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Swimming in the Dark

Narrated by: Robert Nairne
Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
Categories: LGBT, Literature & Fiction
4.5 out of 5 stars (81 ratings)

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Summary

You were right when you said that people can't always give us what we want from them.

Poland, 1980. Anxious, disillusioned Ludwik Glowacki, soon to graduate university, has been sent along with the rest of his class to an agricultural camp. Here he meets Janusz - and together, they spend a dreamlike summer swimming in secluded lakes, reading forbidden books - and falling in love.

But with summer over, the two are sent back to Warsaw, and to the harsh realities of life under the Party. Exiled from paradise, Ludwik and Janusz must decide how they will survive; and in their different choices, find themselves torn apart.

Swimming in the Dark is an unforgettable debut about youth, love, and loss - and the sacrifices we make to live lives with meaning.

©2018 Tomasz Jedrowski (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about Swimming in the Dark

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A wonderful book

It is a long time since I enjoyed a book so much. It is so well written and replete with with the loneliness and sadness of many people of this genre. The pathos of the ending is memorable.
I have to say the narrator was, without any doubt, one of the best I have heard.

2 people found this helpful

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gay and joyous

so well written, so well told. even though I live in Britain and Ludwik in Poland, I felt he was telling the story of my my early life before homosexuality was acceptable in Britain. We are free today but it isn't so long ago we were like Ludwik and Janusz.
a beautiful love story

2 people found this helpful

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I delayed finishing this book...

At about the two thirds mark I started listening less and less, and thinking about the story more and more, I didn't want it to end. What a fantastic story and so well performed. I will look for more books performed by the same Actor - a joy to listen to.

2 people found this helpful

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A Great Read.

A delightful book that takes the reader on an emotional journey about love and life

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Beautiful, heart-warming and heart-breaking

A beautifully written account that resonates on the lives of millions of people who had to leave their countries and loved ones in order to be [fee].

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I really loved it!

Very enjoyable listen and well narrated. The story has a lot of warmth to it and absorbes you in!

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Tender gripping and often heartbreaking

I wondered how this story could move forward but it does, relentlessly pulling the reader in. Nicely narrated this is one of the most touching lgbt romances I have read. Stay until the end, it is perfection.

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Then and Now

The story is set in Poland, during in the period before the collapse of the Soviet Union. The central character, Ludwik, is gay and applying to complete a doctorate on the work of the black US writer, James Baldwin, whose novel “Giovanni’s Room” is referenced throughout “Swimming In The Dark”. Much is made of state control and the repression of homosexual people, though (as in the GDR) homosexuality (while not approved of) was not illegal under communist rule in Poland. I wonder if the writer will follow up this book with another, looking at the repression of gay people under the current Right Wing government.

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You can't demand the love you want

This the story as recalled and told by Ludwik and his relationship with Janusz, from their meeting at a summer camp, through adolescence and into the world of Poland in the early 1980s, when the rise of the solidarity movement began to push back against the authoritarian government Their affair is complicated and stifled by the state. The writing is crisp, as Ludwik narrates the history of his one true love. This is a great first novel, which had it been sold as a memoir, I would have believed every word.

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  • Nedieh Red Nav
  • 12-04-20

The pain of these stories cuts deep

The pain of these stories cuts deep.

The fact that homophobia was and in some cases is still considered a national pride. That so much effort is taken to stop people living and loving who they really care for. It’s so sad that society got this so wrong.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Arturo Gomez Martinez
  • 05-03-20

Beautiful story of love and struggle

I loved this book. It just flew at a steady pace, never getting too slow but also not rushing. The love story captivated me, set in a different time and society. Bittersweet, but beautiful nonetheless.

1 person found this helpful