Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £21.99

Buy Now for £21.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

Five toasts. Five people. One lifetime.

I'm here to remember - all that I have been and all that I will never be again.

At the bar of a grand hotel in a small Irish town sits 84-year-old Maurice Hannigan. He's alone, as usual - though tonight is anything but. Pull up a stool and charge your glass, because Maurice is finally ready to tell his story.

Over the course of this evening, he will raise five toasts to the five people who have meant the most to him. Through these stories - of unspoken joy and regret, a secret tragedy kept hidden, a fierce love that never found its voice - the life of one man will be powerfully and poignantly laid bare.

Heart-breaking and heart-warming all at once, the voice of Maurice Hannigan will stay with you long after all is said.

©2019 Anne Griffin (P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Critic reviews

"An extraordinary novel, a poetic writer, and a story that moved me to tears." (John Boyne)

 "A hugely enjoyable, engrossing novel, a genuine page-turner." (Donal Ryan) 

What listeners say about When All Is Said

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    807
  • 4 Stars
    161
  • 3 Stars
    38
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    5
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    810
  • 4 Stars
    84
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    5
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    721
  • 4 Stars
    140
  • 3 Stars
    38
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    4

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Life in Five Chapters

I once heard George RR Martin express pity for people who never read novels "because they only lead a single life". By contrast he suggested that a well written novel allowed the reader to walk in another person's footsteps and experience (for a few hours) an entirely different life.

Of course the rule doesn't apply to every novel but this book helps prove the wisdom of the epigram. In the course of five rhetorical toasts to his nearest and dearest an elderly Irish farmer relives the highs and lows of his life. There's no great drama but bags of emotional truth, a minor mystery and some good jokes.

Niall Buggy provides a spellbinding performance as the curmudgeonly narrator and although I've only just finished the book it feels like one of those novels which I will return to in my mind in years to come. I understand it to be a debut novel but it is an incredibly assured and authentic portrayal of an ordinary life which can stand toe to toe with the best of John McGahern, Alistair MacLeod or Kent Haruf. My life is better for having read it.

24 people found this helpful

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

What a superb reading!

I first heard of this author and this book on Graham Norton's end-of-year radio show, where he and Maria McErlane choose their cultural highlights of the year; Graham did mention that this wasn't even out yet and he'd read an advance copy and loved it. I immediately pre-ordered the audiobook after reading the description, and wow, what an incredible achievement (especially for a debut novel!), matched by the faultless performance (it's not a narration, it is a performance!) of Niall Buggy as Maurice. It reminded me of my Grandad, especially in his later years, imparting anecdotes as we played Cribbage or Bridge.

I could have sat and listened to this all in one go, it was so absorbing and so well delivered in all respects. It makes you feel like you're in a fireside seat, listening to the logs crackle as you have the most intimate and memorable conversation of your life. The central conceit keeps you guessing, anyway, as once you've heard about Maurice's youth and the mark it left, you wonder who or what else has made such an indelible impression on him throughout his life that he wants to toast to it at the end of it all - and whether he's recording a suicide note, or merely imagining a conversation, the thought of someone listening giving him the impetus to round out his story.

As it was, I savoured this, listening to a chapter a day during my early morning routine - in the cold, dark of winter, it felt ultra apt. I recommend this to all who enjoy novels which explore our humanity without gimmicks or hooks - just us, as we are, in all our guts and glory.

14 people found this helpful

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

Engrossing.

Loved the story, loved the narrator. One man's life story of living in rural Ireland during the 20th century. Amusing sometimes with some sadness too. I wish it wasn't finished I enjoyed it so much.

12 people found this helpful

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

Lovely

Such a sad story ...... so well written I could have been sitting beside Maurice in the pub.

5 people found this helpful

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

A toast to Life


This book gentle envelopes you over the chapters so you feel you know Maurice and his family intimately.

Mairice tells of the significant and influencing people in his life and toasts each of them, Each person allows you a little bit deeper into his life.

The last part had me in tears, but not in sorrow, but of a man who reflected on his mistakes and triumphs. Maurice to me is a brave man who makes a decision before it is taken from him.

Lastly this book comes highly recommended, with the outstanding narration by Niall Buggy taking it to another level.

Its up there in my top 10 books of all time.

4 people found this helpful

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

Superb

This is such a moving story. Read beautifully by Niall Buggy. Such a sensitive understanding of human frailty.

3 people found this helpful

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

Fabulous in every way

I loved this book by Anne Griffin and it was enriched by the soothing narration of Niall Buggy. The five act story structure worked well and tied together the fragments of the protagonist’s life as he faces its end. His soliloquy’s are rich, reflective and wistfully melancholic. The work is beautifully descriptive and I will read/ listen again and again I’m sure.

3 people found this helpful

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

Loved it

Just loved it , the reader was so lovely perfect voice , made you laugh made you cry

3 people found this helpful

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

An engrossing tale

One of those books which take first place in your schedules. Make enough time to finish it, I could hardly put it down. A sign of a good book is when every emotion is involved. I guessed the end way from the start but when it came it was still so emotional

2 people found this helpful

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

A magnificent achievement

This is simply one of the most beautifully written and narrated books I have ever come acroos. Totally absorbing - a very talented writer.

2 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Rose Craig
  • Rose Craig
  • 26-08-19

Exceptional

Loved this book deftly brought to life by the voice artist, Niall. One of the the best!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Linda
  • Linda
  • 25-10-21

Just lovely

Brilliantly narrated, this is a touching story of memories and regret. It's reminiscent of an era when feelings were rarely discussed. People just took life as it came. Dispirited at such a young age by injustice and loss, Maurice was as hard on himself as he was on those he loved - but with a supremely soft side for others. A flawed yet endearing character. Very moving.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ms. Susan M. Bowman
  • Ms. Susan M. Bowman
  • 04-08-21

Niall Buggy brings this book to life

I rarely prefer an audio version to reading it myself but Niall Buggy makes this story flourish in a way that I couldn’t imagine. He draws out all the nuances of the language, his accent and exactly how a man of that time would reminisce of a time that I couldn’t conjure. Amazing work.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Yvonne
  • Yvonne
  • 15-05-21

Beautiful

This is a rich experience to sink into. I've been listening to audio booksfor18 years, and this is one of the best. Thank you Anne Griffin and Niall Buggy.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for eva
  • eva
  • 17-12-20

Beautiful story and great narrator

What a beautiful story. At the beginning, I must say, I didn't like the narrator's voice. I just needed some time to get adapted (I'm not English mother tongue, at the beginning there were some words I didn't grasp). But he was perfect. He gave a full round personality and voice to the character. Great job, thank you !