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Summary

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery, or at least that's what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn't a real Avery, then who is he? Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from - and, over his three score years and ten, will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country and much more.

In this, Boyne's most transcendent work to date, we are shown the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the eyes of one ordinary man. The Heart's Invisible Furies is a novel to make you laugh and cry while reminding us all of the redemptive power of the human spirit.

©2017 John Boyne (P)2017 Random House Audiobooks

What members say

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  • Kerri
  • United Kingdom
  • 19-02-17

Phenomenal

I don't usually read (or listen to) anything that is described as a sweeping saga but after hearing an interview with John Boyne on the radio and hearing the first paragraph read out, I felt compelled to buy it.
I've devoured this book in less than 3 days. I loved every minute of it and now feel bereft that it is over.
The backdrop feels genuine, the characters are perfectly realised and the story is heartbreaking.
There were so many places where lives could have been so different but for the hands of fate, the church, society, bigotry, fear and plain luck.
I wept listening to the epilogue. Genuine tears rolling down my nose with sadness and joy.
I cannot recommend this highly enough. Please read/listen and be moved.

63 of 63 people found this review helpful

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Oh wow

I listen to a lot of books.... having hit a brick wall and getting some absolutely abysmal ones I was getting irritated and picked this at random. I am so glad I did. This was amazingly written and amazingly read. Although annoying not to come to conclusion as a story naturally would throughout, the skipping story kept me guessing . Even though you can pretty much work it out if you think about it, it didn't detract from the story and I am sad it's finished.
Cyril was so likeable I just wanted to give him a massive hug. I wanted someone to just love him and look after him 💜 - great story

31 of 31 people found this review helpful

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Exceptional

If there is such a thing as a perfect novel, then this is surely it. The story is beautiful, moving, perfectly written with not one word out of place. It's laugh out loud funny (shocking the other people in the coffee shop ) and a tear jerker as well. Highly, highly recommended, and I'm envious of anyone who hasn't yet read it, just so it's new for them.

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Mesmerising

I laughed out loud, cried out loud and experienced all human emotions on the human spectrum during the passage of the lives of the characters in this book. I loved the tease of coincidence. Narration was so good I could see, hear and feel the different characters better than if I'd read it myself. Definitely worth a read.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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WONDERFUL STORY, WONDERFUL NARRATOR,

I loved everything about this book; it is a great acheivement. The narrator was extraordinarily good; he had a great range of voices, all of which suited each character. I was drawn to the flawed central character, and each of the others. I enjoyed the way the story unfolded in an unusual chronology and felt bereft when the experience came to an end. One of the best books I have listened to...and I've listened to 300+.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Just excellent.

Gave this story a go on a whim. So glad I did, such a beautiful, funny, heartbreaking listen. Gutted that it came to an end. The narrator was brilliant too, really brought the characters to life. Will definitely be listening to this again. Would highly recommend.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Incredible

Simply incredible - a beautiful story which I return to time and time again. Five stars

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Amazing,moving brilliant story!! 5 star

I listen to one / two books a month and have done for years.
This book is one of the best I've ever listened to.
I cried when it ended.
A rich book of layers that is hard to stop listening too!
Going to listen to it again and again.
5 stars!!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Amazing

Please listen to this remarkable book so beautifully narrated ... a masterpiece that I'll reread and listen to again...

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Beautiful but woefully indulgent...

Had this book been edited down to a more impactful 10 or so hours I think I’d be raving about it. It would also have possibly been a much bigger success on the awards circuit. I love John Boyne’s writing, he is supremely talented, but the last 7 hours of this novel feels like the extended director’s cut (read wildly indulgent and unnecessary). What starts out as a tightly plotted, incredibly engrossing yarn about sexuality, friendship & love, turns into a plodding bore - with characters constantly repeating themselves and ‘discussing’ other parts of the book. That said, I loved Cyril & his mum so much I had to read to the end...

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Siobhan Mc grogan
  • 13-08-18

Laughed out loud and cried my eyes out

Fantastic, could not stop listening. Totally addictive. I was sad when it finished . But alas all good things must come to an end. Can’t recommend this highly enough.

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  • Ray Bowring
  • 11-08-18

An unrxpected gem

An unexpected tender, insightful revelation of human frailty; our betrayals, our heartbreaks and our capacity for love, vengeance and forgiveness. What a find and well worth a credit.

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  • Nick
  • 31-07-18

An intriguing story of human resilience

The author, John Boyne, wrote this intriguing story with a good deal of Irish humour, and a touch of class which I believe is achievable only when someone writes from their personal experience! I wont give a synopsis of the story itself - there are plenty to choose from. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the audio book despite being a little sceptical about the subject matter to start. The author has developed deep characters which resonate well with the story, and he provides some dark satire on some of Ireland and humanities worst characteristics across a spectrum of history, and also provides an inspirational story of resilience and ultimately long awaited happiness. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and will certainly listen/read more from this author. The performance was outstanding and the characters were well defined with brilliant accents and good timing on the humour too!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-04-18

Incredible story

The hearts invisible furies is a wonderful and capturing story, written incredibly well and read outstandingly. Highly recommended

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  • Peter Olofsson
  • 31-08-17

My favourite 2017 so far

Wonderful story spanning over a life time - a sorry time for Ireland, a story told with love and wit and read in a way that matches the content.

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  • Louise
  • 03-05-17

Highly recommended

An achingly beautiful book. What a story and what sadness and joy. It was read with such compassion and care. John Boyne is a master and never disappoints his reader.