly irritating and thought the character name choices a little odd. Coming from an Irish family I was surprised at names like Eric, Helen, Lorraine and Denise. I found it hard to remember who they were.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

This started out so well and I was really engaged with the characters.
Sadly, half way through, it all went to 'pot'
The story lost it's way and became full and confusing
The first time ever that I have skipped to the last chapter, just in case the end was thrilling but it wasn't
Well narrated but I bet even Sally Rooney was glad when it was over.

7 people found this helpful

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Wonderful

Beautifully observed, I found the characters believable and compelling. The use of language is wonderful, thoughtful, vivid description, not a word wasted. The narration is excellent throughout. This novel held my attention right to the end.

14 people found this helpful

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Beautiful novel

Exquisitely written, beautifully narrated. Came to this on a friends recommendation and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience- thanks to Audible for making my commute such a pleasure. This is a modern, honest, insightful, mature exploration of love, dependence and the ability to grow and help others grow. It’s not wrapped up with a bow. But it’s a great novel. And that narration is close to perfection. Highly recommended

14 people found this helpful

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  • Lynne
  • 20-12-18

Simply sublime

Bear with it. Just when you despair that there’s going to be another misstep, it turns. Entrancing.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Donncha
  • 05-05-20

Tashte.

This book is tashte.
A review requires 15 words to be accepted. Cat. Dog. Mouse.

1 person found this helpful

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  • E. D. Saxon
  • 14-02-20

What is normal, anyway?

I really enjoyed this book. As a Trinity graduate I felt connected to one of the stories main locations, like I was spying on the affairs of people in a place I knew so well. Yet their narratives brought out the sense that we all feel a part of that unfamiliar and foreign, like freaks. In the end that push and pull of normal and abnormal becomes routine experience, even in new contexts. Looking forward to reading more from Rooney.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Janice Windt
  • 11-09-19

Magnificent journey for the reader

Normal People utterly absorbs the reader from the first page. What a privilege to journey with your wonderful characters in this way. Thank-you Sally! Can’t wait for your next book!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anthea
  • 17-06-19

Get comfortable

I enjoyed this book most when I was cosy and comfortable - to better deal with the discomfort and emotional turmoil of the characters. A thought provoking story about what shapes a person, from their economic circumstances to the people they’re surrounded by. I felt quite introspective over the course of the narrative, but most enjoyed the scenes of more physical observation which gave some much needed “real world” context to the lives of the protagonists.
Certainly not your average chick-lit but I think completely appropriate for the same audience. I’d recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-02-19

Beautifully honest and compelling.

What a truly beautifully-honest read. Rooney highlights the intricacies of relationships in such a compelling way.

1 person found this helpful