Get Your Free Audiobook

Listen with a free trial

1 credit a month to use on any title, yours to keep (you’ll use your first credit on this title).
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
Access to exclusive deals and discounts.
$16.45 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy Now for $39.50

Buy Now for $39.50

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions Of Use and Privacy Notice and authorise Audible to charge your designated credit card or another available credit card on file.

Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Odran Yates enters Clonliffe Seminary in 1972 after his mother informs him that he has a vocation to the priesthood. He goes in full of ambition and hope, dedicated to his studies and keen to make friends.

Forty years later, Odran’s devotion has been challenged by the revelations that have shattered the Irish people’s faith in the church. He has seen friends stand trial, colleagues jailed, the lives of young parishioners destroyed and has become nervous of venturing out in public for fear of disapproving stares and insulting remarks.

But when a family tragedy opens wounds from his past, he is forced to confront the demons that have raged within a once respected institution and recognise his own complicity in their propagation.

It has taken John Boyne 15 years and 12 novels to write about his home country of Ireland, but he has done so now in his most powerful novel to date, a novel about blind dogma and moral courage and about the dark places where the two can meet. At once courageous and intensely personal, A History of Loneliness confirms Boyne as one of the most searching chroniclers of his generation.

©2014 John Boyne (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about A History of Loneliness

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    23
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    19
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    19
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

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

Heartbreaking

A profoundly moving tale, soulfully, heartrendingly and beautifully read by Mr McDonnell. Bravo

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

Confronting but necessary

As a Catholic, this was hard to hear but necessary for all of us to understand the magnitude of the Church downfall in Ireland. Made me see all perspectives equally. Told through the eyes of every person involved from the innocent to the guilty.

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

John Boyne perfection

Once again John Boyne has taken my heart and wrenched it with the telling of Odran’s lonely, misguided life
The finishing touches are supplied by the wonderful narration provided by Owen McDonnell
I believe every Irish book should be enjoyed in audible format with that amazing accent

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 Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 06-04-2021

Absolutely brilliant

John Boyne is one of my favourite authors.
His writing is sublime.
I could not stop listening to this incredible story, brought to life so perfectly, by the reader, Owen McDonnell.
The Catholic Church, provides a highly thought provoking and horrifying central theme to the plot.
Highly recommended.

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 Karen
  • Karen
  • 25-07-2020

Utterly compelling

Engaging from the opening paragraph, this is a story that in part highlights how the abuse of power occurs not just through "structures" and "bad people", but also through the inaction, & naivety of "nice" & "good people".....too afraid to really see and speak out..... Truth, fear, complicity, conformity, are all powerful themes of this beautifully written novel.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tinamac69
  • Tinamac69
  • 30-08-2020

Another storming Success

I was that obsessed with this book I haven't listened to music in the car for a couple of weeks... Totally engrossed, great story which resonated with me for personal reasons. I totally identified with this story, which made it a difficult and frustrating read at times... Because it was so on the money, John Boyne is definitely my favourite author at the moment.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Carole
  • Carole
  • 20-08-2020

A Perfect Read and Listen

I have read this book twice and listened twice. I have the book in print, and also kindle. Wonderful writing. Thankyou John Boyne.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 30-07-2020

Read this book in less than a week

Only slight criticism is that the stuff at the Vatican feels a little far fetched. Great story teller and a gripping story. Very sobering in parts. Recommend.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sarah Simpson
  • Sarah Simpson
  • 26-08-2020

Wow! Absolutely Amazing

Such a fabulous story, beautifully written and narrated- I have laughed and cried at this book and I honestly cant recommend highly enough.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sigrin
  • Sigrin
  • 09-12-2020

The complicity of silence


What John Boyne has written here is phenomenal, it powerfully lays open the complicité silence of the Catholic Church and its effects on those in and outside the church.
The story is about Father Audren but starts predating his birth and how his parents got to together and then became a family of five.
Audren’s life in the church comes about by the death of his fathers when his mother seeks solace in religion.and ultimately influences Audren to join the Catholic Church at the seminary for his religious training.
Going back and forth over the years, it shows the high esteem the people of Ireland had for the Catholic Church had and over time how this was eroded.
Audren spends time completing his religious studies in the Vatican City in Rome but ultimately his roots are in Ireland.
Throughout the book the lives of Audren’s immediate family and friends are woven and there influence on his life.
As I said before this is a powerful book and Audren’s life although fictitious really puts the Catholic Church and its people in the spotlight for their refusal to recognize what was staring them in the face.
I highly recommend this book and also John Boynes other book The hearts invisible furies.

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 Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-09-2021

Worthwhile listen

Very well written book. Excellent portrayal of a sensitive storyline, well developed characters and brilliantly narrated.



  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Eileen M.
  • Eileen M.
  • 26-08-2021

Outstanding and Compelling ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Wow..... John Boyne has done it again.
After reading The Hearts Invisible Furies, I sought out another book by this author. It didn't disappoint. I can't even say which book I preferred. They're both brilliant stories and very well written. Boyne deals with very difficult issues in a respectful and delicate manner. He does not try to affect or provoke the reader with gory details, but rather hones in on the complex relationships and emotional impact of the characters lives. The story is real and heartfelt. The details and places are well researched and descriptive. I must mention the narrator Owen McDonnell who made the listening experience for me. He is outstanding!! He didn't just read the book, he performed it. I will be looking out for more books read by the him.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mazza
  • Mazza
  • 21-08-2021

Staggering

The writing was staggeringly good and will resonate with me a while yet. Heartbreaking, harrowing in places but was written with the integrity I now value in this author

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-08-2021

Powerful and moving

This was a fascinating story which I found compelling to listen to. The narrator could not have been better, I think that was partly why I enjoyed listening to the book despite the distressing subject. John Boyne’s book always engage me.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.